Arsenal 2 Stoke City 0
A first-half goal by Andrey Arshavin and one in the second half from substitute Aaron Ramsey were enough to secure the points and move the Gunners back into third place.
With three losses in a row, a battle against a team like Stoke City would have been just what Arsene Wenger would have wanted to re-focus his beleaguered team.
Tony Pulis' side took three points from the Gunners last terms and are a side with the ability to ask questions of Arsenal and exploit any raw wounds.
The Arsenal players were very quick off the blocks and Arshavin came close to opening the scoring after just seven minutes when he accelerated on to a delightful Cesc Fabregas throughball.
Unfortunately for the Russian, his first touch was a little too heavy and allowed Thomas Sorensen to close him down before he could get a clean shot away.
City for their part began to get a grip on the game, with Rory Delap firing in his exocet missile throw-ins to keep the home side on their heels.
It was Delap who had his goalkeeper to thank in the 20th minute when he conceded a foul when hauling down Arshavin on the right side of the area.
Fabregas placed his spot-kick to Sorensen's left but not far enough into the corner and the Dane made the save look comfortable.
Arsenal's opener was not far off though when Arshavin exchanged passes with Fabregas on the left side of the area before accelerating into the area to fire low across Sorensen and into the bottom right corner of the goal.
The Gunners should have had a valuable second just a minute later. Firstly Armand Traore's cross from the left was deflected on to the post by Abdoulaye Faye.
The ball bounced back into Fabregas' path and he looked certain to score from just three yards out but his thunderous shot struck Emmanuel Eboue on the City goal-line.
Thomas Rosicky was replaced by Carlos Vela at the beginning of the second half and the Gunners went back on the attack. Sorensen made another good save from Arshavin in the 50th minute after the Russian was again found by an intelligent Fabregas pass.
Stoke had Faye to thank for not going two behind in the 65th minute when he threw himself in front of an Arshavin shot to deflect the ball on to the bar before it bounced away to safety.
Thomas Vermaelen headed just wide as he rose above Robert Huth to meet Fabregas' corner.
Ramsey made it 2-0 for the Gunners in the 79th minute when he was first to a loose ball on the edge of the area.
He then drove into the box before firing a low shot with the outside of his right boot past the diving Sorensen into the bottom right corner to give Wenger some cheer at the end of a tough week.