A header by Sebastien Squillaci in the 7th minute turned out to be the difference in Arsenal's1-0 home victory over Stoke City.
It was the French defender's first goal as a member of Arsenal, and it proved to be the winner at Emirates Stadium.
Nicklas Bendtner delivered a short pass, after taking in a Jack Wilshere corner, and found Squillaci who headed the ball in from only a few yards out.
The Gunners are now within one point of table leader Manchester United, though Arsenal has played one more game than the Red Devils.
A major story in the match was midfielder and captain Cesc Fabregas exiting in the 14th minute and being replaced by Andrey Arshavin.
Fabregas appeared to have re-injured his hamstring. The Spaniard was sidelined most of December with the injury, but walked off the field after the match and didn't seem hobbled.
Meanwhile, Theo Walcott twisted his left ankle, which looked far more serious than Fabregas's injury, with less than 20 minutes remaining. The Arsenal forward caught his foot in the turf while tangling with Dean Whitehead.
Fabregas and Walcott were key figures in the first minute of the match. Wilshere started a nice run and then found Fabregas, who delivered a great ball to Walcott. The England forward then ripped a shot that hit the post and into the hands of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Arsene Wenger's squad is no stranger to injuries. Currently, Dutch forward Robin Van Persie (hamstring) and French defender Laurent Koscielny (back) are sidelined.
The Stoke offense managed only one shot on goal the entire match. The Potters remain in 10th place in the Premier League standings, one point ahead of Blackburn.