Two controversial penalties were enough for Arsenal to confirm their first win in four matches at The Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal 2-0 West Bromwich Albion
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced the injured Theo Walcott to make his fourth premier league start of the season whilst Bacary Sagna returned for Arsenal at right back, replacing Carl Jenkinson. Lukas Podolski was only fit enough to start on the bench. Peter Odemwingie started up front for West Brom whilst Liam Ridgewell returned at left back.
Arsenal dominated proceedings throughout with Santi Cazorla having the first chance of any merit early on but his curled effort went wide of the goal.
Arsenal took the lead in the 26th
minute through a hugely controversial penalty. Cazorla went down in the box after Steven Reid took a swipe at him but contact appeared to be minimal at best. Referee Mike Jones pointed at the spot much to Baggies Boss Steve Clarke’s disbelief.
Mikel Arteta stepped up for Arsenal. He missed a last minute penalty against Fulham earlier on in the season but he showed no signs of any nerves as he stuck the penalty straight down the middle to give the first blood to Arsenal.
10 minutes later and Arsenal were nearly two up. Cazorla played Gervinho in down the left hand side and the Ivory Coast international played the ball across the face of goal but the incoming Jack Wilshere could only put the ball wide on the stretch from 6 yards out.
West Brom were perhaps unlucky not to be awarded a penalty of their own 5 minutes from half-time when Per Mertesacker looked to have handled the ball in the area. Instead, Jones gave a free-kick in the Gunners favour.
Arsenal nearly doubled their advantage 2 minutes later when Gervinho was free in the area but his low shot was pushed aside by Boaz Myhill.
Temperatures started to boil over after the break when Oxlade-Chamberlain’s shot looked to clip the crossbar before finding Olivier Giroud in an offside position. He was then flattened by Jonas Olsson which started a small scuffle between the 2 players and Wilshere.
Arsenal wasted another chance when the ball fell to Gervinho in the box, but he missed the ball with his shot under pressure from Gareth McAuley.
In the 64th minute Arsenal finally grabbed the second goal but again it was down to a controversial penalty. Oxlade-Chamberlain couldn’t get the ball under control and Goran Popov took possession. Oxlade-Chamberlain then looked like he pushed Popov over but Jones waved the play on. The Arsenal winger then drove into the box before being brought down cynically by Chris Brunt.
Arteta took the penalty again and put it down the middle for the second time to send The Emirates into raptures.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then nearly found Giroud in the six yard box but Myhill did well to push the ball away from the incoming Frenchman.
It took until 5 minutes from time for West Brom to have their first effort of any real note, Markus Rosenberg stinging the hands of Wojciech Szczesny from range but it wasn’t enough to net the Baggies a consolation goal.
It’s a result that sees Arsenal go into 7th
, 2 points behind Everton in 4th
. West Brom meanwhile drop down into 6th
but they remain a couple of points clear of the Gunners.