Arsenal vs. West Brom: Gunners' 2-0 Victory as It Happened
Arsenal 2-0 West Brom
Arteta 27' (pen), 64 (pen)
Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny; Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs; Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla (Podolski 88'); Gervinho (Rosicky 84'), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Coquelin 78'), Olivier Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Coquelin, Ramsey, Rosicky, Podolski
West Brom: Boaz Myhill; Steven Reid, Liam Ridgewell (Popov 7'), Jonas Olsson, Gareth McAuley; Youssouf Mulumbu, James Morrison, Chris Brunt, Zoltan Gera (Rosenberg 76'); Shane Long, Peter Odemwingie (Lukaku 63')
Subs: Popov, Dorrans, Rosenberg, Daniels, Lukaku, Tamas, Fortune
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Both of Arsenal's goals might have come from penalties, but they certainly played well enough to merit a couple more.
Arsene Wenger would have liked it if they didn't waste so many golden chances, but the point is that the Gunners played much better than they have in recent games.
And with a crucial stretch ahead of the new year, that is almost as important as the result.
Arsenal finally break their win-less streak and get three points against West Brom with two controversial penalties.
The first, won by Santi Cazorla, was the result of a clear dive. The second was the result of a clear foul on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain by Chris Brunt, but Goran Popov felt that he was fouled in the build-up.
Nevertheless, Arsenal jumps up to sixth place with three crucial points at home, and some of the pressure is lifted off of Arsene Wenger.
90+4—Arsenal just seeing it out now, as we move into the final 30 seconds of extra time.
90+3—We move into the third of four minutes of extra time, and Arsenal is still on the front foot, keeping possession and going for goal when they want to.
90+2—Wow, absolutely golden chance for Lukas Podolski, who was clean through from only a few yards out on the left side, tried to get the ball onto his left foot and scooped his shot over the bar.
Of all the chances wasted today, that was certainly the best. At least nine times out of 10, he would have scored that. It won't matter all that much, but it would have been the cherry on top.
90'—Ooh, Lukas Podolski had a great chance near goal and laid it off for Jack Wilshere, who set up a shot on his right foot that was blocked by Goran Popov.
Wilshere deserves a goal today, as he's been absolutely superb throughout.
Lukas Podolski replaces Santi Cazorla, as Arsene Wenger makes his final chance. Podolski was not supposed to be available for this game, but here he is.
87'—Markus Rosenberg has a go, stinging Wojciech Szczesny's palms from 25 yards away.
West Brom eventually get a free-kick from the left side, and Romelu Lukaku wastes a great headed chance from the edge of the six-yard box.
85'—Very attractive passing triangles from Arsenal, as the fans "ole" their team through the final five minutes or so of this game.
84'—West Brom getting forward a little more now than before, but Arsenal is not relinquishing its control of this game.
Rosicky already making positive contributions, nearly getting on the end of a Jack Wilshere through-ball and pressing hard to get the ball back when it's cut out.
Gervinho makes way for Tomas Rosicky. A good day for Gervinho, although he typically wasted a number of golden chances. Rosicky is received warmly.
80'—Steven Reid is booked for a hard foul on Gervinho near the corner of the penalty area. The Ivorian was put in by a good ball from Olivier Giroud.
Mikel Arteta fizzes a free-kick just wide. It was dipping and Myhill had to get down to see it wide. Tomas Rosicky prepares to come on.
Francis Coquelin replaces Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who rightfully receives a standing ovation from the Emirates crowd.
76'—West Brom substitution
Markus Rosenberg on for Zoltan Gera, giving the Baggies three strikers on the pitch at once.
76'—Corner for Arsenal is cut out after a threatening free-kick taken by Santi Cazorla.
Ooh, what a chance for Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain fizzed in a cross but desperate defending prevented him from slipping the ball in at the near post.
74'—Interesting stat from OptaJoe. Sometimes, it just takes a little luck.
2 - Arsenal have scored two penalties in a Premier League game for the first time since January 2007 vs Charlton. Double.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 8, 2012
72'—Another promising Arsenal attack ends in a goal kick as Olivier Giroud can't quite put the ball in at the near post from a very tight angle.
This has become a very open, exciting game, and Arsenal taken better advantage of that.
70'—Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla stand over the ball.
Cazorla takes, it bounces off the top of the wall, and eventually out for a corner.
Arsenal fans loudly jeer Boaz Myhill for racing to collect the ball after time-wasting very early in the match.
69'—Corner West Brom, put out for another corner, Per Mertesacker booked for dissent.
Wojciech Szczesny firmly punches the second attempt clear, and Arsenal go forward again. The fans are very pleased with this display, as Arsenal are showing what they can do when they're near their best.
Blatant foul on Gervinho right outside the box by Shane Long, as more scuffling occurs off the ball.
Mikel Arteta goes right down the middle again and Arsenal double their lead. West Brom is furious because Goran Popov felt that he was fouled in the buildup to the goal, but Arsenal is firmly in control now.
This one's totally legitimate, as Chris Brunt sliced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain down when he ran into the area on the counterattack.
Mikel Arteta will take again.
62'—West Brom substitution
Romelu Lukaku replaces Peter Odemwingie. Lukaku has been a force off the bench this season, and he could turn this game on its head if Arsenal don't mark him carefully.
Corner West Brom.
61'—What an incredible chance for Gervinho!
The ball fell right to him, unmarked from about eight yards out but he whiffs with his left foot and can't even get a shot on goal.
I know he's better than that, but that's the kind of thing that I would have done in that position. Very poor.
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