Arsenal avoided a third straight Premier League loss by beating a lacklustre West Brom at The Hawthorns. The Gunners started the fixture with their lowest points tally after 12 games in 32 years, but Danny Welbeck’s powerful header gave them victory. Welbeck scores his sixth Arsenal goal to earn win. Welbeck – denied by a Ben Foster save in the first half – powered in Santi Cazorla’s cross after half-time. West Brom came closest when Saido Berahino headed onto the bar during a late rally but were deservedly beaten. Now West Brom have not scored in 300 minutes of live play.
Banners calling for Wenger to leave his role were visible among the travelling support. His side are 11 points worse off than at this stage last season despite the additions of Alexis Sanchez, Calum Chambers and Welbeck – who was shifted out of the central striker’s berth for Olivier Giroud – but produced the game’s decisive moment. His header – one of 17 Arsenal attempts at goal – arrived after a first half in which Foster was the only goalkeeper called into action, denying Welbeck from 12 yards. The West Brom keeper then presented Giroud – back in the starting XI for the first time since breaking his leg in August – with an open goal near the corner flag, but the angle proved too acute. Arsenal looked solid with Laurent Koscielny back at the heart of their defence, and with all of their wins this season coming against sides in the bottom half, the breakthrough inevitably arrived. Cazorla, chosen man of the match, was impressive throughout – completing 93% of his passes in the opposition half.
Arsene experiment with having the most attacking looking side with Sanchez, Welbeck and Giroud all starting and if they can gel well, maybe that is something to try out more often. But the Gunners cannot just scrap by these sides, they need to close them out scoring 3-4 goals and boss them out. Kos is back and that leaves our defense looking more solid and strong. More injuries – what the fuck is it with Arsenal and injuries? Monreal goes out injured just as Kos comes back! So now we have Wilshere, Arteta, Debuchy, Gnabry, Walcott (how many games has he played in the last 2 years?), Szczesny, Ospina, Sanogo & Diaby out injured. Our first and second choice keepers out injured!