Alexandre Lacazette scored twice to earn a shaky Arsenal victory over West Brom, their third Premier League win in a row at Emirates Stadium. The France striker – who has scored in each of those home wins – headed into an open net in the 20th minute after West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster tipped Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick onto the crossbar. West Brom, on the night midfielder Gareth Barry broke the Premier League appearance record, felt they should have been awarded a penalty before the opener when Shkodran Mustafi brought down Jay Rodriguez with a sliding challenge. Instead of staying on the ground following the contact, Rodriguez chose to continue but his shot was tipped onto the post by a diving Petr Cech.
After the break, Arsenal were themselves rightly awarded a spot-kick when Allan Nyom barged over Aaron Ramsey close to the byeline. Lacazette stepped up and calmly slotted into the bottom right corner – his fourth goal since his club record £46.5m summer move from Lyon. The Baggies caused Arsenal problems in the first half in particular, with Nacho Monreal brilliantly clearing a Rodriguez header off the line in the 38th minute. Victory for the Gunners lifts them to seventh in the table, one point behind fourth-placed Tottenham and six behind leaders Manchester City while West Brom drop to 12th. West Brom boss Tony Pulis cut an exasperated figure on the touchline as his poor record at the Emirates continued. He has now lost all 10 of the matches he has managed at the ground.
Pulis was furious when a penalty was not given for Mustafi’s tackle on Rodriguez and also disagreed with the decision to a give a free-kick in the build-up to Lacazette’s first goal, when the contact from Jonny Evans on Mohamed Elneny looked minimal. Former Arsenal defender and BBC Radio 5 live pundit Martin Keown agreed, saying the Baggies should “definitely” have had a penalty and calling the Evans foul “doubtful”. However, Pulis was expressionless when Madley did point to the spot in the second half and, in truth, could have few complaints. It was a foolish shoulder charge from Nyom on Ramsey after the Arsenal midfielder had shown too much pace to surge around the Cameroon defender and into the box. Arsenal also had a penalty appeal turned down in the first half when Grzegorz Krychowiak pulled the shirt of Sanchez at a corner.
West Brom have scored just four goals this season but could easily have added to that in the first half with Rodriguez a constant threat. As well as the Englishman’s header that was cleared off the line and the shot which followed the penalty decision, he came within inches of converting a cross from the right when sliding full-stretch towards goal. But, despite the improved attacking display, the Baggies are now five games without a victory and have won only one of 12 away league matches in 2017. Wenger has won all 11 of his home games against teams managed by Pulis, 10 in the Premier League and one FA Cup game at Highbury in 2005. Lacazette became the first Arsenal player to score in his first three home league appearances for the club since Brian Marwood in September 1988. Arsenal have scored in all 23 of their Premier League meetings with West Brom, the best such 100% record in the division.