Arsenal 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Mikel Arteta scored two goals and put atleast a temporary halt to Arsenal’s recent slide into mediocrity with a win against this season’s Cinderella side West Bromwich Albion. Both goals came via the penalty spot which the Spaniard specializes in. The midfielder’s first spot-kick came after Steven Reid was controversially adjudged to have fouled Santi Cazorla. The visitors almost let in a second when Gervinho pulled the ball back for a lunging Jack Wilshere to poke an effort wide. The visitors thought they should have had a penalty for a Per Mertesacker handball but they struggled to create any real chances. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled by Chris Brunt for Arteta’s second and a first Arsenal win in four league games.

Lukas Podolski should have put a more convincing gloss on the win only to scuff a late shot horribly high from six yards. That was a terrible miss which made me jump up from my chair and yell out “Oh for Fuck’s sake!” For West Brom, it was a third straight top flight-defeat but they will no doubt point to the decisions of referee Mike Jones for playing a part in their downfall. Victory will come as a relief for the Gunners as they battled to a result that moves them up to sixth from 10th in the Premier League. Arsenal were watched by former striker Thierry Henry amid talk he could return to the club on a temporary basis from MLS club New York Red Bulls, but he will have seen a side a shadow of the title-winning ones he spearheaded.

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