Arsenal continued their excellent run of form with a 3-0 win over West Brom at the Grove today.
Arsene Wenger decided today was the day to rest Per Mertesacker, choosing to unleash the Vermscielny axis on West Brom and in the first half the pair were relatively untroubled. What they had to deal with they did well, and in general Arsenal dominated the game and possession.
Without really troubling Ben Foster Arsenal kept the ball well and moved it about the pitch at will. Carl Jenkinson whipped in a number of great crosses which a team with a greater emphasis on attacking those kind of balls would probably have thrived on.
We took the lead in the 22nd minute when Aaron Ramsey picked up a quick free kick and played a quite magnificent ball inside the centre-half and the left back for Theo Walcott. Theo ran into the box, shot at close range but saw it stopped by Foster, but who else was there to mop up? Bazillion goal scorer Robin van Persie, that’s who, and he tucked home the rebound to make it 1-0.
Wojciech Szczesny was asked to deal with a couple of crosses, which he did well, as Arsenal continued to boss the game. After a corner was cleared, Alex Song chipped a lovely ball to the back post, van Persie fired it back across goal for the onrushing Thomas Vermaelen to fire home with his left foot. 2-0 Arsenal. It was the Belgian’s first goal since that game against Stoke when Lennie snapped Aaron Ramsey’s leg.
Laurent Koscielny denied Jerome Thomas a shot on goal and West Brom wasted a great free kick chance late on to go in two goals down at half-time.
In the second half West Brom were a bit more lively – but that’s pretty much saying they went from corpse to shuffling zombie, while it was Arsenal who made all the chances. Jenkinson continued to whip in great crosses and Ben Foster was forced into saves from Alex Song and Gervinho before Arsenal made it 3-0 with the goal of the match.
Robin van Persie took a pass from Alex Song and turned beautifully past his marker. He played it out wide to Rosicky who gave it back to the captain in the box. He laid it off for Mikel Arteta to bury it in the bottom corner to make it 3-0 and seal the game for the Gunners.
At that point it was game over and there was no way back for West Brom. Szczesny made his first save of the game in the 86th minute when he stopped a Reid header from a West Brom corner.
Woy Hodgson’s men were pretty terrible today and it was as comfortable a win as Arsenal have had in a long time. Another good 3 points, a clean sheet, and you can’t ask for much more than that heading into the Interlull.
pic by @7amkickoff