Arsenal put a bad week behind them with a 2-0 win against West Brom at the Emirates today.
Bacary Sagna was passed fit and started while Lukas Podolski made the bench, meaning Gervinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain flanked Olivier Giroud up front.
And the Ivorian had the first chance of the game after a corner was half cleared. Jack Wilshere headed it back in, the keeper came, half punched, and it fell for Gervinho who hooked a shot back across goal only to see it drift just wide.
Shortly after, good build up play from Arsenal set up a chance for Santi Cazorla, about 20 yards out, but for once his technique was less than perfect and he skewed it wide. The Spaniard was involved again soon after when Bacary Sagna played a fine ball over the top and down the line for Oxlade-Chamberlain, he raced onto it, fired over a first time cross which Cazorla met on the volley but hit it over the bar under pressure from the defender.
West Brom had their first chance of the game in the 23rd minute when Blunt fired not far over the bar, but a couple of minutes later Arsenal were ahead in controversial circumstances.
Steven Reid was adjudged to have taken down Santi Cazorla in the box. Certainly he took a wild swipe but made no contact, Cazorla went down and referee Mike Jones pointed to the spot. Mikel Arteta, who missed a last minute penalty to win the game against Fulham, stepped up and fired the Gunners into the lead. 1-0.
Arsenal could have been further ahead in the 38th minute when Gervinho got down the left, right to the byline, pulled it back across goal and Jack Wilshere came sliding in but poked it just wide from very close range. A real chance to double the lead.
Gervinho then forced Myhill into a good save when his shot on the turn caught the keeper slightly on his heels, West Brom managed to get it clear before Cazorla tucked home the rebound.
The second period started slowly, the most notable moment came when Santi Cazorla was clearly fouled on the edge of the West Brom box but Mike Jones, having been fooled once, waved play on. Giroud and Olsson were then booked for some handbags after an awkward landing, with Jack Wilshere jumping right in the middle to defend his teammate.
Gervinho then had a great chance from a Gibbs cross. He arrived perfectly to head it from the penalty spot but as we all know heading the ball is not his thing and it was easy for Myhill to stop it going out for a throw. And if that wasn’t bad enough, he then took a swing at a Giroud knock down but completely missed the ball from 5 yards out. Ridiculous stuff from any player, let alone at this level.
Arsenal then doubled their lead, again from the penalty spot and although there was no doubt about the award of the spot kick, West Brom were again unhappy, looking for a foul by Oxlade-Chamberlain in the build up. The player seemed to stop, Ox drove into the box and was taken down, and once again Mikel Arteta made no mistake from the spot. 2-0
Arsene Wenger brought on Francis Coquelin for the impressive Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 78th minute, a couple of moments later, after Gervinho was fouled, Arteta almost had his hat-trick, firing a free kick just wide. Tomas Rosicky then replaced the infuriating Ivorian.
Wojciech Szczesny was then forced into a good save from a rasping long shot, before substitute Lukaku Gervinhoed a free header from just 8 yards after a West Brom free kick.
Lukas Podolski, on as a late sub for Santi Cazorla, put in a contender for miss of the season. After being set up by Jack Wilshere, the ball bobbled a bit onto his left foot, but he somehow managed to smash the ball over the bar from just 7 yards out with just Myhill to beat.
It didn’t really matter though, Arsenal were good value for their win, West Brom had little to offer and three points were no less than the Gunners deserved.