Baggies pick up three points after Mikel Arteta’s own-goal
West Bromwich Albion picked up a shock three points yesterday afternoon when they came from behind to beat Arsenal at The Hawthorns.
The Gunners were heavily tipped to win the game despite their injury crisis, with nine first-team players currently out through injury, but it didn’t go to plan for Arsene Wenger’s men.
The game didn’t start well for Arsenal as influential midfielder Francis Coquelin picked up a nasty looking knee injury, which lead to him leaving the game and being replaced by Mikel Arteta.
Coquelin is expected to undergo a scan today to reveal the extent of the injury, but it looks like it could be yet another long-term blow for Wenger’s men.
Despite the early setback, Arsenal did in fact take the lead when Olivier Giroud headered home a Mesut Ozil free-kick, giving the German international yet another assist for the season.
However the game changed in a five-minute spell as West Brom turned the game on it’s head.
First James Morrison levelled when he superbly guided a volley home into the top corner, and the Baggies then took the lead when Arteta converted a James McClean cross into his own net.
Despite dominating the second half possession wise, Arsenal simply couldn’t get back into the game.
Ozil hit the post early in the second-half, before both Joel Campbell and Alexis Sanchez missed guilt-edge chances.
Arsenal were given a massive chance to rescue a point in the final 10-minutes however when Alexis was brought down in the box, but Santi Cazorla slipped in the process of taking his spot-kick and the ball flew into the stands.
The game finished 2-1 to the hosts, which sees them climb to 12th, while Arsenal drop to 4th.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis:
“There have been games here this year where we’ve been disappointed because we’ve lost. I thought Arsenal were very good, particularly second half when they ramped it up.
“Alexis Sanchez was just wonderful – his movement, his play. You’ve got Ozil and Cazorla who have wonderful talent. The lads deserve it for the effort and commitment, but we’ve played better and done better and not got the results.”
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:
“It was a very bad afternoon for us. We had 70% possession, we scored an own goal, we missed a penalty, we gave away a goal from a set-piece, that is perfect to make the afternoon a nightmare.
“We missed open-goal chances. I believe West Brom did fight with 100% commitment as well and you have to give them credit for that.
“At 1-0 we had just to make sure they did not come back with an easy goal and that’s where we were guilty, because apart from that I cannot fault the team who gave what they could until the last minute. We produced enough to win the game.”