Baggies trouser three points as Arsenal fold to another Premier League defeat
Arsenal were beaten 3-1 by West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League at the Hawthons this afternoon.
Craig Dawson (2) and Hal Robson-Kanu scored for the Baggies. Alexis Sanchez scored the Gunners goal.
The result seriously damages Arsenal’s aim of finishing in the top four and will keep the pressure on Arsene Wenger.
The Gunners remain 5 points behind 4th placed Liverpool.
The gap may well be bigger by the end of the weekend.
The match kicked off with planes flying pro and anti Arsene Wenger banners over the Hawthorns.
It ended with another shambolic Arsenal display, where defensively they were once again exposed from set-pieces.
It’s a third successive away Premier League defeat for the Gunners. All by a 3-1 scoreline.
Mesut Ozil once again missed out with a hamstring injury.
Danny Welbeck was preferred up front to Olivier Giroud.
It was at the other end though that Arsenal were soon found wanting.
The Gunners went a goal down in the 12th minute.
Predictably it came from a corner. Craig Dawson rose highest to head home from a Nacer Chadli corner.
The corner had been earned for the Baggies by a shot from James McClean’s that had been beaten away by Petr Cech.
It was no surprise that Arsenal conceded as they had kept only one clean sheet in the previous nine matches.
It was also West Brom’s 17th goal from a set piece this season. the 18th was to follow in the second half.
It only took the Gunners two minutes to equalise though through Alexis Sanchez.
The Chilean had time and space to collect a pass from Granit Xhaka, before cutting inside and fire into the roof of the net.
It was Sanchez’s 22nd goal in all competitions this season. Arsenal were to only get one more shot on target in the match.
Both sides were indebted to their keepers for the score remaining all square at half-time.
Aaron Ramsey’s shot from inside the box in the 33rd minute was tipped away by Ben Foster, with Theo Walcott’s follow-up effort blocked by a defender.
At the other end a couple of minutes later Darren Fletcher was denied by Petr Cech, with the Czech tipping the Scot’s powerful shot away for a corner.
A couple of minutes later Cech had to be replaced by David Ospina after picking up a muscle strain.
The second half began with Arsenal enjoying plenty of possession, but it was West Brom who had the first sight of goal.
Salomón Rondón heading wide from Chris Brunt’s cross, with Ospina rooted to his line.
It was Rondón’s last contribution before being replaced by Hal Robson-Kanu.
And the Welshman wasted no time in putting the Baggies back in front in the 55th minute, with his first touch of the match just 74 seconds after coming on.
The Arsenal defence once again went missing with McLean having time on the right before passing to an unmarked Chadli.
He chipped the ball into the box, where it was cleared by Ospina. But the ball went straight to Robson-Kanu who rolled it into the net.
The Arsenal players appealed unsuccessfully for offside against McLean. The Irishman was behind all the Gunners defenders in the middle of the goal and allowed the ball to run through his legs into the net. After consulting his assistant Referee Swarbrick awarded the goal.
The Gunners went close to equalising in the 67th minute, but Danny Welbeck’s header crashed off the crossbar.
The Gunners almost conceded a third almost immediately, with Robson-Kanu again the threat. His shot was saved by Ospina, with Chadli’s follow-up blocked before Brunt shot high over the bar.
West Brom didn’t have to wait long though to score again and once more it was from a corner.
Dawson once again rose unmarked to head home with 15 minutes to play.
Arsenal have now lost four of their last five league fixtures, and have won only one of their last seven away matches in the league.
Arsenal: Cech (Ospina), Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xhaka, Walcott (Giroud), Ramsey, Welbeck, Sanchez (Iwobi)
Subs not used: Mertesacker, Gabriel, Coquelin, Elneny.