FULL TIME: Arsenal 1-0 West Brom
It took a while but Arsenal get the job done against a very defensive West Brom side. Olivier Giroud's late goal saw the gunners maintain their scoring streak against West Brom (the best 100% record in the Premier League).
The win sees them temporarily go above Man City and keeps them in the title race.
93' Ramsey dilly-dallies and allows Foster to prevent a shot. Ramsey then spots Giroud and sends in a cross but his header loops up and Foster clears.
92' Alexis tries to act cute with a slow curling effort but Foster sees it all the way and catches it faster than anything he has done all game so he can release West Brom on a counter attack.
91' The tables have turned. Arsenal are now content with keeping the ball and passing it back and forth, only making inroads into the final third if they see a genuine opening.
90' FOUR minutes added on!
90' SAVE! Foster makes yet another save as Ramsey rushes on to a loose ball in the box and fires straight at his legs. Arsenal come back with another attack and this time win a corner.
89' Pulis cannot believe his side have conceded there. McAuley was even asking for a foul for the way he was held off. The referee simply ignores him.
86' Olivier Giroud holds off McAuley and heads a cross from Ozil into the top corner! The Frenchman wasn't even in the air. Foster had no chance and the Gunners have the lead!
86' GOOOAAALLL! Arsenal 1-0 West Brom
83' YELLOW CARD! Foster is finally booked for time-wasting - a tactic the entire West Brom team has been guilty of in this game.
83' Another Arsenal counter-attack sees a cross into the box for Bellerin (?) and he heads over the bar.
80' At this rate Wenger will have to bring on another outfield player for Cech if he wants to make this game interesting. (I'm kidding, of course... They've already made three substitutions).
79' Xhakaaaa... Nowhere close. The Swiss midfielder is tired of all the passing and lets fly a strike from range. He has scored from that distance before, but this show was not on target.
78' More frantic defending inside the box as Arsenal look to carve them open against and again. Ultimately, Foster throws himself on to the ball to give the Baggies a breather.
76' WHAT A CHANCE! Lucas Perez puts the ball on a plate for Giroud with a low cross into the six-yard box and the French striker fails to tap it in under pressure from Foster. That was arguably Arsenal's best chance of the game!
73' SUBSTITUTION: Aaron Ramsey comes on for Coquelin. The Welshman celebrates his 26th birthday today. Can he celebrate with a goal?
70' SUBSTITUTION: Trust Wenger to make substitutions with 20 minutes to go. Monreal and Lucas Perez come on for Gibbs and Iwobi. This is also Monreal's 150th Arsenal appearance (his first was also against a Pulis side - Stoke City).
70' YACOB... MISS! How did he miss that? Cech fluffs his catch and the ball falls to Yacob at the far post and his shot sails way over the bar!
69' West Brom win a corner and Phillips swerves in his delivery with pace which somehow goes out for another corner. This time it's Brunt from the other side.
68' Bellerin is playing in such an advanced role that he looks like an auxiliary forward. He managed to tip-toe his way into the box but can't find the right pass to find Giroud.
66' Arsenal counter with at least five players involved in a series of uncontrolled passes. But they can't make use of the opportunity to fashion a chance on goal.
65' YELLOW CARD! Gibbs has been booked for that foul. It was a heavy touch that saw him lose the ball and his attempt to win the ball back resulted in the collision. He's back on his feet though and will continue.
64' Ouch! Gibbs and Yacob collide outside the box and both players are down. Replays show their knees collided and that will hurt for a while. Nacho Monreal is already warming up and could come on if Gibbs cannot continue.
63' Dawson smartly makes an interception to deny Ozil who was looking for Alexis with a through-ball. He may have telegraphed that move though.
61' Nyom shrugs off Coquelin and makes a surprising run down the field. However, a heavy touch allows the faster Gabriel to intercept and gain control of possession without any problems.
59' SAVE! Yet another one from Foster to deny Giroud. The Gunners are creating a number of chances now. Can they find a way through?
58' A long ball to Rondon is dealt with by Koscielny who smartly heads it back to Cech so he can initiate another attack immediately. You can clearly see which side is in a hurry to get things going and which side has taken a lackadaisical approach to keeping the flow going.
56' Alexisss.... SAVED! A cross from Iwobi sees Alexis fire a thundering strike on goal that is put over the bar by Foster. The Gunners come again and this time Giroud gets a looping header on target but Foster makes a comfortable save.
54' Funnily enough, Arsenal are attempting crosses when Giroud is NOT in the box. There's no way Alexis is winning headers when he's up against McAuley and Evans.
53' Arsenal are trying to create space with a few dummy runs. Alexis tries to utilise said space but is crowded out every time. But one gets the feeling that he could score the opening goal soon.
51' The number of players Alexis danced around before getting that shot off - phew! The man is on a mission to better his tally of 25 goals in his first season with the north London side.
50' Alexissss... DENIED! Iwobi tests Foster with a shot and Alexis tries to fire home off the rebound. Foster concedes a corner, off which Alexis is denied again! This time by the post! What an exhilarating 30 seconds after such a drab first half!
49' Alexis attempts a clever ball that cuts the defence but it's too far for Bellerin. Foster read the danger and came out of the six-yard box to collect the ball.
48' You'd have to wonder what Wenger can do right now to change things. Perhaps take off Coquelin? The French midfielder has been a passenger so far with hardly any tackling to do - simply passing the ball along midfield.
47' - Hang on, West Brom surprise Arsenal with men in the box but Dawson cannot control a pass and sends it out for a goal kick.
46' West Brom kick off - predictably with no intention of changing the possession stats which read 80-20 in favour of Wenger's side.
The teams are back out on the pitch for the second half - 45 minutes for Arsenal to break down the Baggies defence.
HALF-TIME: Arsenal 0-0 West Brom
It's been a frustrating half for Arsenal as their dominance is yet to be rewarded with a goal. 10 shots to just two from the away side underlines the difference in approach from both teams.
We'll be back with the second half soon.
45+1' West Brom have absolutely no interest in keeping the flow of the game intact as they take their time with a free-kick in their own half. A smattering of boos resound around the Emirates.
45' Two minutes added on! Even Cech is playing in the middle third now as the centre-backs push up.
|10||West Bromwich Albion||38||12||9||17||-8||45|
|11||West Ham United||38||12||9||17||-17||45|