Jack Wilshere recovered from the smoking saga and a poor first half to score the equalizer in what turned out to be the toughest game the gooners have faced this season.
Both teams entered the game riding on confident displays in the past week. The Baggies recorded a superb performance against Manchester United while the gooners had a display of the highest quality to defeat Napoli; so there was confidence flowing from both sides.
Steve Clarke started with the same squad that finished the game at Old Trafford while Arsene made two changes to the team that beat Napoli: Wilshere coming in for Rosicky and Jenkinson replaced the injured Sagna at right back and Arteta made his second consecutive start.
the game started with Arsenal enjoying much of the possession but didn’t really threaten, Arteta came close with a stinging shot outside the box, however Giroud blocked the goal bound effort, Ramsey also had a good shot that Boaz Myhill saved.
The Baggies grew into the game and were duely rewarded on 42 minutes when Kieran Gibbs missed a sumptous cross in the air from Morgan Amalfitano, the cross fell to midfielder, Claudio Yacob, whose header went straight into the net. West Brom had drew first bllod and Wenger’s boys needed a second half response. They got one in the 63rd minute when Wilshere shot took a slight deflection into the net. WIlshere had risen from a villian in the first half to a second half hero.
Arsenal began to smell blood and searched for the winner, Giroud had a magnificient chance to score but decided to go round the keeper but a simple touch towards goal would have fared better. Then the moment of debate, Ozil’s cut back found Wilshere inside the box and just when he was about to pull the trigger, Mulumbu took him out along with the ball. It looked like a penalty to everyone apart from Lee Mason, who saw it as a clean tackle.
Even though Arsenal were not at thier fluent best best, West Brom were resilient and packed the midfield, frustrated Wenger’s men and showed that thier win over United was no fluke.
For Arsenal, it was a point they were made to work hard for and was enough to take them to the top of the table especially with Chelsea, Liverpool and the Manchester twins on song.
Gooners would be slightly dissappionted that the 13 games away victory ruu was put to an end, but we are still unbeaten.
Next is the international break
Szczesny-7, Gibbs- 6.5, Mertesacker- 6, Koscienly- 6.5, Jenkinson-5, Flamini-6, Arteta-6, Ozil-6.5, Wilshere-7, Ramsey-6, Giroud-6; subs- Rosicky-6, Bendtner- N/A