West Brom recorded their second home win on the bounce over Arsenal as they humbled the Gunners to a 3-1 defeat at the Hawthorns, on Saturday afternoon.
The Baggies were looking menacing from the get-go and soon opened the scoring as early as the 12th minute, when right-back Craig Dawson rose the highest for a corner, to bury a header past Petr Cech in the Arsenal goal. However, the Gunners pulled the goal back three minutes later, as Alexis Sanchez thumped home a powerful effort from close-range. Arsenal lost their goalkeeper Petr Cech in the 38th minute due to an injury and the half ended with scoreline intact.
However, it didn’t stay that way for long, as 9 minutes after the restart, substitute Hal Robson-Kanu made an immediate impact, a mere seconds after coming on for Salomon Rondon, capitalizing on a horrendous defending from the Gunners to make it 2-1.
There were chances for both the sides with Danny Welbeck hitting the crossbar and Robson-Kanu forcing a save from Ospina. But, the Baggies went two goals ahead, as more shambolic defending from the Gunners from set-piece situations allowed Dawson to bullet in a free header with fifteen minutes to spare.
The defeat for Arsenal leaves them in a precarious position for the Champions League spots, while West Brom continue to solidify their position in the top half of the table. Here is how the West Brom players fared on the day:
West Brom Player Ratings
Ben Foster – 7/10
Made two stops in the first-half to keep out Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey. Did not have much to do after that. Calm and composed in the goal.
Craig Dawson – 9/10
A menace in the penalty box as the Gunners struggled to keep him quiet from set-piece situations. Scored twice from two bullet headers on either side of half-time. Man-of-the-Match display.
Gareth McAuley – 7/10
The 37-year old continues to impress in the heart of the defence for West Brom. Another solid display by the senior pro who was largely untroubled.
Jonny Evans – 7.5/10
Alongside his compatriot, the former Manchester United man brought assurance to the defence. Calm and cool when put under pressure, which was on a very few occasions.
Allan Nyom – 7.5/10
Demonstrated great pace and power on the left-hand side. Sent in some teasing crosses, defended bravely throughout to keep Walcott quiet for large periods of the game.
Darren Fletcher – 7.5/10
Was give license to romp forward as he bossed the Arsenal midfield. Came so close to finish a fine counter-attacking move in the first-half, only to be denied by Cech.
Jake Livermore – 7.5/10
Showed why he had earned a call-up to the England National Team. Was brilliant sitting in front of the back-four. Did not give an inch to Gunners in the middle of the park.
Chris Brunt – 6/10
A decent shift from the experienced midfielder, but wasn’t at his blistering best. Quiet outing before being replaced by Claudio Yacob.
James McClean – 7/10
Was a constant thorn in the Arsenal defence. However, he missed a couple of chances. Booked for a poor challenge on Sanchez in the first-half.
Nacer Chadli – 7/10
Sent in a superb corner for the opening goal and played a crucial hand in the second goal as it was his ball that was deflected into the path of Robson-Kanu. Failed to track Sanchez back for the Gunners’ goal though.
Salomon Rondon – 6/10
Missed a chance early in the game. Cut a frustrated figure on the pitch. Was substituted in the 54th minute to which he did not react well, heading straight for the tunnel.
Hal Robson-Kanu – 7/10
Came on to replace Rondon and made an immediate impact, putting his team ahead within 75 seconds of coming on, with just his second touch of the game. Forced another save from Ospina. Was an impact substitution.
Claudio Yacob – 6/10
Replaced Brunt in the 71st minute and slotted in the middle of the park to add solidity.
Sam Field – N/A
Came on for Chadli in the last minute of the game.