Gunners captain Van Persie was on hand to open the scoring mid way through the first half with his 28th goal in 27 Premier League games in 2011 before Thomas Vermaelen doubled the lead just before half time. Mikel Arteta made sure of the points after the break to give Arsene Wenger’s side their sixth win in eight games since they were thrashed 8-2 by Manchester United at Old Traffford in August. Roy Hodgson’s Baggies lost for the second consecutive week after losing last Saturday at home to Liverpool and were no match for an Arsenal side that barely got out of second gear. It Van Persie who was the inspiration for the home side as he continues to revel in his role as skipper and central striker.
The Dutchman was a handful for the Albion defence all afternoon with his intelligent link up play with midfield proving too hot for the visitors to handle. It was his opener on 22 minutes that settled a hot tempered start to the game that was littered with fouls and free kicks. Theo Walcott was the architect as he made inroads towards goal before seeing his shot parried by Ben Foster with Van Persie on hand to tap home the rebound. With the deadlock broken the Gunners looked to increase their dominance on the game and it was no surprise when they doubled their lead just six minutes before half time. Van Persie was involved once again turning provided this time seeing his cute pass finished with aplomb by Vermaelen for the Belgians first goal of the season. It could have been three on the stroke of half time but Arteta could only send his curling effort over the bar.
It was a similar story after the restart as Arsenal preserved their supremacy as Albion’s meagre challenge slowly ebbed away as the home side stepped up their efforts for a third goal. Graham Dorrans had two early opportunities in the second half for Hodgson’s firing wide of Wojciech Szczesny’s right hand post before clipping an effort wide from the edge of the area minutes later. Thats as good as it got for West Brom as the hosts increased their stranglehold on the game with Aaron Ramsey, Gervinho and Vermaelen going close before Arteta made it 3-0. The Spaniard swept home Van Persie’s clever pass for his first goal at the Emirates since his summer move from Everton putting the finishing touches to a slick move. The win continues the Gunners renaissance and keeps them seventh in the table just three points shy of fourth placed Chelsea going into the international break.