Summary: Thomas Rosicky scored in both halves as 10-man Arsenal gave their Champions League quest a boost with victory at West Brom. The Czech Republic midfielder found the net with a diving header in the first half and drilled home his second to make it six wins in seven for the Gunners. They were denied a clean sheet though as Per Mertesacker was sent off for fouling Shane Long in the penalty area allowing James Morrison to covert from the spot.
West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Arsenal: Key moments
Eleventh minute: Rosicky makes a telling intervention for Arsenal, clearing Claudio Yacob’s near post header off the line to prevent West Brom from taking the lead.
Twentieth minute: GOAL!After denying a goal at one end Rosicky has scored at the other to put the Gunners ahead. Mikel Arteta releases Gervinho who sees his attempted shot fell kindly for Rosicky to finish with aplomb past Ben Foster.
Forthy third minute: Aaron Ramsey must be wondering how he hasn’t put the visitors 2-0 ahead. Oliver Giroud, Arteta and Santi Cazorla combine to set the midfielder up but he can only poke wide from six-yards out.
Fiftieth minute: GOAL! Having failed to score in his previous 65 games Rosicky has two in one afternoon. The Arsenal number seven doubles his sides lead at the second attempt after his initial close range effort is parried away by Foster.
Seventieth minute: RED CARD! Long darts onto a through ball and draws a clumsy challenge from Mertesacker in the Arsenal penalty area. Referee Howard Webb had no hesitation in awarding West Brom a penalty and sending the German defender for an early bath.
Seventy first minute: GOAL! Morrison makes no mistake from 12-yards drilling the ball through the legs of Lukas Fabianski to give Albion a lifeline.
Eightieth minute: CHANCE! Gareth McAuley spurns a glorious chance to earn the home side a point as he rises high abobe Laurent Koscielny to meet Morrison’s set-piece but his header clips the outside of the post and goes.
Good day for….Thomas Rosicky: It proved to be a memorable afternoon for Rosicky as he scored twice in a league game for the first time in an Arsenal shirt to earn them a valuable win and lift them into the top-four.
Bad day for….Per Mertesacker: The German defender paid the ultimate price for a momentary rush of blood that saw him hack down Shane Long in the Arsenal box and was subsequently served with his marching orders by referee Howard Webb.
Steve Clarke said…“Anybody who watched today’s game from the start would say if we got the equaliser it would have been thoroughly deserved. We can’t keep conceding goals, especially against a team like Arsenal.”
Arsene Wenger said…“I am very pleased, it is three big points. We have 22 points out of the last 27 but we know our target is to continue to do that until the end of the season.We know we have one target to win our games, then we don’t have to look at Tottenham or Chelsea.”