After two consecutive defeats in the Premier League, Arsenal managed to get back to winning ways at the Emirates Stadium today but it was far from a routine victory for the Gunners and there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Late drama was present at the Emirates Stadium, as Olivier Giroud scored a very late winner for Arsene Wenger’s side to ease the tension upon the under-performing North London giants and ensured they didn’t fall further behind leaders Chelsea.
It certainly wasn’t a vintage performers from the Gunners but Arsenal got the result they needed in the end, although the fans will want to see a better performance later this week against struggling Crystal Palace.
The focus today though is very much on the narrow victory for the hosts and here are the five images that summed up a hard-fought victory.
Although the flag went up and the goal wouldn’t have stood, Petr Cech sprung into action to brilliantly prevent Solomon Rondon from finding the back of the net and the veteran’s performance was crucial to a match where the Gunners finally kept a clean sheet. This was one of just many incidents where Arsenal relied on their stopper, who seemed back to his best.
An image that summed up exactly how Arsenal fans were feeling during the game, Arsene Wenger was looking pretty frustrated on the sidelines as his side couldn’t find a breakthrough. Clearly feeling the pressure mount in the Emirates Stadium, Wenger’s tactical approach was called into question during the match and was desperate for a victory.
Often the hero for Arsenal this season, Alexis Sanchez was extremely close to breaking the deadlock as he beat Ben Foster and the West Brom defence but was prevented from finding the back of the net by the crossbar. It fitted the course of flow in the match, where things weren’t quite going Arsenal’s way.
Penny for the thoughts of Alexis Sanchez, who faces a huge year in 2017 as he enters the final 18 months of his deal with Arsenal. Whether he extends or not likely depends on the fortunes of the Gunners this season and hand Alexis’ side fallen to 11 points behind leaders Chelsea today, his future would have come under even more scrutiny.
Finally, Arsenal got the breakthrough they needed and secured three points courtesy of Olivier Giroud’s match-winning goal. Moving six points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, at least for the time being, it could well be a vital moment in Arsenal’s season as they continue to charge towards launching a genuine challenge for the Premier League crown.