Arsenal went to West Brom looking for a win to break their away win record. Arsenal recently met West Brom in the Capital One Cup and therefore knew this fixture would be a tough one.
Arsenal started the game well today; stringing some good passes together, but they were unable to break down West Brom early on.
From the beginning, it was clear that the ref was going to let many things go. Normally I have no problem with a ref letting play go on, if the ref is not biased towards one team. The ref wasn’t awful, but he made some pretty big mistakes, frequently not calling something for Arsenal and then calling it for West Brom later.
Arsenal’s winger injury crisis continued to take its toll as Ramsey (and to a lesser extent, Jack) was once again forced out of position onto the wing. Rosicky would also later sub on out of position, for Ramsey on the wing. Getting Santi, Podolski, Walcott, and the Ox back will help keep players like Ramsey, Wilshere, and Rosicky playing in their proper position.
The first half was rather boring, with some tough tackles put in by both sides. However, in the end West Brom put in the game’s opening goal. In the 42nd minute Yacob put a header in at the near post. The cross came from a rebound from a West Brom corner and no one was marking Yacob who easily tapped the cross past Szczesny.
Our defence was at fault for the goal as no one was marking Yacob. I believe it should’ve been Jenkinson on Yacob, but he was a few yards in front of him trying to intercept the cross. Overall, Jenkinson did not look good today. He seemed to be missing some guidance down the right that Sagna appears to provide when he is playing in the middle, to the left of Jenkinson.
Soon after the break Aaron Ramsey went off with a slight knee injury. Wenger said it was mostly precautionary and that he is fine. Rosicky was his replacement in the 58th minute and was also forced to play out of position on the right wing.
In the 63rd minute Wilshere scored what is now only his second ever premier league goal. Giroud received the ball on the right hand side of the box. He held up the ball well then played Rosicky across the top of the box. Rosicky chipped the ball up, and Wilshere hit the ball into the lower corner off the half volley.
After this it was only Arsenal that looked likely to score. Wilshere played an incredible ball into Giroud in the box. He ran across the face of goal looking for Myhill to go to ground, but he never did, and in the end Myhill managed to hit the ball away. Wilshere was also hacked down in the box towards the end of the game. Mulumbu slid in on Wilshere from behind. After watching this in slow motion many times I have determined that Mulumbu hit Jack and then the ball. The challenge was identical to a challenge Wilshere himself was carded for earlier in the game, and I therefore think that it should have been a penalty.
Bendtner came on towards the end of the game, but could not make a difference and the game ended 1-1. I think Arsenal deserved a win, albeit, a close one. However, in the end we are still in first place and we got a point from the game.
One final thing I was curious about is what people thought of the Arteta and Flamini pivot. Personally, I thought that having those two playing together we were actually shielding our defense less than usual. They seemed to each think the other would cover or go for the tackle and we seemed more indecisive. I would like to give them more of a chance, but I do worry that having both of them playing together could make our defence less efficient.
Overall, the game was a good end-to-end game that was ruined by bad refereeing. Both sides probably could’ve scored more goals, but in the end a point is a point and we are still number one.
For now I’ll leave you with some questions:
- What did you think of today’s game?
- What do you think of Wilshere, Ramsey, and Rosicky on the wing?
- What did you think of the Arteta and Flamini pivot?
- Is Jenkinson better with Sagna in the middle?
Thanks for reading! 😀
Written by: Dylan.