Arsenal only have a few games left to try and salvage something from this season, but really need to win all their remaining games and hope other results go our way. I am sure Mikel Arteta has told his team that he wants to see some real fight and desire from today’s team at home to a relegation candidate in West Brom..
But the first 15 minutes hardly looked promising, and in fact it was the visitors who were doing all the attacking and looking they were intent on the three points.
Our first promising attack didn’t come until the 17th minute with Bukayo Saka (from left-back) getting into West Brom’s penalty area.
Halfway through the first half we had a scare when Saka, who was basically our only attacking threat, was writhing on the ground, but luckily he was okay.
Other than one free kick and one corner, Arsenal made little impact, until suddenly that man Saka got to the back line again and put in a wonderful cross for Smith-Rowe to score his very first Premier League goal for the Gunners.
Five minutes later, we saw a rare glimpse of Pepe’s skill when he curled one into the top corner, and put another nail in Big Sam’s coffin, and Arsenal actually look like they are enjoying their football again.
The second half should be just about consolidating our lead and very little happened in the first 15 minutes other than Gabriel getting a karate chop to the throat, but it wasn’t fatal we carried on.
On the hour mark, the Baggies got a flurry of corners but Leno and Holding easily kept them out and quickly broke away, Saka put another excellent cross in but Smith-Rowe couldn’t stretch enough to score again.
Immediately Arteta swapped Martinelli, who has had very little impact at all, for Lacazette, and then Robson-Kanu floored Elneny and finally got a yellow card. Lacazette nearly scored straight away from another cross from Saka, but he was offside anyway.
It looked like we were coasting to the win, but suddenly a great individual goal from Pereira brought West Brom back into it with their first shot on goal! But they all count and Gooners are thinking that we are going to throw away another certain three points.
Arsenal immediately looked shaky and West Brom came in search of the equaliser and came close a couple of times but the game ended with a free kick earned by Willian which tool five minutes to get prepared for, but it was worth it as Willian finally got his first goal for the Gunners to put the game to bed.
Wow! A home win at last! And bye-bye Big Sam!