Sunday, 6 October 2013

West Brom 1-1 Arsenal match report October 6th 2013

Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League table after snatching a point against a West Brom side which continues to improve every week.

A goal by England midfielder Jack Wilshire cancelled out Claudio Yacob’s first ever goal for the Baggies but the result could have been completely different had former Gunners’ striker Nicholas Anelka scored one of his two clear cut second half chances.

Both teams played their part in an exciting contest and in the 42nd minute diminutive midfielder Yacob met a pinpoint cross from the right by Morgan Amalfitano to powerfully head the ball past keeper Wojciech Szczesny’s near post to open the scoring and raise the roof off the Hawthorns.

The home team held out a wave of Arsenal attacks until half time and should have gone further ahead early in the second half when a cross by Stephane Sessegnon hit Anelka on the heel when it looked easier to score. Minutes later the Baggies striker went clear on the left hand side and his right foot curling shot flashed agonisingly across the arsenal goal.

As happens so often in football, a team that misses chances gets punished and In the 62nd minute, Wilshire who had a troubled first half, charged forward and exchanged some intricate passes on the right edge of the box with Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud before firing a left foot drive which took a deflection off Baggies captain Jonas Olsson and flew past Albion keeper Boaz Myhill. 

In a grandstand finish both teams really pushed for the winner but the best chance fell to Arsenal striker Giroud who rounded the Albion keeper and was about to tap the ball into the net but was thwarted by the sheer determination of Myhill who scrambled back across goal and blocked his effort. 

Both managers were happy with a draw and after the match Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was asked if he had had words with Wilshire following midweek newspaper photos of the England player smoking outside a London nightclub. The Frenchman replied that he had spoken to him but when pressed on whether his player had quit smoking he laughed and said "I don't know.". 

Meanwhile Albion boss Steve Clarke was delighted with his side after another superb performance a week on from the excellent 2-1 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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