Arsenal beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 at the Hawthorns on a Saturday, with the Gunners digging deep for their first win in three games.
Danny Welbeck was the match-winner as his 60th minute header proved the difference. The goal was Welbeck’s third of the season, but Arsenal failed to build on that lead against a spirited Baggies outfit.
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West Brom huffed and puffed to get back into the game and the closest they came was Saido Berhaino’s header late on which bounced off the crossbar.
With the win Arsenal momentarily moved into fourth place on 20 points, while West Brom stay in 13th.
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It was an even start at the Hawthorns as Sanchez made a surging run which ended in Foster saving easily, while West Brom looked comfortable in possession without really testing the Arsenal backline.
The Gunners were forced into a change early on as Nacho Monreal could not continue and Kieran Gibbs replaced him at left back. Just before the half mark, Arsenal almost went ahead as Aaron Ramsey threaded a perfect ball through to Welbeck but Ben Foster denied the England international with a smart stop.
As the first half closed out Arsenal pushed for the opener and Ramsey dragged a shot just wide of the post after one of several counter attacks from the Gunners.
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The same pattern continued at the start of the second half as Per Mertesacker put an effort wide with the Gunners well in the ascendancy. On the hour mark the opening goal finally arrived as Santi Cazorla raced free down the left and clipped in a perfect cross towards Welbeck which the forward headed home powerfully. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
Late in the game Arsenal pushed for a crucial second goal but the Baggies almost leveled with 10 minutes left as Christian Gamboa clipped in a cross which Berahino headed onto the crossbar and the Gunners managed to clear the ball to safety. West Brom midfielder Craig Gardner was inches away from grabbing a late equalizer as his powerful was deflected just wide by Ramsey, but Arsenal held for the win win and the clean sheet.
West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Lescott, Dawson, Pocognoli (Gamboa, 75′), Gardner, Mulumbu (Anichebe, 65′), Brunt, Dorrans, Sessegnon (Samaras, 76′), Berahino
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal (Gibbs, 23′), Flamini, Ramsey, Welbeck, Alexis, Cazorla, Giroud (Chamberlain, 78′)
Goal: Welbeck (60′)