- Dawson scores two headers
- 4 defeats in last 5 PL games for Arsenal
- WBA equal 2015-16 points tally
- Cech forced off with injury
West Bromwich Albion beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Hawthorns on Saturday as the Baggies piled more pressure on Arsene Wenger.
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Craig Dawson headed home the opener but Arsenal equalized soon after through talisman Alexis Sanchez and it remained that way until the second half. Then Hal Robson-Kanu came on and scored a controversial goal to make it 2-1 and Dawson headed home another set piece late on to put the result beyond doubt.
With the win West Brom have 43 points, the same number they had for the whole of last season. With their seventh defeat of the PL season Arsenal lose ground in the top four battle and remain on 50 points.
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A lively start at the Hawthorns saw two quick-fire goals.
First, it was the hosts who went ahead as Nacer Chadli‘s corner from the left was flicked home by Dawson as he was completely unmarked after losing Aaron Ramsey to head home. 1-0 to the Baggies as Wenger looked on with a face like thunder.
Moments later Wenger was punching the air with delight as Granit Xhaka clipped a delightful ball to the back post where an unmarked Sanchez chested down, cut inside and finished calmly to make it 1-1.
Just three minutes between the goals as West Brom continued to threaten from set pieces and the Gunners had the majority of possession but couldn’t break down a stubborn Baggies backline.
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Rondon headed just wide earlier in the second half and he was hauled off moments later as Robson-Kanu came on. That substitution turned out to bee a masterstroke from Pulis as Ospina flapped at a ball over the top from Chadli and Robson-Kanu poked home to make it 2-1.
Despite protests over James McClean being in an offside position, both initially and then as the ball rolled towards the goal, the Republic of Ireland international didn’t touch the ball and wasn’t interfering with play.
Wenger was furious with that decision and Arsenal came agonizingly close to making it 2-2 as Danny Welbeck‘s header smashed off the crossbar.
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The Gunners were left more and more exposed at the back and Robson-Kanu raced clear. Ospina again hesitated and Chadli rounded the goalkeeper but his shot was cleared off the line.
With 15 minutes to go the Baggies made it 3-1 as a Chris Brunt corner was headed home by Dawson.
Wenger and his team will now have two weeks to think about this result over the international break. Maybe that will make his decision about his future easier.