An Alexandre Lacazette brace against West Bromwich Albion secured a vital three points for Arsenal, as the North London club jump up to seventh place in the Premier League table, and one point behind the European spots.
Lacazette bagged his first goal of the evening 18 minutes in when the French striker swiftly acted to latch onto a Ben Foster save to tap in the rebound from six-yards out.
The three points were sealed seven minutes past the hour mark, when Allan Nyom brought down Aaron Ramsey in the box, resulting in a penalty. Lacazette was tasked with taking the spot-kick, and the Arsenal number nine buried the ball past Foster, to claim the game for the hosts.
Early scare for Arsenal
West Brom had the best chance in the opening 10 minutes of the game, when Jay Rodriguez sprinted through on goal after a clever pass from Jake Livermore, and although the winger being taken out by Shkodran Mustafi, Rodriguez got back up and curled an effort from a tight angle, forcing Petr Cech to tip the shot onto the post, and the follow-up effort from Livermore flew wide of the still shaking woodwork.
Lacazette breaks the deadlock
Although West Brom started the strongest and looking likely to score first, Arsenal were the ones to break the deadlock 18 minutes in through Lacazette.
Alexis Sánchez thought he had beaten Foster with a free-kick just outside the penalty area, but the Chilean’s strike bounced off the frame of the goal. However, Lacazette was on the scene in an instant, and the former Olympique Lyonnais striker poked the ball into an empty net, to give Arsenal the lead.
Despite the opening goal and the home advantage, the Gunners looked shaky defensively and in the midfield. The pace of Rodriguez was causing many problems for the Arsenal defence, and the lack of concentration of the Arsenal defenders made it easy for West Brom to attack.
The Albion thought they had found the equaliser 20 minutes later, when a great counter attack sparked by Grzegorz Krychowiak resulted in the Polish international finding Rodriguez with a lobbed pass. Despite his strike beating Cech, Nacho Monreal was on deck to scramble the ball away with a great goal line clearance, to deny West Brom an equalising goal.
Arsenal started the second half much more comfortably, and the hosts almost doubled their lead on the 51st minute mark, when Mohammed Elneny laid off Lacazette inside the penalty area, but the French striker’s effort flew a whisker wide of the far post.
Sealing the three points
The Gunners did their best to frustrate the West Brom defence, and their constant teasing was rewarded when the hosts were awarded a penalty after Nyom fouled Ramsey just inside the area, and the referee pointed to the spot
Lacazette stepped up to take the penalty kick, and the Arsenal number nine buried the ball past Foster, tucking the ball into the furthest corner, and doubling the Gunner’s lead.
With the score line set, Arsenal resumed to keeping hold of the ball and not allowing the visitors to get any time on the ball when in possession. The late introduction of Mesut Özil and Olivier Giroud meant that the ball stayed largely in West Brom’s half in the closing stages of the half, and it allowed the game to end 2-0 for Arsenal.