Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Analysis as Lacazette double downs Baggies

A brace from Arsenal's record signing was enough to earn a hard-fought win over West Brom.

Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Analysis as Lacazette double downs Baggies
Alexandre Lacazette celebrates his opener | Photo credit: Gettyimages- Mike Hewitt

Arsenal emerged victorious over a stubborn West Brom after a brace from Alexandre Lacazette helped The Gunners earn a much-needed three points.

Tony Pulis' men were typically organised and proved difficult to break down, but in the end Arsenal's quality shone through and newboy Lacazette added to his growing reputation at The Emirates.

Sloppy first half

Arsenal started the game slowly, they had large amounts of possession but were unable to force Baggies 'keeper Ben Foster into any significant saves. In fact, it was the visitors who had the best chances of the first half.

Summer addition Jay Rodriguez had a stonewall penalty shout turned down in the the 8th minute, after a clumsy challenge from Shkodran Mustafi. Rather than stay down and appeal for the penalty, Rodriguez got back on his feet and saw his shot tipped onto the post by Petr Cech- a quite remarkable save.

The ball then fell to Jake Livermore, who could only steer wide from a promising position. A chance he perhaps should've taken, but West Brom were encouraged by their early opportunity. 

What followed was a decent spell of possession for the away side, and it was Arsenal who were doing the majority of the defending. Hal Robson-Kanu featured prominently down the left hand side and loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak began pulling the strings in midfield. 

However, West Brom were made to pay for their lack of clinical edge in the 20th minute. Alexis Sanchez was brought down on the edge of the area, the Chilean then dusted himself down to take the resulting free kick. His effort was was tipped onto the bar by Foster, but the alert Lacazette was on hand to nod the ball into the net.

This was Lacazette's third goal in as many home games, and the mood around the stadium changed after his opener.

West Brom were down but not out, and continued to attack on the counter in an attempt to find an equaliser. But The Gunners held firm and were able to head into the break a goal to the good.

Arsenal finally get out of second gear

Arsenal started the second half much better, they dominated the ball and began to put together vintage passing move which unsettled West Brom's defence.

Aaron Ramsey, who played in a more advanced role, began to make his signature runs from midfield and it was his persistence which lead to Arsenal's second goal. The 26-year-old was fouled in the area by Allan Nyom and won a penalty for his team. 

Lacazette, full of confidence from his first goal, stepped up and placed the ball into the bottom left corner of Foster's net. The English shotstopper dived the correct way, but such was the force of Lacazette's shot he was unable to keep the score at 1-0. The Frenchman now has four goals in three home games.

This goal proved vital for the hosts, who were clearly buoyed by their two goal cushion. Several half chances followed but the north-Londoners were unable to add to the scoreline despite Nacho Monreal's best efforts. The Spanish full back turned centre back exchanged a lovely one-two with substitute Olivier Giroud but was dispossessed near the West Brom area before getting his shot away.

The sound of the final whistle was music to the Arsenal supporters' ears, as they watched their team make it three home wins in a row. After a weekend where all their rivals picked up maximum points, it was imperative for Arsenal not to lose anymore ground.

Next up for Arsenal is newly-promoted Brighton at home on Sunday afternoon. The 2017 FA Cup winners will be expected to make it four wins from four home games in the Premier League, but given Chris Hughton's previous at The Emirates, it would be wise not to underestimate The Seagulls on their quest for survival. 

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