Arsenal demolish West Brom after attacking verve returns in full force

Date published: Saturday 2nd January 2021 9:51 - Steve Pearson


Arsenal produced their best attacking performance of the season so far to make it three wins on the bounce and hand West Brom a bruising 4-0 defeat.

Buoyed by their recent return to form, Arsenal flew out of the traps and forced in-form Sam Johnstone into an early save.

The ball broke to the onrushing Hector Bellerin on the edge of the box, but despite his strike’s power, Johnstone saved with his feet to preserve the deadlock.

Bukayo Saka then tried his luck from a similar position, but his shot lacked the necessary power with his weaker foot to trouble the West Brom goalkeeper.

The youngster’s impact on the game was growing by the minute, and his quick feet soon fashioned the game’s best chance so far.

His teasing cross to the far post tempted Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Gabon international lunged toward the ball, but his contact was light as the ball flew agonisingly wide.

The Baggies threatened to punish the visitors for their near misses as Matt Phillips went close, but it was Arsenal who eventually made the breakthrough.

Kieran Tierney left Darnell Furlong in his dust before cutting inside and curling a delightful effort beyond Johnstone’s outstretched hand.

It was a goal that will have set pulses racing, but was immediately topped when Arsenal notched a truly superb team goal minutes later.

Terrific interplay between Alexandre Lacazette, Emile Smith-Rowe and Saka left West Brom’s backline at sixes and sevens.

Smith-Rowe ultimately received the ball in behind after several first-time passes, before laying it on a plate for Saka a tap home from close range.

The snow continued to cover the pitch through half-time, but West Brom’s spirits were not detrred by the tricky playing conditions as they put the ball in the net after just 90 seconds.

Matheus Pereira struck the post before Callum Robinson slotted home the rebound. The flag belatedly went up for Pereira’s offside, however, ensuring the scores remained 2-0.

West Brom’s faint hopes of a coeback were then dashed through a period of truly awful defending.

Semi Ajayi’s poor touch handed Lacazette possession before the Frenchman fed Saka down the right. His cross was volleyed onto his own post by Ajayi, before Lacazette ultimately tucked away a loose ball seconds later.

Three soon became four as the unmarked Lacazette notched his second after an accurate Tierney cross.

Aubameyang missed a snap chance to make it five after Willian’s errant effort caught him off-guard in the box. Further chances came and went for the frontman, but it appeared destined not to be his night despite West Brom struggling to contain the score.

It mattered not, however, as all three points were eventually secured to make it three successive wins for Mikel Arteta’s men.


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