Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: First penalty was fortunate, admits Wenger

Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: Arsène Wenger admits his side were fortunate to be awarded a first-half spot-kick in home victory

The Sport Review staff
West Brom

Arsène Wenger was satisfied with his side’s display but admitted Arsenal were fortunate to have been awarded a penalty in the first half as the Gunners returned to winning ways against West Bromwich Albion.

Steven Reid was controversially adjudged to have tripped Santi Cazorla in the box by referee Mike Jones, allowing Mikel Arteta to fire home to put the home side ahead in the 26th minute.

Arsenal then made the three points secure when Arteta converted another penalty in the 64th minute after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was brought down by Chris Brunt to seal the north Londoners’ first league win in four games.

Asked if his side were fortunate being awarded the first penalty, Wenger told BBC Sport: “A little bit yes. I spoke to [Santi] Cazorla and he said he [Steven Reid] tapped him.”

He added: “Overall, we played well, created chances and kept a clean sheet. There was no room for dropping any points and I feel it is a positive day. It would have relaxed me [if we had taken our chances]. We were a bit nervous when we had chances because our backs were to the wall.”

West Brom boss Steve Clarke was furious with Jones’ decision to award the first spot-kick and felt his side should have had a penalty of their own.

“I think we were hard done by,” he said. “There was clear daylight between Steven Reid and Santi Cazorla for the first penalty. There was a penalty for us for a Per Mertesacker handball but he gave a free-kick the other way.

“It was the easy way out when you come to a big stadium and the crowd are on your back.”

The result moves Arsenal up into sixth place in the Premier League table, 12 points behind leaders Manchester United, who travel to Manchester City on Sunday.

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