West Brom 0 Arsenal 1: Three talking points as Welbeck nets winner
Three talking points as Arsenal win to move up to fourth place in the Premier League table
Welbeck gets reward for persistence
West Brom tried hard to keep the Arsenal attack at bay for so long and they got into half time on level terms which would have pleased Alan Irvine no end. Having managed to quash a number of dangerous attacks, they were powerless to prevent Danny Welbeck from opening the scoring for the visitors from point blank range. The former United man had Santi Cazorla to thank as the pint-sized Spaniard put a fine ball in to the box for Welbeck to head home. A second Premier League goal for Welbeck and perhaps the impetus the striker, who turned 24 this week needs to get his season going properly.
Giroud makes return after horror leg break
Arsenal’s list of injuries lengthened in midweek as Jack Wilshere was ruled out for up to three months to further cause Arsene Wenger concern. What will have pleased him is being able to to name Olivier Giroud for his first start since August, having recovered from a broken leg. Giroud played the best part of 80 minutes on his return and looked sharp throughout. Wenger will be pleased to be able to call on the Frenchman’s talents in what will be an important period in the season. With Arsenal’s well known struggles in January and February, they will need to pick up as many points as they can in the coming weeks, and Giroud could be key to their ambitions. If he can stay fit, he could provide the focal point of an already classy attack.
Result leaves sides at opposite ends of the table
Arsenal’s win moves them into the top four again albeit briefly with Manchester United taking on Hull with the Red’s looking to move back ahead of Wenger’s men. For the Baggies, defeat leaves them just three points off relegation with five points separating the bottom seven teams in the Premier League. Arsenal welome second place Southampton to the Emirates on Wednesday in what will be a real test for both sides, before difficult away trips to Stoke and Galatasary. West Brom meanwhile welcome West Ham before travelling to Hull – both matches Albion will want to be winning to take the pressure of their season at this early stage.