Arsenal and Arsene Wenger will be disappointed with their result when they met the Baggies at the Hawthorns on Saturday. Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal the lead when he converted a Mesut Ozil free kick, but a goal from J Morrison and an own goal from Arteta just 5 minutes apart gave the home side all three points in a deserved performance. Santi Cazorla was given the honors of scoring from the spot late in the game, but the Spaniard failed to convert it and left Arsenal in the 3rd place in the Premier League table.
Here are 5 things that we learned from this encounter.
1. Arsenal need a bigger physio room:
Arsenal are severely hit by injury this season and this has continued in this game against West Bromwich Albion. Francis Coquelin limped off after just 15 minutes and was replaced by Mikel Arteta. Arteta had a torrid day and also picked up an injury and had to be substituted. The squad is a bit low on depth in the midfield area and injuries may just hurt Arsenal in their race to the title this season.
2. Walcott might have to find a cozy place on the bench:
Not long ago, Arsene Wenger benched a fit Olivier Giroud to accommodate and play Theo Walcott. But the England International picked up an injury giving the Giroud another chance that he has accepted gleefully. Giroud has found a nice patch of form and is finding the net constantly. He has now scored 7 goals in the last 10 games for the Gunners and will look to keep up the form for the rest of the season.
3. Tony Pulis know’s how to spoil Wenger’s fun:
Tony Pulis has always been one of the managers in the top flight of the English league that Arsenal have not been comfortable facing. Arsene Wenger has travelled to play against a Tony Pulis side numerous times over the years but has yet failed to come out victorious on more than one occasion. Even in this game, Arsenal who have been in good form barely looked comfortable and were outplayed at times by the home side. This will come as a harsh defeat for Wenger.
4. Sanchez needs rest:
Coming into this game, Alexis Sanchez has played more football for the club and country combined than any other player in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Sanchez is one of the most tireless footballers who is always ready to give his team as much as he can. He has been used almost like a machine and is starting to show some lethargy. Sanchez is an impact player for the Gunners and needs to be able to play with his full potential every time he is on the field. Wenger with his injury-hit squad should sort this out quickly.
5. McClean proving his worth:
The contentious Irishman has been in the headlines for refusing to wear the remembrance poppy but has been stuck some good form in the last few weeks. It was clear for everyone to see why the manager is persistent with McClean in this game against Arsenal. McClean was full of energy making burst up and down the flank adding a lot of pace on either side of the pitch. He was also there every time the Baggies needed to clear the ball. A complete performance from McClean as has surely earned his place in the WBA side.