Santi Cazorla tumble gives Arsenal lift as Mikel Arteta penalties sink West Brom
Last Updated: December 8, 2012 10:00pm
Mikel Arteta: Scores first of two penalties as Arsenal lifted the gloom with a 2-0 win over West Brom
Beleaguered Arsenal ended a miserable week with victory but it took a dubious penalty to set up a 2-0 win over stuttering West Brom.
Santi Cazorla's tumble made for an unsatisfying opener (26) but Mikel Arteta converted a second spot-kick after the break (64) to give an irritable Arsene Wenger a first win in five.
Best of the Match
- Man of the Match: Arsenal's Santi Cazorla who dominated the play in the middle of the park and won the first penalty for his side.
- Moment of the Match: Santi Cazorla's controversial dive which won Arsenal their first of two penalties.
- Attempt of the Match: Gervinho's low drive from close range which was well denied by the goalkeeper.
- Save of the Match: Boaz Myhill's brilliant low reaction save which prevented Gervinho from sliding his shot home from close range.
- Talking point: Santi Cazorla's apparent dive which won Arsenal their first penalty.
How Arsenal needed an early goal to thaw the chill after defeats by Swansea and Olympiakos but when a Boaz Myhill punch dropped tantalisingly for Gervinho just minutes in, the striker scuffed his shot horribly.
West Brom - beaten for the third game in a row - were forced into a reshuffle, Goran Popov on for an injured Liam Ridgewell, and as an impressive Jack Wilshere surged forward into space, home discord gave way to cautious optimism.
Cazorla curled wide and volleyed another high under pressure but, though Arsenal were the better side, his breakthrough soon after never should have been. Steven Reid swiped at air and seemingly not man as the Spaniard cut back but Mike Jones pointed to the spot and Arteta accepted the gift.
Wilshere slid in to almost add a second seven minutes from the break but Arsenal deliveries had in truth been hit and miss and West Brom lethargic opponents.
The flashpoint made for second-half spice as both sides raised the tempo but glorious chances came - and went - for the home side.
Gervinho found dangerous positions only to flounder with alarming frequency; missing the ball completely, albeit under pressure, just yards from goal, while Lukas Podolski would later shank hopelessly high.
Steve Clarke swapped a peripheral Peter Odemwingie for the pace of Romelu Lukaku but any hope of a fightback was extinguished when Chris Brunt brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with two flailing legs.
The Arsenal winger tussled with Popov in the build-up but Arteta kept his focus and the job was done.
Wenger's side had hardly been at their best but they hadn't needed to be.
|Arsenal||Team Statistics||West Bromwich Albion|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|3||Shots on Target||1|
|9||Shots off Target||5|
|60.1||1st Half Poss.||39.9|
|59.7||2nd Half Poss.||40.3|
Barclays Premier League
|8||West Bromwich Albion||38||49|
|10||West Ham United||38||46|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||25|
Arsenal v West Brom
Rob Parrish looks at the issue of diving in the Premier League after Santi Cazorla's recent tumble.
West Brom's players have vented their anger at Santi Cazorla after he appeared to dive in Arsenal's win on Saturday.
Arsene Wenger defended Santi Cazorla after Arsenal's win over West Brom, but has yet to review the penalty incident.