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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 2:56 pm

Arsenal 3 - 0 West Brom

Robin van Persie scored one goal and made two more as Arsenal secured a fourth consecutive Premier League win by cruising past West Bromwich Albion.

Arsenal led 2-0 at the break through Van Persie's tap-in and a Thomas Vermaelen shot from Van Persie's pass, despite not being at their fluent best.

But the Gunners dominated the second period against a West Brom side who only managed one effort on target.

And Mikel Arteta's fine strike sealed the victory after a sweeping move.

Arteta's classy 15-yard effort into the bottom corner, after some fine build-up play which twice involved the hugely impressive Van Persie, was the least the hosts deserved for their second-half dominance.

While the Baggies played with plenty of effort and endeavour throughout, and could consider themselves unfortunate to be trailing 2-0 to the only two chances of the first period, they can have no argument with the final result.

Lone forward Simon Cox was lively and dangerous but lacked support and their only effort on target did not come until the 86th minute when Steven Reid's header was easily saved by home keeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Graham Dorrans also twice scuffed low efforts wide after the interval but the second half was a procession of Arsenal attacks as West Brom's solid resistance was broken.

The platform was laid before the break when Van Persie followed up from close range after Theo Walcott's initial shot from Arteta's pass was saved.

And, following Alex Song's cross-field pass, the excellent Vermaelen added a second from Van Persie's exquisite cut-back.

The Gunners, whose last league outing was their stunning win over Chelsea, completely dominated after the interval with Aaron Ramsey and Arteta bossing the midfield.

Belgian centre-half Vermaelen - buoyed by his first goal in almost two years - nearly made it 3-0 soon after the break but his header from Van Persie's corner, went a fraction wide.

Gervinho, Ramsey and Song also all went close to adding to the lead before Arteta's strike brought Arsenal's 13th goal in their last four league wins over Stoke, Bolton and Chelsea.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger:

"The spirit of the squad was right from the first to last minute. We worked well together and I always was positive with the team because one month ago we were in a very bad situation.

"You felt there is a desire to do well and now it goes better it is still there. This team wants to improve, wants to work hard and wants to get better and better. That is the most satisfying aspect.

"They didn't switch off when they led 2-0 and that is not always the case. Overall it was a controlled performance. We had complete domination.

"We are getting stronger. We scored five goals last week, three goals today and didn't concede, so overall it is a very positive afternoon."

West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson:

"Arsenal deserved to win. They played very, very well. The second goal came at the wrong time and at 2-0 with Arsenal in their current mood and form, they were able to play on that and relax. But we stuck to our guns but we lost to the better team.

"We put in one hell of a shift and I thought we had to because we were up against a very good Arsenal team in form, who were rampant.

"You could accuse of lacking a bit of quality at times, you could accuse us of, in the first half, playing the ball forward too early. You could accuse us of those things and I might agree with you, but one thing I certainly will not agree with you is that the players did not put in a shift."


Last edited by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:05 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Crimey on Fri 04 Nov 2011, 4:58 pm

The first thing they need to do with their defence is get Santos out of it! He's awful at defending.

They need to sign a real left back, not convert midfielders into fullbacks like they have done with Gibbs, and presumingly somebody did the same with Andre Santos somewhere down the line.

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:27 am

Gibbs was never a midfielder he's always been a fullback since he's been in Arsenals system. Gibbs' problem is that he's always injured and is playing in Arsenals system which encourages the full backs to attack like wingers, especially as we have lots of possession, but that leaves them open to counter attacks and they generally aren't supported by wingers or covered by a DM (or 2/3 like Man U and Man C)

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 1:29 am

Hopefully we'll buy Vertongen (sp?) in January which will really shore up our defence. Also if Vermaelen stays fit for the whole season and we get no more defensive injury crisis' I reckon our defence will improve dramatically

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Post by Crimey on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 9:38 am

I read an interview in Four Four Two with Gibbs where he claimed that he was a left midfielder in the youth teams but Wenger wanted him as a left back.

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Post by Mat on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 10:16 am

Can't see us getting anything here. Long out, Odemwingie a doubt. Not a great to proceedings.

Would love a repeat of last year's game!

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 2:30 pm

U should be nice to us Mat and let us have a nice 2 goal victory - It's not like ur season is going to be defined by this result! Very Happy

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Post by Josiah Maiestas on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 4:52 pm

They are twice the team when Vermaelen is in the starting line up.
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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 5:19 pm

he is a machine when he plays - I can't wait to have a steady back 4 with Vermaelen as the rock - we've had a changing back 4 almost every game for the last 2 years it will be nice to play this back 4 most game - Sagna, Vermaelen, Koscliney/Mertersacker, Gibbs. Trouble is we won't have Sagna back til Dec/January time, and I imagine we'll buy a defender in Jan, either Cahill or Vertonghen, so that will mess the team up a bit.

The only plus is that the players wll only get better as they settle in to the side and playing side, and get used to playing with each other.

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Post by Crimey on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 5:39 pm

You need to throw money at Van Persie right now, because if he goes, I don't think there is anybody in the world who you can replace him with, not without spending really silly money.

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Post by Smirnoffpriest on Sat 05 Nov 2011, 6:11 pm

thats a good point I agree - what we also need to do (and I think this would encourage RVP to stay) is to buy another really good striker so we're not as reliant on RVP, and RVP isn't expect to get all our goals.

If we can get a good DF and a striker and get Sagna and Wiltshire back then we'll have a really good squad (maybe not winning the league strong, but at least challenging next season)

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