Let’s take a look at the Premier League Player Ratings from the showdown between West Brom and Arsenal at The Hawthorns.
It was a cold night in West Midlands, and even colder for the West Brom fans.
Newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion suffered a dismal 4-0 defeat at home, as Arsenal continue to build momentum following a dreadful spell. Mikel Arteta’s plans for this Gunners side seem to have finally started to piece together, as the visitors ran riot at The Hawthorns on Saturday night. Arteta’s men won both halves by the identical 2-0 scoreline in what was a truly remarkable showing from the traveling side.
Arsenal started to put the pressure on from the get-go, enjoying the vast majority of ball possession in the early stage of the game. Yet, they had to wait until the 23rd minute to break the deadlock through a breathtaking solo action from Kieran Tierney. Often criticized for lackluster performances, the 23-year-old left-back opened his Premier League account with a banger. He picked up the ball high up the left flank and danced his way past the entire WBA backline to hammer the ball past Sam Johnstone with a weaker right foot.
While the first goal was a masterpiece produced by a single man, the second one showed how football is supposed to be played. In a true ‘tiki-taka’ fashion, Arsenal performed a jaw-dropping passage of play from the back, with Emile Smith Rowe assisting Bukayo Saka for the easiest of tap-ins to double their advantage.
It was all Arsenal in the second half too. However, Alexandre Lacazette was the one to steal the show this time around. He was quickest to pick up the rebound inside the box and get the number three for the Gunners on the hour mark. The Frenchman didn’t have to wait long for his second of the night, as Tierney whipped in a deadly cross in the 64th minute to set up Arsenal’s fourth and final goal of the match.
Arsenal have now gone from seven consecutive Premier League matches without winning (D2, L5) to three league triumphs in a row. However, they remain stuck in mid-table, though just six points adrift of fourth-placed Leicester City.
Meanwhile, WBA will face the daunting prospect of preserving a top-flight status. That’s now a near-certainty as they sit six points below 17th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion. The Baggies have only won once in their 17 Premier League fixtures this season (D5, L11) and lament the division-worst defensive record of 39 goals conceded!
West Brom: Johnstone (7), O’Shea (5), Ajayi (5), Ivanovic (5), Phillips (4), Furlong (4), Gallagher (5), Sawyers (6), Diangana (5), Matheus Pereira (4), Robinson (5).
Bench: Austin (4), Bartley (4), Harper (N/A)
Arsenal: Leno (7), Tierney (9), Pablo Mari (7), Holding (7), Bellerin (7), Xhaka (7), Ceballos (7), Aubameyang (7), Smith Rowe (8), Saka (8), Lacazette (9)
Bench: Maitland-Niles (6), Willian (6), Willock (6)
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