After three winless matches in EPL, finally Arsenal scrapped a win in front of their home fans, by beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 from two goals from the spot by Mikel Arteta.
Cazorla dived in the penalty area to win a penalty, and the referee gave it. Mikel Arteta, who earlier this season missed a penalty in a disappointing 3-3 home draw against Fulham, made no mistake to put the ball into the net with a panenka-style. Another penalty was given after Chamberlain was brought down in the penalty area, this time it's a clear penalty, albeit slightly controversial as Chamberlain fouled a West Brom player earlier on. For the second time, Arteta successfully converted the penalty to doubled the lead.
It wasn't the best performance from the Gunners - I would say helped by West Brom poor game today - , nevertheless it was an important three points, bringing Arsenal to sixth place, two points behind West Brom, and it was the much needed win after three poor game in EPL, plus one defeat in Champions League. Arsenal created a handful chances, particularly in the second half, after the introduction of Tomas Rosicky, who played his first EPL game this season. That what Arsenal should've made in the last four games, chances! You can't score goals if you can't create chances! That's why Arsenal couldn't win in those games, they failed to create chances well.
Gervinho was improving in this game, getting into dangerous position, and making some good runs, despite still wasteful with the ball. Chamberlain also showed a better performance than his anonymous display in the defeat against Greek side Olympiakos in the Premier League four days earlier. Vermaelen is getting better and better in the heart of defence, dealing well with the big target-man Romelu Lukaku, while Tomas Rosicky was lively after entering the fray, replacing Gervinho. Arsenal's attack getting more and more dangerous after Rosicky played.
However, Cazorla started to lose his flair in the midfield, and his bright form in the early season faded. Jaded? Probably. Wenger probably could try combination of Rosicky-Arteta-Wilshere, and give Cazorla one or two break. Olivier Giroud was off-day in this game, despite hard working upfront, but failed to give any threats for West Brom's keeper, Boaz Myhill.
Arsenal needed to be more clinical in front of goal, they wasted so many chances today. They might been able to create so many chances against lesser opponent, but against stronger opponent, they couldn't afford to miss so many chances, if they want to challenge for the throphy! Podolski missed from less than five meters after receiving a nice pass from Jack Wilshere. Gervinho miskicked the ball on the first half, while Wilshere's fake allowed West Brom defender's to buy some time to block his shot. Instead of first time shoot, Arsenal players often dribbled or touched the ball, givinig some time for defender to recover.
Another problem is the crossing accuracy, which is still lacking. I only saw two good crosses, from the deep, by our right defender, Bacary Sagna, met Olivier Giroud's head, and Gibbs gave a good ball to Gervinho which he couldn't maximiize it.
However, the worst part from this game is not that, but Cazorla's dive. Cazorla is undoubtedly a great player, and it's a shame to see a player with that quality dived. Yes, we need a win, but it's never good to win a game through dive. It's just not the game Arsenal fans want to see! We would prefer to see a clean win, instead of winning through penalty from diving!
Well, anyway, Arsenal must take benefit of some easier games than the November, as they will face Reading and Wigan away. If Arsenal could create chances like today and be more clinical, they would surely come back to top four, or probably challenge again for the title? Who knows if City, United, Spurs and Chelsea slipped again while Arsenal winning all the games?