A dismal day at the Hawthornes for the Gunners was compounded by a key injury to Francis Coquelin and leaving Arsenal even further in the injury mire.
The day started with much optimism as the teams came out. There was a moment to pay respects to victims of the horrific Paris attacks last week as the French national anthem was played.
The match began and the tackles were flying in and with one resulting in Coquelin going off and being replaced by Arteta. The fans were very worried and the hardcore travelling fans were left ruing further injury misery. It was evident that Coquelin was one player Arsenal could ill afford to lose due to the tenacity he brings to the midfield. To add insult to injury (no pun intended) the fans were left bemoaning the decision to bring Arteta on rather than Flamini.
Arsenal got in their stride and without looking too convincing took the lead with another Giroud goal from a Mesut Ozil free kick, the German delivering yet another assist.
Then the mayhem occurred. A disputed free kick was awarded to West Brom which was cut back for Morrison who was left unmarked to flick the ball past Cech. The Arsenal supporters were left raging at the lack of marking fuelling their anger at Per Mertesacker. Then just before half time another sucker punch. West Brom worked the ball down the Arsenal right and the low cross was diverted by Arteta into his own net. The fans were left seething about Arteta and considered this a double whammy with him playing then scoring an own goal. One fan was so furious and shouting vitriol towards the team due to the manner of the West Brom goals that he made his way to the concourse for an early drink.
The second half began with Arsenal bombarding the West Brom goal. Mesut Ozil came a whisker away from restoring parity as he hit the post and Kieran Gibbs was then denied at the back post. West Brom thought they scored a third and put Arsenal out of reach but the ball did not cross the line.
Then there was hope.. Campbell went down in the box and Santi Cazorla took the responsibility to put Arsenal level. The West Brom players were then playing mind games with Santi putting him off and there were even suggestions in the crowd that the West Brom players were kicking the spot… Their dirty tactics paid off as Santi fluffed his lines and his penalty went over the bar.
West Brom secured the 3 points and the West Brom fans were ironically chanting Santi Cazorla’s name much to their delight trying to wind the Arsenal fans up. To the Arsenal fans credit they took it with a pinch of salt with most putting today’s defeat to injuries and misfortune. A miserable day for the Gunners but we move on now.
Written by Sir A Hussein