It wasn’t a pretty win but three points at the end of the day is all that matter. Arsenal tried and often came up against a resolute Ben Foster when they hosted West Brom at the Emirates and had to wait for an Olivier Giroud goal to ensure they didn’t go three games without a win.
The Gunners didn’t have too many chances in the first half but managed to pressurise the Baggies defence more in the second half. Mesut Ozil’s beautiful delivery found Giroud who used every ounce of power he could muster to keep out Gareth McAuley and headed home an unstoppable header which kept the Gunners nine points off league leaders Chelsea who won their game.
Here are the player ratings for Arsenal.
Petr Cech: 6.5/10
It’s West Brom, what else can you expect? Set pieces were always going to be a worry and Cech dealt with them decently, although he didn’t exactly come out with flying colours. Had little to do apart from that.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Did have a few forward forays and could have scored late on. Wasn’t troubled defensively.
Didn’t look convincing but finally, Arsenal have a win without Mustafi in their team!
Dealt with the crosses well and wasn’t troubled all that much.
Kieran Gibbs: 7/10
Deputised well for Monreal. In fact, if he isn’t injured, he should be a starter considering Monreal has been off his game.
Francis Coquelin: 7/10
Had little to do in truth. West Brom went long a few times which was dealt well by their defence. The Baggies didn’t have an out and out number 10, so Coquelin’s job was easier.
Granit Xhaka: 7/10
Showed a good range of passing and controlled the game pretty well. Was put under no pressure by West Brom, though.
Alexis Sanchez: 8/10
At times, it looked he was on a mission to open the scoring. Ran all day long and was undoubtedly the best player in the attack. Struck the post once.
Mesut Ozil: 7/10
Often criticised for his lethargic displays while not on the ball and continued that today. But if he can provide passes like the one for the Giroud goal, why would you want your number 10 to chase defenders? Simply not his game.
Alex Iwobi: 7/10
Showed quick feet around the box but lacked creativity in general.
Olivier Giroud: 7.5/10
Was his first start and he looked rusty at times. However, his placement of the header was immaculate. Will be a massive player in the coming weeks.
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