The stand-in keeper had a dreadful afternoon as he gifted Arsenal all three goals. His day began in the worst possible as his dallying on the ball gifted Benayoun his goal, and his day got worse when he should have done better with Santos’ 30th minute strike. And half time chat with his manager clearly didn’t help as he mis-timed a punched clearance from a Van Persie corner right to Koscielny who gratefully headed into the net.
Like McAuley he had a solid game without ever really standing out, he stayed very close to Van Persie when the striker drifted close to him and he was dominant in the air against all the Arsenal forwards.
He played well against Van Persie, hardly giving the Arsenal man any room to threaten the Albion goal although he was lucky a poor challenge mid-way through the first half wasn’t punished by a Van Persie free kick.
He handled Gervinho well in the first half, allowing the winger to dribble with the ball but never giving him the chance to cross into the box for Van Persie. His tight marking forced the Ivorian to switch flanks in the second half and instead he had Walcott to deal with which he did well.
The full back was solid both in defence and going forward for the Baggies and he will have pleased his departing manager. He broke with pace and power down the right and caused Santos plenty of problems in support of Cox. Defensively he worked hard to keep Benayoun quiet and he generally succeeded in denying the Israeli much room.
The man who breaks up the play for the Baggies but it was him dallying on the ball in the 30th minute that enabled Song to win the ball and give Santos the opportunity to level the game. Otherwise he had a good game, he kept going for the whole match and gave West Brom an excellent foundation to build from.
The Scot had a solid game on the left hand side of midfield and he took his 15th minute goal very well. He drifted inside, took the ball on with his head and volleyed past Szczesny to put the Baggies ahead. He continued to have a solid game after that before he was replaced by Scharner
Solid in the centre of midfield, with neat passing and excellent vision to get his side going however his afternoon came to an early end as he picked up an injury early in the second half and was replaced by Andrews.
He often dropped deep to support the midfield rather than playing as an out and out striker but when he was able to break with the ball he was very dangerous. The Arsenal defence struggled to cope with his direct running but his finishing let him and his side down.
The Irishman was a constant threat to the Arsenal defence and ran them ragged at times. He looked offside for his first half equaliser but he didn’t let that affect him as he calmly slotted the ball past Szczesny in the Arsenal goal.
Playing out of position on the right side of midfield he struggled to get into the game and provide any real width to the Baggies side. He worked hard to try and make an impact on the game but continued to lack the cutting edge and he was replaced by Odemwingie midway through the second half.
He was left stranded for Albion’s opening goal as his defenders stopped to appeal for offside and Dorrans’ strike in the 15th minute was just out of his reach. Otherwise he had a solid game, form his early efforts to clear the beach balls on the pitch to his punching away crosses the Pole did everything he could to give his side the chance to finish third.
The pace and strength of Long and Fortune caused the Belgian problems at times but in general he was very solid, very strong in the tackling and wasn’t afraid to scream out orders to his fellow defenders.
The youngster looked massively out of place at times, and he wasn’t helped by his poor first touch and his often wayward passing. Albion took advantage of his nerves and probed down their left wing with Dorrans particularly causing him problems.
He struggled against Fortune and Long at times but found his composure again in the second half just when Arsenal needed him to. He was in the right place at the right time to put Arsenal ahead following Fulop’s terrible punch and from that point on he was excellent.
The full back had a good game, he kept Cox very quiet down the Albion right and he scored an excellent equaliser for Arsenal in the 30th minute. He got onto a loose ball before jinking his way past Cox and firing low into the bottom corner.
He worked very hard in the centre of the pitch and had an excellent battle with Mulumbu for dominance of the game. It was a very close fought battle and probably ended all square as they both were impressive for either side. He didn’t show his creative side enough but did what was required to get his side the victory.
He struggled to make much of an impression in the opening half of the game as the powerful Mulumbu controlled much of the play. He always looked calm in possession but his passing radar was slightly off which often meant promising positions were wasted for the Gunners.
The Israeli was lively throughout for the Gunners and showed good anticipation in the opening minutes to take advantage of Fulop’s mistake and opening the scoring. He buzzed around in the space between Van Persie and the midfield looking for gaps to create something for the striker
He controlled the ball well in midfield but the attention of Mulumbu meant he had little time to really create for the Gunners. He linked up neatly with Benayoun but will feel he could have done more, something Wenger clearly agreed with as he was replaced by Walcott for the second half.
He flattered to deceive on the right hand side, he was eager to run at the Albion defence but his final ball lacked quality. He switched wings in the second half but again failed to impress, and he was replaced by Gibbs in the 67th minute.
R. van Persie
A frustrating afternoon for the Dutchman against a solid Baggies defence and it took him a while to get a sight of goal. The attentions of McAuley and Olsson continued in the second half and he didn’t really have a clear sight of goal all afternoon, however his link up play and his movement were excellent and helped his side secure a crucial victory.
He replaced Morrison early in the second half and continued the good work done by the Scot with a solid performance in the centre of midfield.
Replaced Dorrans late on but had little impact.
Replaced Cox and gave the Baggies a bit more balance but he couldn't get his side level.