From zero to hero in a matter of moments — the Spaniard could have been sent off when he brought down Peter Odemwingie in the box, but avoided that additional punishment and then stopped Brunt's poor penalty. Made a couple of smart saves, but poor positioning and handling for two of West Brom's subsequent three goals ensured the same old complaints will be heard this week.
An energetic presence on the right hand side, drove forward beyond Eboue frequently to provide a width that would otherwise have been lacking with Nasri operating inside. Put in a decent shift, and other than some poor defending for Odemwingie's goal was generally solid.
Lost track of Odemwingie as the Nigerian ran through to win his side a penalty. A lack of concentration that could have cost his side, the Frenchman seemed to have shaken off that error until West Brom suddenly got on top in the second half. After being found wanting, an afternoon he will want to forget.
Another defender who failed to cover himself with glory, often beaten for pace and movement by WBA's attackers and struggling to have any impact on his forays further forward.
Not the best of afternoons for the former Sevilla man, who coped with Odemwingie easily when the ball was in the air but struggled to deal with trouble on the deck. The easy manner of the three goals conceded will anger Arsene Wenger.
A willing run, seemed to fulfill his role — as a midfield 'water carrier', covering the right side — with the minimum of fuss. But perhaps could have offered a bit more incision further forward, as Sagna toiled valiantly on his own. Early withdrawal a comment on the failing midfield system more than his own performance.
On balance probably Arsenal's most likely goalscoring threat, at least in the first half, the diminutive forward dropped in just behind Chamakh to try and offer an outlet. But passes only occasionally created real danger, although he did get perhaps a deserved goal after fine solo work, then added another after finally showing some composure inside the box. The only shame was that he could not finish the comeback.
A quiet afternoon from the sizeable Frenchman, on an afternoon when it would have been nice to see him step up to the plate. Organisation in midfield was a problem throughout the game, although Diaby occasionally showed some classy touches around the box. Early replacement underlined his troubles.
Came close when he hit the post twice in quick succession — but was far from at his best despite being pinpointed by many fans as the man needed to step up in Fabregas' absence. Failed in that respect, and went missing in the second half when he was needed most.
He's not quite Robin van Persie, but he did a serviceable impression of the Dutchman with his link-up play throughout the game. Aerial threat is all it is made out to be — and more than once nearly got on the end of a speculative cross that could have changed the course of the match. Helped in the fightback when it came, but couldn't find the finish himself that perhaps Van Persie would have.
Time wasting, from as early as 20 minutes in, really riled up the crowd, but the former England shot-stopper was reasonably solid as he kept an uncharacteristically lifeless Arsenal attack at bay. Perhaps will be disappointed with Nasri's first goal, but at least held on in injury time to keep the three points in the bag.
West Brom's key man when it came to headers, winning many in and around his own box to remove danger. Occasionally rode his luck but will cherish the clean sheet.
The Chilean is a decent defender who exhibited his solid positioning to keep Arshavin quite peg Clichy back. The right-back then showed a flash of attacking quality with his goal — a decent run and shot even if Almunia should have done better.
An unfussy performance from the experienced campaigner, he was composed on the ball and, although Sagna occasionally got around him, didn't give much away for free until Nasri's late goal.
A classy defender, who uses anticipation more than brute force to stop his man, Ibanez found perhaps his ideal opponent today in Arsenal. Followed Chamakh for much of the game, and did well to keep him quiet while the ball was on the deck.
An impressive performance from the deep-lying midfielder, disrupting play whenever it came near him and, on the whole, passing the ball with aplomb to set up his side's counter-attacks. One to watch in future.
A hard-working display from the midfielder, who was brought off with 10 minutes remaining as his workrate began to have its effect. Was a major reason behind Arsenal's midfield incohesion.
Saw his penalty, a poor one by any standard, saved by Almunia — but recovered from that disappointment to provide Thomas' third goal and generally showed up the more vaunted opposition with his running and workrate.
Looks to be enjoying his midfield-only status, giving his side a more physical edge in the middle of the park as he frequently moved upfield to support and complement Odemwingie.
What a find the Nigerian forward is proving to be. His clever run earned a penalty that should have been finished off, but he returned to score the opener in the second half and constantly provided a counter-attacking outlet with his pace and movement.
- 21 Ł. Fabiański
- 20 J. Djourou
Replaced Eboue just before the hour. Showed a hunger and desire to get back into the game that perhaps more of his team-mates should have replicated.
Replaced Diaby in a double switch just before the hour. Immediately made Arsenal look far more dangerous going forward, but will rue the last-ditch effort he hit narrowly over the bar.
- 41 J. Emmanuel-Thomas
- 15 Denílson
Late replacement , but bizarrely dropped very deep as Arsenal tried to get an elusive late equaliser.