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November 5, 2011
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 60091
R. van Persie 22'
T. Vermaelen 39'
West Bromwich Albion
Foster had his work cut out today and did well, the three goals he conceded were all near impossible to save as Arsenal worked the ball all game and crafted easy chances for themselves.
Full-time. Arsenal record a confident 3-0 win, not really breaking a sweat at the back until the late surge from West Brom in the last ten minutes. Arsenal really controlled the game from the off never giving Hodgson's men a sniff of a chance in the first half.
Song commits a foul on Thorne in a dangerous position. Morrison lines up the free kick. He elects to go for power and smashes it towards the top right hand corner of the goal, but its swerves wide as it sails towards the goal.
Morrison with the latest effort firing a fierce shot at the Arsenal goal, but its straight down Szczesny's throat. The Pole is clinging onto his clean sheet today.
West Brom pushing for a consolation goal now as Reid is picked out in the box, he headers low and Szczesny does well to get down and collect the ball.
A promising attack is ended as Chris Brunt attempts to deliver a cross on his weaker right foot, but it is terrible and the Arsenal defence have no problems from it.
A through ball over the Arsenal defence is latched on to by Tchoyi, who dummies as Vermaelen slides in. Somehow the defender still manages to get a block on the shot knocking it out for a corner. West Brom fail to capitalise from the set piece.
Assist Robin van Persie
Goal Mikel Amatrian Arteta
Gooooooalll!!! 3-0 now, that's surely ended the game as a competition. Van Persie plays a 1-2 with Rosicky and finds himself inside the box, his control isn't great but manages to pull it back to Arteta who finishes cooly from the edge of the box in the top left hand corner.
Walcott down the right this time cuts inside Olsson placing a pass at the feet of Van Persie who hits it first time. He gets to much underneath the ball and watches it sail into the crowd.
Gervinho again causing problems on the right, this time he squares it to Song who lines up a shot near the penalty spot. His curling effort is good but Foster is up to the challenge and collects the ball.
Gervinho makes a jinking run down the right, playing a 1-2 with Arteta on the edge of the box, getting the ball back at a tight angle he fires a shot at Foster. The keeper saves well, and his parry lands at the feet of a defender who clears from danger.
Gervinho gets the ball on the left and is looking for a pass, Ramsey gives him that option in the box just to the left of the goal. He gets the ball and looks to shoot across Foster, but he drags it wide of the right hand post.
A free kick from near the half way line is pumped into the Arsenal box, the ball is knocked down to Brunt who tries a speculative bicycle kick but it sails over the bar.
West Brom put together a good sequence of passes in the Arsenal half, resulting in Dorrans turning a releasing a shot five yards outside of the box. The shot is again never troubling the goal and goes out for a goal kick.
A nice corner from Arteta is curled into Vermaelen on the near post, who has lost his marker. With a free header he directs it across Foster's goal but it is off target, he should have made the goalkeeper work from that position.
Brunt delivers a beautiful reverse chipped pass to find Cox on his own, the striker is closed down as soon as he gets the ball on the edge of the box but cuts it back to Dorrans. His shot is weak and Szczesny is happy to watch it roll wide of his goal.
Arsenal have started the second half as they finished the first, controlling the play in their midfield passing it across the line waiting for the perfect opportunity to arise.
West Brom get us started again, Hodgson will be hoping that his side can have a say in this fixture after being contained by Arsenal in the first half.
Its hard to believe how efficient the home side have been today, after making it difficult for themselves all season. If they repeat their first half performance its easy to see them embarrassing West Brom today.
The first half is bought to an end. Arsenal deserve their lead at the break, dominating play even though they have not really peppered Foster's goal. When they have committed to an attack they look really dangerous.
45' + 1'
A goal kick from Szczesny goes straight out for a throw-in. The ball is immediately centred to Cox who is bundled down by Vermaelen 30 yards out. The free kick in a dangerous position is floated in the Reid but the defender is offside spoiling a good opportunity.
Goal Thomas Vermaelen
2-0!!!! Vermaelen the scorer. Song floats in a ball to Van Persie at the back post, on the volley he cuts it back into the middle. It goes through the legs of a charging Gervinho but Vermaelen is there to mop up and drill it into the back of the net with a confident finish.
Morrison makes a strong run down the right into the box as Song and Koscielny collide to make his life easier. His cross finds Thomas in space, he lines up to shoot but dummies dragging it into the centre of the box. He is closed down by Vermaelen and the striker goes down looking for a penalty. There was nothing in the challenge and play goes on.
In typical Arsenal fashion Wenger's men are just keeping possession looking for the perfect pass without putting a massive amount of pressure on the West Brom defence. Hodgson's men are struggling to get a touch of the ball.
Van Persie in a deep position plays in Walcott down the right, Gervinho is making a good run down the middle of the park and Walcott plays it round the back of the defence, but Gervinho is judged to be offside.
Walcott again running at the West Brom defence this time side steps Olsson and at point blank range fires a shot at Foster, the keeper does well to save it but it falls to Van Persie who slots into an empty net five yards out.
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Robin van Persie
Gooooal!!! 1-0 Arsenal. That man again Robin Van Persie, although all the credit goes to Walcott.
Arsenal are dominating the possession at the minute with 73% at the minute but are still yet to really challenge Foster. Everything seems to be going through Ramsey today, with the Welshman linking up well with Walcott who is playing wide on the right.
Olsson returns to the park after the West Brom medical staff patch up his wound.
Jenkinson swings in a ball, and as Van Persie lines up for a volley on the edge of the box Reid comes in with a vital header to stop the danger.
Arteta floats in a long free kick into the middle of the West Brom box, as Olsson heads the ball clear Vermaelen challenges. The defender has gone down with blood all over his face. Replays show he just caught a stud from the Arsenal defender as he went to ground
Ramsey starts a counter attack playing a long pass into the path of Walcott, the winger runs straight at a backtracking Olsson but the defender makes a good clean tackle to put the ball out for a throw-in.
Walcott gets the ball on the right again, but instead of running to the byline he stops and swings in cross which turns out to be more of a shot, which Ben Foster gets hold of easily.
West Brom are seeing a lot less of the ball than the home side, but their long through balls over a very high defensive line look like they could cause Arsenal some trouble today.
First chance to Arsenal, a ball out wide finds Walcott on the right. He cuts it into Van Persie on the near post, but as you expect the Dutchman is closed down instantly and the shot is blocked and cleared from danger.
Arsenal get us under way, here at The Emirates.
Interesting selection from the Arsenal manager today, leaving out the big German defender Mertesacker and Djourou in favour of Koscielny and Jenkinson today. Whereas Hodgson has been forced into making changes due to injuries to Shane Long and Paul Scharner.
The Baggies will take comfort from their win at The Emirates last season, but now under different management will they be able to overcome the home side today?
Roy Hodgeson's men face a tough task as Arsene Wenger recalls the inform Robin Van Persie who was rested in the midweek game against Marseille. Although if West Brom can keep the Gunners' attack quiet today, the home side have looked sloppy at the back so they could capitalise on that.
West Brom's starting XI: Foster, Reid, Olsson, Jones, McAuley, Dorrans, Morrison, Thomas, Brunt, Gera, Cox. Subs: Fulop, Shorey, Dawson, Fortune, Mulumbu, Tchoyi, Thorne.
Arsenal's starting XI: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Song, Ramsey, Arteta, Walcott, Gervinho, Van Persie. Subs: Fabianski, Djourou, Mertesacker, Benayoun, Rosicky, Park, Arshavin.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of the Premier League clash between Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion.
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