Mikel Arteta stuck with his back five which had won the last two games. Ceballos was preferred to Elneny, with Aubameyang and Lacazette joining forces up front for the first time in a while. Martinelli had a breather but ESR and Saka, both pretty difficult to leave out, started once more. Just two changes which in all fairness, went rather well. After Arsenal took the lead, the heavens opened and down came the white stuff. I feared the game might be postponed, anything to give Big Sam a break.
Going to the Hawthorns to face the king of ‘I don’t do relegation’ was going to be tough I thought. West Brom had just been battered by Leeds and I fully expected a reaction. Instead, Mikel Arteta and his team turned on the style and I loved watching it. Not even Willian did a lot wrong after replacing Saka, in fact he was unlucky not have opened his goal tally. The only player who was slightly disappointing was Aubameyang. But that’s being picky. The Auba of last season would have scored last night.
I’ll get this bit out of the way first. West Brom we’re pretty poor but then we’ve dropped points to poor opposition before this season. Too many times which is why just a week or so ago, we were looking like a team heading for a relegation fight. However, the fight began on Boxing Day and we’re winning it. Not every Arsenal victory is about the opposition, sometimes it’s about how well our team plays and last night I thought we were good. At times, very very good.
Arsenal now appear to finally be finding some form in the Premier league, which is leading to support a number of markets. Wish casinos provide a list of non uk casinos which are also being used to support the markets for upcoming Premier league games and hopefully Arsenal can continue their strong run of form at present.
The first half was especially good. Tierney and Bellerin were in fine form. Funny enough, so were Saka and ESR. Goodness knows what vitamin supplements Lacazette has started taking because he’s suddenly come alive again and he’s scoring goals. Maybe he’s after a January transfer. Ok, I jest, kind of.
Tierney started the four goal romp just after the twenty minute mark. Furlong was beaten twice and as our left back turned him the second time, he went for goal with his ‘weaker’ foot. A lovely strike curled past the Baggies keeper. Next up it was ESR time to set things going. He, Saka, Lacazette and then ESR again combined before our number 10 in waiting produced a lovely cross for Saka to tap in. Superb goal. Reminiscent of the good old days.
West Brom must have had a rollicking from Big Sam at halftime as they upped their game a little but apart from a disallowed goal, they didn’t really cause us too many problems. Mari and Holding were solid together yet again.
On the hour mark, Arsenal fancied another goal and it came in panto fashion. A cross whipped in by Saka was hashed at by Ajayi, it hit the post of his own goal and landed at the feet of ESR. His shot was parried by the West Brom keeper but straight to Lacazette who drilled his shot into the roof of the net. Five minutes later it was 4-0 when Tierney and Aubameyang worked together down the left with the latter providing a fierce cross into the box. Lacazette’s knee struck it home.
Bukayo Saka on AFC.com:
Wow, it was so cold, the ice was getting under my boots! My boots were frozen, I felt like I was ice skating at times, it was good that we got through it and we managed to get the win in the end. I felt we started the game well, we created so many chances, we had so many crosses, so many shots, more than we normally do and it could even have been more than 4-0. We’re really happy with this performance, we just want to build on it.
(For my goal) Emile saw me around the corner and played it first time and then I went to Lacazette and Emile made the third-man run and luckily Emile saw me in the middle of the open goal. It was great goal from all of us, one-touch play and this is the football that we love to play.
That’s what can happen when players pass and move. That’s what will happen when young and eager players are on the pitch enjoying themselves. Plus, their enthusiasm rubs off on others but only those who want it to and accept it. Lacazette seems to be of those players, Ceballos too on last nights showing. After the obligatory sideways and backwards from Willian after he replaced Saka, even he started to play more positive and attacking passes. Mikel Arteta switching Bellerin for AMN after Charlie Austin came on was a smart move.
I must admit, I raised my eyebrows when Ceballos was on the team sheet, not the fact that Elneny was changed because as said after the last fixture, mistakes were creeping back into his game but I did wonder why AMN didn’t replace the Egyptian. However, Ceballos had a good game. Xhaka too but the guy who I’m enjoying watching play is Pablo Mari. Hopefully now, the negatively surrounding Arsenal signing him will disappear. The aerial threat West Brom have in their side was dealt with by him and Rob holding with ease. Another clean sheet for Leno too.
Keeping both feet firmly on the ground, I’m sure a few more bumpy roads will come our way but during the last three games, I think we have every reason to positive for the future. Arteta will no doubt hope to add to his squad this month, a keeper would be high on my list, but as ESR is proving, the answer to one or two of our positional problems, might already be at the club. They’re just not quite ready yet.
Anyway, we’re shooting up the table, the performances are much improved so there’s little to be grumpy about this morning. Arsenal wise that is.
See you in the comments.