Arsenal turned on the style against a struggling Baggies to start 2021 with an emphatic win. The Gunners secured their 3rd consecutive win to move up to 11th in the table. Arteta’s men registered 12 shots on target on a snowy evening to hand Sam Allardyce’s West Brom their 11th defeat of the season.
Arsenal were in the attacking mode right from the beginning as Johnstone was called into action in the 3rd minute to deny Bellerin’s volley. Saka’s runs were causing all sorts of trouble for West Brom as the Gunners took control of the game and started dominating possession.
The Gunners were rewarded for their attacking intent in the 23rd minute when Tierney curled an excellent shot into to the top-right corner to open the scoring for Arsenal.
Arsenal doubled their lead in a matter of minutes after Lacazette, Smith-Rowe and Saka sliced open the West Brom defence, and set up Saka for a tap in. There was no respite for West Brom as Arsenal continued to pile on the pressure, and Johnstone had to be alert to deny Holding from a corner.
Arsenal understandably started the second half with a much less tempo and allowed West Brom to have a decent possession in the opening minutes. Just when it seemed Arsenal would be happy with their 2 goal advantage, Lacazette scored a quick fire double to put the game beyond West Brom’s reach. The Arsenal forward’s first goal was a close range finish from a rebound off the post after Ajayi intervened a cross. The second was a tap in, as Aubameyang found an unmarked Tierney on the left, who crossed to an unmarked Lacazette.
West Brom could have conceded more goals later on, but were saved by some good goalkeeping and poor finishing from Gunners. Arsenal had 21 shots overall, with 12 on target, highest under Mikel Arteta in a Premier League season.
Speaking after their emphatic win, Arteta said he was happy to win all the fixtures in the festive period. The Arsenal manager added “A very convincing win, to win the last three games in the Premier League is not easy. Today, when conditions were better, we played some great football. I think the first two goals, the first with Tierney was terrific, the second, the combination play was fantastic as well, and the clean sheet, it gives us the platform to go and win the games.”
“I’m so happy we were able to achieve the target that we had because the table looks completely different, the energy around the place is much better, and wins bring confidence. We’ve got a week now to prepare for another competition, so enjoy tonight, enjoy the victory, go back home if the weather allows and be ready for the next one.”