Arsenal return to winning ways with a hard earned victory over West Bromwich Albion, thanks to an 85th-minute header by Olivier Giroud.
The victory, Arsenal’s first in three games, took the club to third on the log, above Manchester City with one point and behind Liverpool on goal difference, although both sides have yet to play this game week.
Arsenal have been awful in recent weeks, and the game, though not played at the pace that will delight the manager will provide a welcome relief.
The only changes in the starting 11 were Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi coming in for Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who both missed out due to injury.
Arsenal began the game the better side with beautiful passing around but with no cutting edge. Granit Xhaka, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez were all guilty of wasting chances.
West Brom on their part didn’t offer much as they sat back waiting to catch the Gunners on the break. A lacklustre first half saw the teams head into half time scoreless.
Arsenal began the second half the better side with Alex Iwobi and Alexis Sanchez bringing out a save from Foster. Iwobi’s shot was parried by the Baggies into the path of Sanchez whose follow up was smartly denied again by the Englishman.
Arsenal were asking all the question and it was Alexis doing much of the asking. Foster saved brilliantly from the Chilean before he sent one to the crossbar. Giroud also had a chance to give Arsenal the lead which was brilliantly thwarted by Foster again.
It was looking to be one of those days for Arsenal but Giroud had other ideas. Ozil sent in a beautiful cross into the area and Giroud completely overpowered the Baggies McAuley to send in a looping header before the outstretched Foster.
Arsenal had the opportunity to increase their tally through Ramsey but their profligacy cost them.
In the end, 1 – 0 was all that’s needed. The victory gave Arsenal a winning end to the year and what a way to end it.
We can only hope for a better 2017. Until then, Come On You Gunners.