Arsenal won their third consecutive home game in the Premier League this season to move from 12th to 7th. The game could have gone a different way if referee Bobby Maddley had awarded a penalty to West Brom for Mustafi’s foul on Jay Rodriguez in the 8th minute. He didn’t and Arsenal got away with one there.
That said, here are the things I learnt from the game:
Mustafi needs to relax
Like I said in the opening remark, Arsenal got away with a sure penalty when Shkodran Mustafi’s ill-timed challenge on Jay Rodriguez gave every Arsenal fan a brief heart attack. Mustafi has been in the habit of going to the ground to win a tackle. This is a brilliant strategy when it comes off, but when it doesn’t, it creates a problem for the team. It almost did yesterday, but for Maddley’s ‘intervention’.
I am here wondering if Maddley would regret not giving that decision in West Brom’s favour, but do I care? Not at all. We need favourable decisions like this once in a while.
Nacho Monreal is the real hero of the Arsenal defence
How brilliant was Nacho Monreal yesterday! This player has gone about his business quietly and is one of the most consistent players in the team. This accounts for why he is the only player to feature in every Premier League game for us this season. He was brilliant going forward and was never negligent when going about his defensive duties. His goal-line clearance when West Brom could have levelled up underlined his influence to this team.
His partnership with Sead Kolasinac on the left side of the field is looking top notch. I love this guy
Nacho Monreal’s first half by numbers vs. West Brom:
100% take-ons completed (2)
94% pass accuracy
2 clearances pic.twitter.com/7uKaq7x9SI
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 25, 2017
Arsenal doing the business without Ozil and/or Sanchez
When we played Chelsea, pundits and fans were quick to point out how compact we were without our two star players – Ozil and Sanchez. Wenger decided to play Sanchez from the start while dropping the fit-again Mesut Ozil to the bench. This decision also gave us a somewhat compact look and this then lead to the question – Are we actually better off without one of this two or both?
While it is true that we could do with their creativity, if having both of them in the same team makes us less compact, I’m in total support of leaving one out for the other.
Emirates is home for Lacazette
Alexander Lacazette has cored four goals in the Premier League this season and all have been at home. He is the first player to score in his first 3 consecutive home games for 29 years. Remarkable
3 – A. Lacazette is the first Arsenal player to score in his first 3 home league apps for the club since Brian Marwood in Sept 1988. Gunner. pic.twitter.com/9Q8pwxwTEc
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 25, 2017
His first goal was a typical poacher’s goal. Being at the right place at the right time while beating defenders to it. This is what we have missed in a striker since the departure of van Persie. Lacazette has shown he can do it at home on a regular basis. Now is the time to take it to away matches. Watford after the international break would be a nice place to start.