Arsenal’s title challenge hit a bit of turbulence as they were beaten 2-1 away from home against West Bromwich Albion. Granted that no game is an easy one in the Premier League but Arsenal should have gotten the three points against this opposition, especially since they took the lead thanks to a goal from Olivier Giroud, but the Gunners did not make the best of their chances and were made to pay, ultimately losing thanks to a Mikel Arteta own goal.
The Gunners dominated possession but couldn’t score the second goal which could have gotten them the point. Santi Cazorla ever contrived to miss a penalty which would have pushed them to the top of the table, even after Manchester City’s loss. While Arsenal would have known that Manchester United’s victory had pushed them to the top that should have provided them with more incentive to win the game. Instead they now have two more players injured in Coquelin and Arteta and with a host of games coming up before the hectic Christmas period, a bit of soul-searching will be done by Arsene Wenger.
We look back at the loss at the Hawthorns and list out three reasons why the Gunners ended up losing the game.
Lack of proper finishing
Arsenal’s goal showed that they can take some tough chances but when the Gunners were provided with a few more they couldn’t get that all-important second goal. Tony Pulis is known for the tough defensive teams he puts out and Arsenal should have known better since they have had trouble playing against him.
The Gunners had 11 shots on goal but just three on targets though Santi Cazorla had the chance to rescue a point for Arsenal, he slipped and that also ended any chance of a recovery for Arsenal against West Brom.
No real options on the bench
While you can put a bit of blame on the players who started the game for not doing their bit, Arsenal’s injury list has given them few options to put up on the bench. Against West Brom, they saw Coquelin and Arteta get injured pretty quickly and the players on the bench certainly would not be able to change the game if their houses depended on it.
Hopefully Arsenal’s injured players will be making a quick recovery; at least a few of them and that should give them more bite in the team for the next game they play.