Alexandre Lacazette continued his recent scoring spree with a double in Arsenal’s 4-0 win at West Brom, with the Gunners winning a third successive Premier League game.
Kieran Tierney (23) put the dominant visitors ahead with a superb solo goal – his first of the season. The impressive Bukayo Saka (28) doubled the lead shortly after as Arsenal showed off some sensational team play.
West Brom had their best spell either side of the break, but an error from Semi Ajayi allowed Arsenal to hit the Baggies with a devastating attack that was eventually finished by a fizzing Lacazette effort (60). The Frenchman added his second shortly afterwards, turning home from close range (64).
Lacazette has now scored five goals in his last four outings in all competitions, while Arsenal’s resurgence continues with a third successive Premier League win and a second clean sheet in a row. The win lifts them to 11th, while West Brom remain 19th, having conceded 12 goals in Sam Allardyce’s first three home league games.
Arsenal resurgence continues at The Hawthorns
Arsenal were vivacious in the first half and had two superb openings inside 10 minutes. Branislav Ivanovic was just ahead of Lacazette to nod away a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cross, before Hector Bellerin saw his rebounded attempt saved by Sam Johnstone and Saka had a third Arsenal effort blocked. Shortly afterwards, Saka breezed past Dara O’Shea but his shot was straight at the goalkeeper.
The Arsenal chances just kept coming as heavy snow fell at The Hawthorns. Saka beat O’Shea again down the right flank after a sumptuous forward pass from Dani Ceballos. However, his flashed cross in front of goal was just missed by the incoming Aubameyang at the far post. Saka was involved again soon after, sending a curling cross in from the top right corner, but it flew just over Lacazette and Aubameyang in the middle.
West Brom: Johnstone (6), Furlong (5), Ajayi (5), O’Shea (6), Ivanovic (6), Sawyers (5), Robinson (5), Phillips (6), Gallagher (6), Diangana (5), Pereira (6).
Subs used: Austin (4), Bartley (5), Harper (n/a).
Arsenal: Leno (6), Bellerin (7), Holding (7), Mari (7), Tierney (8), Ceballos (7), Xhaka (7), Saka (8), Smith-Rowe (8), Lacazette (8), Aubameyang (7).
Subs used: Maitland-Niles (6), Willian (6), Willock (6).
Man of the match: Kieran Tierney.
West Brom’s only shot on target of the first half came in the 21st minute. They hit Arsenal on the break, Matheus Pereira holding the ball up well before slotting it through for Matt Phillips. The Baggies captain sent a strong volley goalwards, but Bernd Leno pushed it away.
Two minutes later and Arsenal took a deserved lead with Tierney’s wonderful solo effort. He sped past Darnell Furlong on the left before cutting into the area past the West Brom defender again, leaving him trailing behind. The left-back then sent a superb, curling shot into the far corner for his first goal of the season.
- West Brom made two changes. Lee Peltier and Karlan Grant dropped out and were replaced by Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira.
- Arsenal also made two changes with Mohamed Elneny and Gabriel Martinelli starting on the bench. Dani Ceballos and Alexandre Lacazette came into the XI. Bukayo Saka was fit to start while David Luiz and Willian returned on the bench.
Soon after, Arsenal went to the other end of the spectrum and produced a dazzling team goal to double their lead. Emile Smith Rowe, Saka and Lazacette combined around the West Brom area, before the former slotted the ball across for an unmarked Saka to expertly slot home.
West Brom had their best spell either side of half-time and did have the ball in the back of the net early in the second period. Pereira was played through, but his scooped effort over Leno pinged off the crossbar. Callum Robinson then smashed home the rebound, but the flag was raised with Pereira well offside when the initial ball was played.
But it did not take too long before Arsenal found their free-flowing rhythm from the first half, and they made it three on the hour mark. Ajayi will not want to watch it back, though, with his slack pass allowing Aubameyang to send Lacazette through with a tapped pass. The Frenchman then picked out Saka down the right, but his cross was sent mercifully onto the crossbar by Ajayi. The West Brom defender took Smith Rowe’s rebound to the midriff before Lacazette fizzed the ball home around Ivanovic.
That was the most shots Arsenal have registered in one match under Mikel Arteta. And, they haven’t had so many shots on target in one game since December 2017 when they beat Manchester United.
The striker nabbed his second goal four minutes later. Aubameyang was the instigator again, driving through the midfield before picking out Tierney on the left. The Scot then fizzed a cross ahead of the defenders before an unmarked Lacazette turned it home with a high foot. There was a brief look over to the linesman for offside, but he was comfortably on.
Arsenal could have added more as the game went on too. Aubameyang went close on three occasions – firing wide, seeing a shot saved by Johnstone and just missing a Lacazette cross – as the Gunners finished the game having registered 20 shots, the most they have recorded in the Premier League this season.
Man of the match – Kieran Tierney
The left-back has become something of a fan favourite at Arsenal and showed exactly why on Saturday. He was devastating down the left as West Brom struggled to contain the Gunners’ talent on the wings, picking up a well-deserved assist for Lacazette’s second. He also made four key passes and had 96 touches, both the highest of the Arsenal squad.
But it was his goal that was most impressive. He turned Furlong twice, leaving the defender in his wake, and his finish was simply superb, especially considering he is not known for his goals. In fact, it was only his 10th career goal and his second for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta told BT Sport after the game: “He’s been fantastic since I’ve been here. The moment he got back from his shoulder injury, he’s been terrific. He’s a lad that gives you absolutely everything, he’s improving, he’s willing to do better and better and he brings a great energy and quality to the team.”
Opta stats – Allardyce’s unhappy start
- West Brom are the first side to lose consecutive home Premier League games by at least four goals in each defeat since Wigan in August 2010.
- With no club has Sam Allardyce won fewer points (1 – level with C. Palace) or conceded more goals (13) after his first four Premier League games in charge than he has with West Brom.
- Arsenal have scored in all 25 of their Premier League meetings with West Brom, the best 100% scoring record by one side against an opponent in the competition’s history.
- Alexandre Lacazette has scored five away Premier League goals in 2020-21, his best such tally in a single season in the competition.
Both sides are in FA Cup action next Saturday. West Brom travel to Blackpool while holders Arsenal face a Premier League opponent in Newcastle. The Baggies will be back in league action on Saturday January 16 when they travel to Wolves, while Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace on Thursday January 14, live on Sky Sports; kick-off 8pm.