London - Arsenal ended a run of four games
without victory after Mikel Arteta's controversial opening penalty
helped them defeat West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on
Arteta opened the scoring in the Premier League clash
after Santi Cazorla went down after a challenge by Steven Reid, although
replays showed the defender did not touch his opponent.
Wenger's team doubled their lead in the second half when Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled by Chris Brunt and Arteta scored from the
Victory moved Arsenal up to sixth place, two points
below the top four, after a sequence of one league victory in six
matches had seen them slide down the table to 10th.
was able to bring back his key players after resting the likes of Jack
Wilshere and Arteta for the Champions League defeat at Olympiakos in
He was also able to recall Bacary Sagna from a foot
problem and Lukas Podolski was on the bench after recovering from a
West Brom were forced into a change after
just seven minutes of action when Liam Ridgwell picked up an injury,
with Goran Popov coming into a defence put under early pressure.
was at the heart of Arsenal's attacks, firing wide with his first
attempt after Wilshere slid the ball to him on the edge of the area.
Spaniard also volleyed over after Oxlade-Chamberlain burst down the
right and drove in a cross that was met first-time by his team-mate.
was inevitably involved in the opening goal in the 26th minute,
although West Brom were furious when referee Mike Jones awarded the
Reid flicked out a leg as Cazorla checked back in the
area onto his right foot, but replays showed the Arsenal midfielder was
not touched as he threw himself to the floor.
Arteta was not affected by the protests and coolly chipped his spot-kick down the middle.
It was his second goal of the season and came a month after he had an injury-time penalty saved against Fulham.
Brom felt they should have had a penalty when Per Mertesacker handled
the ball, but Jones had already whistled for a foul on the Germany
Boaz Myhill also saved from Gervinho, while Oxlade-Chamberlain volleyed over acrobatically just before the break.
West Brom put Arsenal under pressure in the second half and Gareth McAuley went wide with a header.
the hosts were two goals ahead in the 64th minute when
Oxlade-Chamberlain raided down the right and went down under Brunt's
West Brom felt the England winger had committed a foul
in the build-up but there was no dispute over the penalty decision, and
Arteta chipped down the middle again to seal the points.
Rosenberg came off the bench for the visitors and felt he was tripped in
the penalty area, but Jones waved play on this time.
Lukaku was also introduced as a substitute as West Brom chased the game
but Arsenal held on and could have easily added another goal.
Lukaku went wide with a header with the visitors' best late effort, while Podolski came on and blasted over from close range.