ARSENAL CLINGS ON TOP OF THE LOG
By: Raymond Padya
Arsenal FC secured its position as English Premier League leaders on Sunday, in a blood thirsty one-all draw against West Bromwich Albion FC at the Hawthorns Stadium.
Coming from behind, Jack Wilshere scored for the Gunners halfway through the second half after Claudio Yacob placed the home side in front just before halftime.
Being in good form after defeating Manchester United FC last week, West Brom had an even performance with Arsene Wenger’s side.
Saido Berahino stirred problems against Arsenal from the beginning. He made excellent runs through the first half that created dangerous chances for West Brom. Arsenal found it hard to contain their opponents in the early stages of the first half. Consequently, Morgan Amalfitano managed to find Yacob with a cross just before halftime, which he headed into the back of the net.
West Brom could have doubled the lead twice, in the second half through Nicholas Anelka, but he wasted both chances. Despite putting his first clear chance wide, Anelka failed to redeem himself when he received his second chance, which he simply gave away in front of the opposition’s gate.
It wasn’t long until the Gunners sought for revenge and they delivered it sweet. Wilshere found Tomas Rosicky’s tap with his right foot from the edge of the area and he reserved the first spot for his team with a goal.
The match escalated thereafter as both teams tried to take the lead. Stephane Sessgnone almost placed West Brom ahead but he made a poor choice and crossed the ball where he could have made a shot.
Wilshere was also denied a possible goal by Yacob’s tackle that prevented him from netting Mesut Ozil’s pass, which could have added an assist to the former Real Madrid FC star.
Thereafter, the two teams seemed to be more concerned about keeping the score level than trying to score another goal. Both teams showcased fast paced football and creativity up to the end of the match.
Wenger was full of praises for Wilsherre after the match. “He had a difficult first half where he was fouled a lot… but he has shown that he has character and kept going until the end. It’s good that he was rewarded,” he said on Arsenal.com.
Arsenal now sits on top of the league followed by Liverpool FC; both teams have 16 points but the Reds are trailing by goals scored.