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Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rosicky double fires Arsenal to victory

Tomas Rosicky was the unlikely hero on a sunny Saturday afternoon as the Czech scored two goals to fire Arsenal to a 2-1 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns. All seemed fairly comfortable for Arsenal but they had to work much harder for it than they had expected. Per Mertesacker was sent off leading to a West Brom penalty, which they scored and then the Gunners came under a considerable amount of pressure from the home side late on in the second half. However they managed to hold on for a valuable 3 points in the race for Champions League football. It also moved Arsenal into the top four for the first time this year, albeit only for 24 hours as Chelsea were not in action on the same day as the Gunners. The starting line-up was unchanged from the victory over Reading as Fabianski resumed in goal. However fellow Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny wasn't even on the bench. Gervinho started outwide again as he looked to continue his good run of form.
Tomas Rosicky was the scorer of both Arsenal goals
The first chance of the game fell West Brom's way as Yacob got his head to a corner but Rosicky managed to clear the ball off the line.

However it wasn't long before Arsenal were in front. Arteta played a brilliant ball down field into Gervinho. The Ivorian manged to trick his way past McAuley before firing in a ball which Rosicky got his head to to find the net.

Minutes later West Brom were almost level as Brunt looked to catch Fabianski out with a low driven free-kick but it ended up as a good save down by his near post.

With half time approaching it really should have been 2-0 Arsenal. Cazorla played in Giroud who then back heeled the ball into Ramsey but to the disbelief of his team mates put the ball wide from six yards out.

That was indeed the final chance of the half and the score was 1-0 to Arsenal at the break.

The first chance of the second half came from an unlikely source as Gervinho played in Sagna who had raced forward from right back but Foster came out to block the shot.

Moments later Arsenal found themselves two goals to the good. Ramsey managed to break down the right and then pick out Rosicky on the edge of the area. His first time shot was well struck but Foster was equal to it. The ball then came back out to the Czech who rifled the ball home for his second of the game.

Cue a period of West Brom dominance now as they looked to get back into the game. Their constant pressure then paid off as Per Mertesacker was sent off for a last man challenge of Shane Long. It resulted in a penalty which James Morrison stepped up and fired home to make it 2-1.

It could then have easily been all square as Gareth McAuley headed Brunt's far post corner inches wide.

Arsenal were having to withstand constant pressure and once Romelu Lukaku missed a great chance from 12 yards out you perhaps knew it was going to be the Gunners day after all.

Shane Long was to have the Baggies next chance as Ridgwell played him inside the box but his shot flew over the bar.

In the dying seconds of injury time Olivier Giroud almost sealed the win as he chased down a long field ball before firing just wide of the far post.

The final score finished West Brom 1-2 Arsenal.

The teams lineups:

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Yacob, Brunt, Dorrans(63), Morrison, Thomas(63), Long. 
Subs: Myhill, Popov, Tamas, Fortune, Brown, Rosenborg(63), Lukaku(63).

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Rosicky(82), Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla(89), Gervinho(73), Giroud
Subs: Mannone, Vermaelen(73), Jenkinson, Gibbs(82), Coquelin(89), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Podolski. 

My man of the match: Tomas Rosicky

Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 26,144

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