|Welbeck and Giroud linked up well as Arsenal beat West Brom|
Per Mertesacker looked back to his best alongside the player he formed such a formidable partnership with last season. Nacho Monreal was given a surprise start at left back which was good to see. What wasn't good to see was the fact the Spaniard limped off with an injury midway through the first half. The solid defensive partnership ensured that Emiliano Martinez had a relatively untroubled display in goal, but like Dortmund in midweek, he was assured in everything he did.
However, it was Danny Welbeck that made the crucial difference on the day. His displays in an Arsenal shirt since signing have been encouraging but he perhaps hasn't scored as many goals as we would've liked. It was very interesting to see him play alongside Olivier Giroud for the first time. Welbeck was given a wider role than he has been used to at Arsenal, but he appeared to interchange positions quite nicely with both Giroud and Sanchez who completed the attacking trio. Indeed it was Danny Welbeck who scored the winning goal with a great leap to power home a header.
Olivier Giroud's return has also signaled an extra physicality in this Arsenal side that has perhaps been missing. Although his first touch wasn't really up to scratch yet, he put himself about and after his screamer against Manchester United last weekend, you can see there is plenty more to come from him in the next few weeks. The may not start together every week, but there were lots of signs to suggest that Giroud and Welbeck could form a very strong partnership together.
Santi Cazorla provided the assist for the goal in what was another impressive display. His performances this season have been widely criticised but after starting in a favoured central role against Dortmund, and against West Brom yesterday he has looked back to his best. He ran the show at the Hawthorns and was at the heart of most attacks. He had a few attempts from outside the box that were blocked or at the keeper but his assist showed immense quality. He managed to get past Wisdom with ease down the left before getting to the byline and supplying the cross for the goal.
The one concern from the game was Aaron Ramsey though. His form compared to last season has been pretty dire. His performances in 2014/15 have been reminiscent of the ones he would put in two seasons ago, losing the ball and trying to over complicate things. It's important he gets back to the basics, and starts to rediscover the form that made him a star player last term. Especially considering Wilshere and Arteta's injuries. On too many occasions against West Brom he was guilty of trying to do too much instead of looking for the man. As a team though, Arsenal were much improved.
Next up is a tough match against Southampton in the week. It'll be a big test of our resolve, and hopefully after wins in our last two matches in all competitions, we'll be able to keep that run going against a side that have been performing well above what is expected of them this season.
The team's line-ups:
West Brom: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Lescott, Pocognoli(73), Gardner, Mulumbu(64), Dorrans, Brunt, Sessegnon(76), Berahino.
Subs: Myhill, Baird, Gamboa(73), McAuley, Ideye, Anichebe(64), Samaras(76).
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal(23), Flamini, Ramsey, Cazorla, Welbeck, Sanchez, Giroud(78).
Subs: Macey, Bellerin, Gibbs(23), Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain(78), Campbell, Podolski.
My man of the match: Santi Cazorla.
Referee: Chris Foy.