Posted by News Express | 22 November 2015 | 3,692 times
Arsenal’s chase for the 2015/2016 English Premiership title suffered a setback yesterday evening following a 1-2 loss away to West Brom at the Hawthorns courtesy of Mikel Arteta’s first-half own goal and Santi Cazorla’s late missed penalty.
Cazorla got a major chance to salvage a draw and spare his compatriot's blushes six minutes from time, but he slipped as he took the kick and skied his effort over the crossbar.
Arteta had previously netted an unfortunate own goal after replacing the injured Francis Coquelin in the 14th minute in what was a remarkable substitute’s appearance, with the former Everton midfielder then leaving the pitch injured early in the second half.
Arsenal dominated proceedings in the opening 30 minutes and deservedly went a goal up via Olivier Giroud.
Nevertheless, West Brom bounced back shortly afterwards when James Morrison found the net after a free kick from Chris Brunt.
Arteta then deflected a cross from the left past Petr Cech to gift West Brom the lead and Arsenal saw its best chance of a draw go to waste as Cazorla’s slip meant its six-match unbeaten run came to an end.
Arsene Wenger’s men grabbed the lead on the half-hour mark from a set piece, as Mesut Ozil sent in a superb cross for Giroud and the Frenchman lost his marker before heading home from close range.
The visitors got a fine chance to double their lead shortly afterwards following a good run from Alexis Sanchez down the right, but Kieran Gibbs fired his shot just over the bar.
West Brom leveled the scoring in the 35th minute with its first serious chance of the game. Brunt delivered a free kick into the area and Morrison beat Cech with a subtle volley in the far corner.
The home side then went a goal up shortly before the break via Arteta, who saw James McClean’s cross deflect off Cech and onto his leg before slowly crossing the line.
Ozil nearly restored parity immediately after the break when he tried his luck after picking up a cross from the left, but the Germany international was denied by the upright.
Substitute Joel Campbell should have made it 2-2 midway through the second half after a brilliant pass from Cazorla, but the attacker mis-hit his shot as he tapped wide from close range.
Jonas Olsson nearly netted a third for West Brom after a superb corner from Brunt, but Cech somehow did enough to deny the Swede and keep his side's chances alive.
Cazorla was given the chance to level in the 84th minute following Brunt’s foul on Sanchez, but the midfielder lost his footing as West Brom escaped to take all three points.
•Adapted from a Yahoo! Sport report. Photo shows Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger rooted to the bench.
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