Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gunners Bounce Baggies, Arsenal 3-0 W. B. A. (Plus Norwich Preview)

The Gunners provided another confident performance in last Saturday's win against West Bromwich Albion.  This resurgent North London side have continued to climb the table are displaying impressive form on nearly every front.  The predictable hero was of course Robin Van Persie as he opened the scoring and assisted the other two goals.  Emirates beamed with unique flair boasting a sellout crowd and special banners from a fan competition.

Events began with a minute of silence in recognition of Armistice Day.  From the first whistle the Arsenal controlled play and the visitors seemed content to defend against the onslaught.  However, their tight defense/counterattack style would not work against these Gunners.  The first quarter hour was all Arsenal and you simply knew the goal was coming.  Just after twenty minutes, Walcott sprinted down the right flank and posted a dangerous shot that was half saved by Foster.  "Half saved" meaning Robin Van Persie gobbled up the rebound and smashed it into the net.  Van Persie again, in the 39th minute, cut back for Thomas Vermalen who bundled home his first goal in a year and a half.  Arsenal was cruising while the visitors had failed to tally a shot in the first half of play.

In the second, it was again the Van Persie-Vermalen combo that nearly put the game to bed.  A corner whipped in by the Dutch striker and off the head of the "Vermanator" nearly found the promised land.  There was a shadow of a chance for West Brom shortly after but Chris Brunt karate-kicked the ball into the stands.  With an hour gone, Gervinho and then Song tested Foster, but the Baggies' keeper held firm.  At 70 minutes, Walcott supplied Van Persie who fired just over the bar.  It was time to finish things off.  Wenger brought on Rosicky and Benayoun...and thats exactly what happened.  Renewed midfield dominance allowed Van Persie to dictate and feed Arteta who scored the final goal of the day with a quarter hour left.  Credit to West Brom for not packing up, their best run of play was the final 10 minutes, however, things had already been decided by that point.

Another brilliant result for the Gunners, and thankfully everyone's come home healthy from the international break.  Arsenal travel to Norwich City Saturday but the newly promoted Canaries should not be taken lightly.  They've put on an impressive display in the Premier League so far and will be looking to impress their home crowd.  Defense will be the key to locking this one down.  Arsenal will score goals, there's little doubt there, but we must be solid in the back, eliminating mistakes and loose play in order to secure all three points.  We're entering a critical stretch in the season and must start this run on the right foot.

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