Footballers of fair weather? Not at Arsenal, not here at least.
Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette scored fine goals and provided excellent performances along with 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe to assist Arsenal to a third straight victory and rekindle hopes for a bright future. The outlook is grim for West Brom: Sam Allardyce, who has been fond of teasing the shortcomings of the Arsenal squad in recent years, must have rubbed his hands together before kickoff, not just to stay warm. Heavy snowfall around Hawthorns Stadium gave the maxim of a wet and windy night in Stoke a new twist, and while the pitch was cleared at the beginning of the game, Allardyce was certainly encouraging his team to test how much on a freezing night Arsenal wanted to go into battle when even the air felt like it had fangs. West Brom vs. Arsenal: League Premier – live! The visitors took it all in their stride and outclassed West Brom, who in their last four home games have conceded 17 goals.
Last month, Allardyce was brought in to lead this team to survival, but he has yet to find a way to keep them from scoring goals. Allardyce called this a battle between relegation rivals, but after three wins in a week, Arteta is looking up. “The standings look a lot better,” said Arteta. Wins offer a distinct momentum and energy and the handbrake was released by the players. “Wins bring a different momentum and energy and the players have released the handbrake. ” This season, Sam Johnstone has been the busiest Premier League goalkeeper and it took Arsenal less than three minutes to push him into another save when he denied Hector Bellerin with his foot. He was then forced to deny Saka as Arsenal was as unconcerned by the weather conditions as they were by an opponent who often played very politely but had neither the accuracy nor the physicality to rattle the visitors. While Saka disrupted Grady Diangana’s improvised full-back, Arsenal made the breakthrough down the other side where Tierney scored in the 23rd minute.
Tierney charged to recover the ball after slipping the ball past Darnell Furlong, then fooled his way into the penalty area and fired a delightful right-footed shot into the far corner. The sudden return of snow fell like confetti on the celebrated Arsenal men, who were allowed to cheer again five minutes later with a brilliant move orchestrated by two of their youngest and most thrilling talents, after extending their lead.
Smith Rowe and Saka combined with Lacazette through the heart of the unsettled defense of the home side before Smith Rowe fed Saka, who netted from close range. The header of Lewis Dunk rescues a point against Wolves for BrightonRead moreAllardyce at half-time as West Brom moved to a back four, put Diangana out of his misery. The team seemed a bit more settled, briefly.
But after an hour, thanks to a mixture of their own good play and slapstick defending, Arsenal managed to score the third goal.
Saka broke the right down and sent a cross that Sami Ayaji was heading for his own post. Johnstone parried the follow-up shot from Smith Rowe, but was unable to prevent Lacazette from bringing the rebound into the net. West Brom appear to concede goals in bunches, and soon after Arsenal struck again, Lacazette eluding his guards to send Tierney’s cross from close range into the net. The key obstacle to Arsenal’s fifth goal remained Johnstone, although Bernd Leno denied Rekeem Harper with a fine long-range shot from the substitute in the final minute at the other end.