Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
26 December 2016
Game week
18
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
0 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Emirates Stadium (London)
Attendance
59925

Goals

O. Giroud (G) 86' (assist by: M. Özil)
1 - 0

Commentary

Minute   Description
That's all for our live coverage from Boxing Day at the Emirates, thanks for following along. Goodbye!
Olivier Giroud marked his first league start of the season with the timeliest of goals, rewarding the Gunners with an 86th minute header to rescue the three points. It looked for long spells like it wasn't meant to be for Arsenal, with Ben Foster in extraordinary form for the Baggies, but they persevered and find a way to break down this stubborn rearguard in the end to put an end to their two-match losing skid.
90'+4 FULL-TIME: ARSENAL 1-0 WEST BROM.
90'+2 Two of the four added minutes have been played now, and Arsenal look more like scoring now than they did through the first 85 minutes! Bellerin forward to join the charges in attack, and he's teed up for a strike here, but Foster is able to get down to not only make the save, but hold on as well!
90' SUPER STOP! Foster is at it again! Remarkable reactions from the keeper to drag his right leg and kick Ramsey's strike off the line to deny the Gunners their second! Pressure stays on and Sanchez sees a strike deflected wide for a corner.
88' Ramsey goes into the book now for a foul high up the pitch as Arsenal search for a second. This stadium has come to life in a huge way!
86' That's the moment of quality Arsenal so desperately needed! Ozil provides it, negating what was largely an unispiring performance.
THE EMIRATES ERUPTS! Sheer, unbridled joy for Olivier Giroud! How good will that feel for him?! He's had to wait all night for a delivery in the air of that quality, but it finally comes from Ozil, and the striker makes no mistake, completely overpowering McAuley before sending a looping header into the top corner!
85' No Premier League team has scored more goals in the last 15 minutes of matches this season than Arsenal, so they can take solace from that, but ideas really seem to be lacking for them at the moment. West Brom are hanging back deep in their end, but instead of the pressure growing, it's actually becoming increasingly comfortable for them.
83' Foster is booked for time wasting.
82' Arsenal had a nightmare on Boxing Day last season, losing 4-0 away to Southampton, and, despite the spirit of the day, goals are not coming cheap to them this afternoon either. All hands on deck now as we enter the final 10 minutes, with a breakthrough still very much needed.
80' West Brom's second switch sees Hal Robson-Kanu replace Rondon.
78' STAT: Arsenal have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League games against West Brom, winning eight of them (D2).
76' TERRIFIC DELIVERY! That's an exquisite ball across the face of goal from Perez, following a lovely passage of play down the left from the Gunners, but it's an even better piece of goalkeeping in the end from Foster, who dives out bravely to parry, knowing he's going to get clattered into by Giroud.
74' Three changes in three minutes for the Gunners, the last of which sees Ramsey replace Coquelin.
73' The Baggies have an injury worry of their own here, as the training staff has to come out and look at Evans, who is down nursing his ankle. This looks a problem for them. Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey is up off the bench for the Gunners, and it looks like he will be entering the fray momentarily.
71' Also into the game for the Gunners is Lucas Perez, with Iwobi the one to give way.
Two changes for Arsenal, the first of which sees the injured Gibbs replaced by Monreal.
69' Wenger has two subs ready to come on, but he decides to wait a minute as West Brom have a corner. Well, he's going to wait more than a minute in the end as the Baggies get three successive chances from the corner, the last of which falls perfectly for Yacob at the far post, but he hits it over!
67' Gibbs is fine to get back out onto the pitch, at least for the time being, but it looks like he will have to be replaced. Nacho Monreal is available off the bench, and he's quickly readying himself of the touchline. It actually looks like Wenger might be pondering another switch.
65' Insult to injury here for Gibbs, quite literally, as he's booked for a challenge that he very much got the worse of, as he stays down for an extended period here with the training staff on to take a look at him.
64' STAT: West Brom have lost two consecutive league games played on December 26th; they've not three Boxing Day fixtures in a row since 1987.
62' There is the change for the Baggies! And it's exactly as predicted, as James McClean is brought on with Nacer Chadli the one replaced.
60' Pulis has to be pondering a change here. They're finding no way out from the back and need to bring someone on who can help carry the ball forward from defence, and provide one or two chances to break, because there's no respite for them at the moment.
58' WHAT WILL IT TAKE?! Arsenal have to be wondering what they have to do to beat Foster! Giroud the latest to try, running through on goal following a pass from Ozil, and dragging a shot back towards the far post, through the legs of Dawson, but Foster sticks his foot out to make the save!
56' FANTASTIC FOSTER! Another stunning stop from the Baggies keeper, who dives through the air to parry Sanchez's blistering strike from 20 yards, after the Chilean did so well for himself to open up space for a shot.
54' West Brom are being hemmed back dangerously now, as the tempo just starts to pick up a bit, which has the noise level rising inside the stadium. The Baggies are struggling to find their way out from the back, but a foul deep in their end awards them a free-kick and a chance for a breather.
52' STAT: Alexis Sanchez has been involved in 18 goals in 17 Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season (12 goals, 6 assists); one more than he managed in 30 league appearances last season (17 - 13 goals, 4 assists).
50' OUTSTANDING FROM FOSTER! Iwobi is teed up at the edge of the box for a strike, which Foster dives down smartly to save. The keeper stays with it and dives so bravely at the feet of Sanchez to deny the Chilean on the follow-up! Pressure stays on and the subsequent corner is eventually turned off the post by Sanchez!
48' Different half, same story in north London. Arsenal continue to dominate possession, but they're playing at the pace West Brom allow them to. The Baggies are very much dictating the tempo, largely due to the fact that they're keeping everyone behind the ball.
46' Back underway at the Emirates...
A lacklustre first half in north London sees the teams head scoreless into the interval. West Brom will be delighted with the way they've defended through 45 minutes, while Arsenal will need to keep their foot on the Baggies' throats and remain persistent in their pursuit of a breakthrough.
45'+2 HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 0-0 WEST BROM.
45' Well look at that - two minutes to be added on here at the end of the first half, which is actually met by a bit of a groan from these Arsenal supporters.
44' There doesn't figure to be much, if any, time added on at the end of this first half, given a general lack of stoppages. Aside from the odd set-piece, there really has been few interruptions.
42' Giroud tries to chase down a pass, attempting to propel himself forward by tugging back on Evans, who goes down a bit easily there. You get the sense that it's a foul brewed out of frustration for the Arsenal striker, who is issued the game's first yellow card.
41' STAT: West Brom have won two and lost two of their four games so far in December. The Baggies haven't won three Premier League matches in the same month since November 2012 (4).
39' VITAL BLOCK! It's just not coming through for Arsenal in this first half! For all their poking and probing, they can't get a bounce to go their way. A well-worked move down the left is played in and deflected into the path of Iwobi, but it just won't fall kindly for him, before his strike is ushered aside by Evans.
37' You know when you find a song you really, really like, then play it over and over again until it starts to get tiring and lose its meaning? Well that's what this first half has been like. It's been the same thing over and over again, with the result always the same.
35' Every Albion player is behind the ball, as the white shirts are all packed within 30 yards of their goal. It has to be frustrating for Arsenal, and certainly won't help Wenger's view of Tony Pulis. A decent ball over the top looks to have West Brom caught out, but they're bailed out by the offside flag.
33' DECENT SAVE! Foster called into action once and for all, getting over to his right without much fuss to deny Sanchez. Pressure stays on and Iwobi weaves his way into the area with some excellent footwork, but he stabs his final effort just over the bar!
31' STAT: The Gunners have lost their last two Premier League games (vs Everton and Man City) - they haven't lost three successive Premier League matches since January 2012. This is also the last time that they lost as many as three league games in the same month.
29' Pulis' side need to pose more of a threat themselves. The focus is understandably on keeping Arsenal out for the time being, but they can't be so content to sit back and absorb pressure. Eventually Arsenal will find their way through if it carries on this way.
27' The bulk of Arsenal's possession is coming in the range of 35 to 45 yards out from the Baggies goal. Coquelin, Xhaka and Gabriel are seeing plenty of it, with Ozil dropping deeper on occasion, but there's not enough of a link to connect it all.
25' West Brom are fortifying their reputation as a tough team to break down defensively. They're keeping their shape very well thus far, and it's just starting to elicit one or two whistles and jeers from the home supporters who want to see something come of all this possession.
23' Well sorted! Strong piece of goalkeeping, that, from Cech, who navigates through the crowd of bodies in the centre to parry Brunt's corner. That looked a bit of desperation goalkeeping, but turned out to be an very important intervention from Cech.
21' Arsenal very much in control here, looking increasingly dangerous as the momentum continue to shift in their favour. They're patiently and confidently knocking the ball around in the attacking third, but they've yet to really work Foster - something they would like to change sooner rather than later.
19' STAT: The last time West Brom played Arsenal on Boxing Day was in 2002 - going 1-0 up before losing 2-1 to the Gunners.
17' Outstanding passage of play! Arsenal are a joy to behold when they knock the ball around as such. A delightful one-two between Xhaka and Sanchez sends the Chilean forward on the break, and his excellent cross-field pass for Bellerin is hunted down by the right-back, with speed to burn, and he wins the Gunners a corner. Back to front in a flash there from the Gunners.
15' NOT QUITE! Clever idea there from Giroud, at least, as he's played through on a tight angle, and unselfishly fakes the shot, pulling it back for Sanchez. The pass lacked the required pace to get through to Sanchez, however, as Evans is able to sort it out.
13' Slowly, but surely, it's all starting to open up a bit here. Arsenal are finding more and more space to attack as they adopt a solid width to their approach play, while West Brom are looking at least a bit of a threat on the counter.
11' West Brom get their first chance to threaten the Arsenal goal, with a free-kick from 30 yards. Brunt delivers, and it's floated into an inviting area, but the cross lacks the pace to really threaten, as the chance comes to nothing.
9' STAT: The Baggies' only away Premier League win versus Arsenal came in September 2010, as they ran out 3-2 winners at the Emirates (D1 L8).
7' BETTER! Lovely bit of interplay from Arsenal in and around the West Brom penalty area, as they work it around and through the Baggies defence. Sanchez just can't thread the final ball through for Giroud, however, as Phillips intervenes rather crucially, before Xhaka alleviates the pressure with a shot that sails high and wide of the top corner.
5' Arsenal enjoy their first prolonged spell in the attacking half, passing it around confidently, albeit not dangerously, on the fringes of the final third. Xhaka plays a clever ball over the top for Sanchez, but it's just struck slightly too hard as Foster is able to collect. The offside flag went up anyhow, though it did so incorrectly.
3' These two managers have had their difference of opinion in the past, and while the animosity between them has transformed over the years into a healthy respect, there's still a bit of extra motivation this afternoon. That said, it's been a cagey start to proceedings at the Emirates, with Arsenal very much struggling to get into a rhythm.
1' AND WE'RE OFF! Neil Swarbrick's whistle sends Arsenal on their way, in red with white trim, attacking left to right, while West Brom sport their white away strip.
Tony Pulis makes just one change from the defeat to Manchester United, and it comes in defence, where Jonny Evans comes in to partner Gareth McAuley at centre-half, pushing Jonas Olsson to the bench.
It took almost half a season, but Olivier Giroud makes his first league start of the campaign this afternoon, having been limited to 10 appearances off the bench thus far. He replaces Theo Walcott in the team, as Alexis Sanchez shifts over to the wing, while Kieran Gibbs comes in for Nacho Monreal at left-back.
SUBS: Olsson, Robson-Kanu, Morrison, Gardner, Myhill, McClean, Galloway.
WEST BROM (4-2-3-1): Foster; Dawson, McAuley, Evans, Nyom; Yacob, Fletcher; Phillips, Chadli, Brunt; Rondon.
SUBS: Ramsey, Perez, Ospina, Holding, Monreal, Reine-Adelaide, Elneny.
ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Cech; Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs; Coquelin, Xhaka; Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi; Giroud.
CONFIRMED TEAM NEWS:
West Brom sit comfortably in eighth, but a few too many points back of the European places, suggesting a largely uneventful second half of the season that will likely leave Tony Pulis’ men playing spoiler.
The next six league fixtures – home to West Brom, Crystal Palace, Burnley and Watford, and away to Bournemouth and Swansea – present Arsenal with an ideal opportunity to vault themselves back in the title race ahead of a trip to Stamford Bridge at the start of February.
They return to the friendly confines of the Emirates this afternoon nine points off the top and just one up on their north London rivals, in desperate need of a return to their winning ways.
It was hardly the merriest of Christmases for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal as they stumbled into the break with successive 2-1 away defeats to Everton and Manchester City.
Hello and welcome to live coverage from the Emirates, where you can stay up to date on Arsenal v West Brom without having to abandon your Boxing Day shopping plans!

Lineups

R
A
A
1
B. Foster
2
A. Nyom
3
K. Gibbs
5
C. Yacob
5
Gabriel Paulista
6
J. Evans
6
L. Koscielny
7
A. Sánchez
9
S. Rondón
10
M. Phillips
11
M. Özil
11
C. Brunt
12
O. Giroud
17
A. Iwobi
22
N. Chadli
23
G. McAuley
24
D. Fletcher
24
Bellerín
25
C. Dawson
29
G. Xhaka
33
P. Čech
34
F. Coquelin
14
9
18
8
4
C
C
C
C

Additional info

Referee
N. Swarbrick
Assistants
S. Child
Fourth official
K. Stroud

Popular

Match Stats

Arsenal West Bromwich Albion
56 Attacks (Dangerous) 26
6 Corners 5
11 Fouls 6
11 Free Kicks 12
5 Goal Kicks 11
1 Offsides 4
4 Shots (blocked) 0
9 Shots (off target) 2
8 Shots (on target) 1
1 Shots (woodwork) 0
15 Throw Ins 12

Regular Season

# Team MP D P
138+5293
238+6086
338+4178
438+3676
538+3375
638+2569
738+1861
838-746
938-1246
1038-845
1138-1745
1238-1544
1338-1544
1438-1341
1538-2541
1638-1640
1738-2840
1838-4334
1938-2628
2038-4024

Emirates Stadium

Name:
Emirates Stadium 
City:
London 
Capacity:
60355