West Bromwich Albion vs. Arsenal: Final score 1-1, Baggies pick up a point from lacklustre Arsenal

Michael Regan

Arsenal fought back to claim a point after falling behind to West Brom at the Hawthorns, in an even but entertaining game.

West Bromwich Albion got a deserved lead against a disappointing Arsenal as the two sides fought to a 1-1 draw at the Hawthorns.

Claudio Yacob had put the baggies in front not long before half-time before Arsenal endured a difficult spell, but equalised through Jack Wilshere midway through the second half.

Arsenal had struggled from the off, with West Brom continuing their fine form after dealing a defeat to Manchester United the previous week, with their midfield five all in excellent form as they pressed and harried their opponents. Saido Berahino was a particular source of creativity, his bombing runs forward creating a pair of early half-chances.

Arsenal's struggles to get a grip on the game were both illustrated and compounded by yellow cards to Mathieu Flamini and Jack Wilshere, who were both peripheral figures in play, for particularly reckless challenges.

It wasn't long, however, before West Brom took a deserved lead - after their corner was cleared, Morgan Amalfitano received the ball on the wing and curled in an inch-perfect cross for Claudio Yacob to head in at the near post. It was the first time Arsenal had conceded the first goal in the league so far this season, and provided a stern test for Arsene Wenger's men.

That proved to be the last significant action of the half, but after the break, West Brom remained well on top. Nicolas Anelka had two fine chances to make it 2-0, but failed to take either opportunity.. First Saido Berahino provided him with an excellent cross only for him to shank an easy finish, before the former Arsenal striker beat Per Mertesacker for pace before curling his finish wide.

West Brom were later to pay for their profligacy after taking the lead too, as Jack Wilshere made amends for an otherwise poor performance by rifling in Tomas Rosicky's flick from the edge of the area.

The game got increasingly frantic as both sides searched for a winner, and one passage of play almost led to goals at both ends. First Stephane Sessegnon broke free down the left, but dinked a poor cross in rather than drilling a shot or pass, before Mesut Ozil broke free on the counter-attack, riding one challenge before cutting the ball back to Wilshere, who was denied by a last-ditch sliding tackle from Yacob.

Despite the frantic nature of the game, however, the last 15 minutes were a disappointment as the contest petered out, both teems seemingly not too disappointed with what they had. West Brom may curse not converting their earlier opporutnities, while Arsenal will have been given a good glimpse into showing what they have to improve to challenge for the title.

West Bromwich Albion: Boaz Myhill, Billy Jones, Gareth McAuley, Jonas Olsson, Liam Ridgewell; Claudio Yacob, Youssef Mulumbu, Morgan Amalfitano, Stephane Sessegnon (James Morrison - 68'), Saido Berahino, Nicolas Anelka (Shane Long - 69').

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Carl Jenkinson, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker, Kieran Gibbs, Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini, Aaron Ramsey (Tomas Rosicky - 59'), Jack Wilshere, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud (Nicklas Bendtner - 85').

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