by Sayan Chatterjee
Arsenal ended their League campaign on a high with a comfortable 4-1 victory against Tony Pulis’ West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Theo Walcott, who made his 300th appearance for the club last weekend, captured his 3rd career hat trick while Jack Wilshere scored the other in a flawless first half display from the North London club and both of them celebrated their goals with bear hugs for Arsenal’s fitness coach Declan Lynch, acknowledging his efforts in getting them both back in shape.
Walcott, who had been sidelined for much of the season, got the Gunners off to a flier in the 5th minute with a brilliant finish from the edge of the penalty area as early as the 5th minute and he soon doubled his with a cheeky toe poke to make it 2-0.
Pulis was admittedly fuming with his side’s first half performance, as it took them 42 minutes to get a shot on target which too could not test David Ospina who made a comfortable save. His counterpart, Myhill on the other end of the pitch, made a couple of brilliant saves to keep the Gunners and the score down to 4.
The second half started with more of the same from Arsenal with Walcott and Wilshere trying to add to the score line. West Brom responded by bringing on some attacking players and finally found some rhythm in their passing. It wasn’t long before as they finally got one back from a corner where McAuley leaped above Mertesacker to direct a beautiful header past Ospina who should have done better.
Ospina was unconvincing again few minutes later as he lost sight of the trajectory of the ball from a Craig Gardner shot, only able to deflect it on the horizontal bar. It was too little too late though as the Gunners grasped the initiative back with some offensive substitutions as Ramsey hit the post twice, which resulted in a rare smile on the face of Arsene Wenger and Welshman then struck it wide once after some intricate one touch passing in and around the box.
Ozil was instrumental in most of the team’s build up, assisting the first and creating a couple of good chances later on for Santi and Walcott. Giroud and Oxlade-Chamberlain also came late on, with the latter returning after a month, as Wenger looked to keep his squad in fine fettle before the all important FA Cup final next weekend.
All in all, it was a job well done by the Gunners as they secured 3rd place quite comfortably in the end and laid down a marker of what is to come next weekend when they try to win the FA Cup for a record 12th time and add to their newly refurbished trophy cabinet.
What do you think of Arsenal’s performance?