Santi gift a lift for Arsenal

Beleaguered Arsenal ended a miserable week with victory but it took a dubious penalty to set up a 2-0 win over stuttering West Brom.

Last Updated: 08/12/12 at 22:00 Post Comment

Mikel Arteta: Scores first of two penalties as Arsenal lifted the gloom with a 2

Mikel Arteta: Scores first of two penalties as Arsenal lifted the gloom with a 2

Santi Cazorla's tumble made for an unsatisfying opener (26) but Mikel Arteta converted a second spot-kick after the break (64) to give an irritable Arsene Wenger a first win in five.

How Arsenal needed an early goal to thaw the chill after defeats by Swansea and Olympiakos but when a Boaz Myhill punch dropped tantalisingly for Gervinho just minutes in, the striker scuffed his shot horribly.

West Brom - beaten for the third game in a row - were forced into a reshuffle, Goran Popov on for an injured Liam Ridgewell, and as an impressive Jack Wilshere surged forward into space, home discord gave way to cautious optimism.

Cazorla curled wide and volleyed another high under pressure but, though Arsenal were the better side, his breakthrough soon after never should have been. Steven Reid swiped at air and seemingly not man as the Spaniard cut back but Mike Jones pointed to the spot and Arteta accepted the gift.

Wilshere slid in to almost add a second seven minutes from the break but Arsenal deliveries had in truth been hit and miss and West Brom lethargic opponents.

The flashpoint made for second-half spice as both sides raised the tempo but glorious chances came - and went - for the home side.

Gervinho found dangerous positions only to flounder with alarming frequency; missing the ball completely, albeit under pressure, just yards from goal, while Lukas Podolski would later shank hopelessly high.

Steve Clarke swapped a peripheral Peter Odemwingie for the pace of Romelu Lukaku but any hope of a fightback was extinguished when Chris Brunt brought down Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with two flailing legs.

The Arsenal winger tussled with Popov in the build-up but Arteta kept his focus and the job was done.

Wenger's side had hardly been at their best but they hadn't needed to be.

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Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 35 52 80
2 Chelsea 35 41 75
3 Man City 34 56 74
4 Arsenal 35 21 70
5 Everton 35 23 69
6 Tottenham 35 2 63
7 Man Utd 34 16 57
8 Southampton 35 5 49
9 Newcastle 35 -15 46
10 Stoke City 35 -10 44
11 C Palace 35 -13 43
12 West Ham 35 -10 37
13 Swansea 35 -4 36
14 Hull City 34 -9 36
15 A Villa 34 -14 35
16 West Brom 34 -13 33
17 Norwich 35 -28 32
18 Cardiff 35 -34 30
19 Fulham 35 -42 30
20 Sunderland 34 -24 29

Updated Wed, 23 Apr 2014

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