LONDON: The old nickname of ‘lucky Arsenal’ came back to haunt the Gunners after they profited from a poor performance by referee Mike Jones on their way to a 2-0 home win over West Bromwich Albion.
Mikel Arteta converted two penalties as Arsenal returned to winning ways after a poor match but one which ended a three-game run of two draws and one defeat in the Premier League.
In the 26th minute Steven Reid was judged to have tripped Santi Cazorla and Arteta converted the penalty to make amends for his previous miss against Fulham. West Brom protested long and loud – and in vain – that Cazorla had dived.
Even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger conceded that the award may have been fortunate.
Just before half-time a penalty possibility for the visitors went unrewarded. Per Mertesacker handled a long free-kick in his own penalty area while under pressure from Jonas Olsson but Arsenal were given a free-kick.
Arsenal’s second penalty was also contentious. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pushed over West Brom defender Goran Popov in the build-up – without being penalised – and was then brought down by Chris Brunt. Arteta beat Boaz Myhill again from the spot.
Lukas Podolski, an 87th-minute substitute, had an opportunity to extend Arsenal’s lead in the short time he was on the pitch but skied his shot high over the bar.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke said: “We have some fantastic referees who do a tough job – but this time we got the poorest of a really good group.”
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