Alexandre Lacazette bagged 2 goals as Arsenal destroyed West Brom at a snow-filled Hawthorns, as things went from bad to worse for Big Sam's new side. Unlike their steely performance away at Liverpool in Allardyce's opening game, this was far more like the old West Brom and the side who were embarrassed at home to Leeds a few days ago. The home side were wide open at the back, extremely poor and lacking ideas when they had a rare moment of possession.
The game started off well and it was Arsenal who were having the better of the play. Albion keeper Sam Johnstone has been the Premier League’s busiest goalkeeper this season and it took less than 3 minutes for Arsenal to force him into a save, with the keeper using his feet to deny Hector Bellerin. He then had to deny Saka as Arsenal were looking good, their passing was slick and they seemed unbothered by the fact the conditions weren't the greatest. what with snow falling from the Sky at a fair rate. It was the type of weather many would assume a side like Arsenal wouldn't like performing in, but they rose to all challenged that were presented on Saturday evening.
Arsenal’s breakthrough though came when Tierney produced a brilliant solo goal in the 23rd minute. After knocking the ball past Darnell Furlong, Tierney sprinted to retrieve it and then tricked his way into the box to unleash a wonderful right-footed, curling shot into the far corner. It was 1-0 to the Gunners and the start of a very good night for Mikel Arteta and his side.
Just 5 minutes later the visitors increasing their lead thanks to a great move orchestrated by two of their youngest and most exciting talents. Smith Rowe and Saka linked up with Lacazette to slice through the heart of the terrible home defence, before Smith Rowe unselfishly squared for Saka to tap into the net from close range. The game was pretty much over now and it was damage limitation for West Brom. Allardyce must have been thinking he should have waited for a different opportunity.
The ex Bolton manager made some changed at the break, Diangana was taken off as West Brom switched to a back 4. They briefly looked a bit better as you got a sense that Allardyce had rallied his troops at HT, but Arsenal ended the game with a 3rd goal on the hour thanks to a blend of their own excellent play and West Brom's desperately poor defending. Saka sprinted down the wing before sending over a cross that Sami Ayaji smashed against his own post, Albion keeper Sam Johnstone saved Smith Rowe’s follow-up but could not stop Lacazette from finishing off to make it 3.
Just 4 minutes later West Brom fans must have switched over to the Darts as Arsenal soon struck another goal. Lacazette scoring from close range following an excellent cross which was put on a plate by Kieran Tierney.
Johnstone was the only player for the home side who could be remotely happy with his personal performance, the keeper was the only reason West Brom didn't end up on the end of a far worse scoreline. In contrast, Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal stayed alert till the end, despite having nothing to do most of the game, to deny Rekeem Harper a screamer in the last minute, as the Gunners keeper tipped away a fine shot from distance to give him and his side a deserved clean sheet.
West Brom, like Sheffield United really do look pretty fucked. You cant pull any punches when talking about that squad, it simply is nowhere near good enough to survive. I stupidly predicted them to "shit-house" the life out of the game to earn a point, but I couldn't have been more wrong. They don't have the balls to physically dominate a game, and they certainly don't have the talent to dominate one at the minute. 4/5 new experienced Premier League players are needed for them to have even half a chance of survival.
Arsenal continue their good form and look to have turned a corner. Arteta has remained composed throughout his sides poor run, trusting youth to prevail come good. There are signs that progress is being made.
WEST BROM 0 ARSENAL 4
Lacazette 60, 64