WBA – Arsenal 2-1, an unfortunate slip

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal made a few changes both in personal and in line up for this match.

Bellerin came back in at right back in the place of Debuchy and also Kieran Gibbs came in but not in the place of Monreal but in the place of Campbell. Gibbs played at the left flank and Alexis switched to the right flank. Both French players were fit and focussed enough to start this match. On the bench we also saw French youngster Jeff Reine-Adelaide.

The team that started this match was: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Monreal, Coquelin, Cazorla, Alexis, Ozil, Gibbs, Giroud.

On the beach: Ospina, Debuchy, Gabriel, Arteta, Flamini, Campbell, Reine-Adelaide.

WBA with a high pressure game all over the the field. As a result not much going on attacking wise from Arsenal who are trying to keep the ball in the team. No real dangerous attacks from both teams. Lots of midfield play. After some 11 minutes Coquelin went down after a tackle holding his knee. Hobbling off but he signalled to the bench he couldn’t continue. A real blow so early in the match. No foul with this tackle from Coquelin just both players kicking the ball at the same time. Arteta came on in the place of Coquelin.

A foul on Monreal resulting in a free kick for Arsenal. Alexis with a good effort but Myhill with an equally good save. The first real chance in the match just under the 15 minutes mark.

Arsenal now slowly taking more and more control over the proceedings. And more and more pressure leading to WBA making a few fouls. One on Alexis on the right flank. Özil behind the ball and…. yes GOAL!!!! Giroud heads the ball in the net to put Arsenal in front! 0-1 to the Arsenal after 28 minutes.

That is now 7 matches on a row that Özil has given an assist. Gibbs with a shot but over after a good attack by Alexis. At the other Bellerin with a foul and a deserved yellow card. That was a promising attack for WBA. Arteta with a foul in midfield and a free kick for WBA. It was NOT a foul as Arteta cleanly played the ball. The ball is floated in and Morrison puts it over Cech in the Arsenal goal. 1-1 after 35 minutes. A error from Clattenburg leading to a WBA equaliser.

Arsenal try to attack but a WBA counter leads to a cross from on the goal line that is put in the own Arsenal goal by Arteta. 2-1 for WBA after 41 minutes. Giroud gets a yellow card for a foul when he loses the ball. Gibbs with a good run but no Arsenal player at the end of his cross. WBA get two goals almost out of nothing and goes with a 2-1 advantage in to the dressing room at half time.

Olson pulls Giroud down after an Arsenal free kick but Clattenburg waves it away claming both players made a foul? I couldn’t really see what foul Giroud committed. Should have been a penalty for Arsenal. Arsenal with the first shot in the second half when Özil has a shot that hits the post with the keeper well beaten. Unlucky. Arteta has to come off after only 3 minutes in the second half and Flamini comes in his place. Another injury for the captain.

Arsenal pressing but WBA block the effort from Gibbs and the shot from Giroud goes over. WBA suddenly with a good moment and Cech has to come to the rescue after a WBA beat the offside. After 62 minutes Gibbs goes off and Campbell comes on. I think we will see Alexis switch back to his left wing from now on.

Santi with a great cross to Campbell who misses inexplicably in front of the open goal…At the other end WBA with a corner and it is headed against the crossbar and then Cech can grab the rebound. The assistant had also raised his flag for offside on the rebound and that was a great decision. Alexis at the other end with a chance after a good cross from Bellerin but the ball ran away from his foot and he could produce the shot.

Alexis just coming late on a ball from Cazorla. A case of just not completely good enough on the day? The ball not at the right speed, too hard, too slow… one of those days?

A ball to Alexis who was held back by a defender and Clattenburg puts the ball on the penalty spot. Santi with the shot and he slips away when he shoots and puts the ball over the crossbar… one of those days… His standing leg slipping away…




Campbell again just comes late on a through ball… A day when it just wouldn’t happen.. Giroud has a shot blocked almost on the goal line… Myhill gets a yellow card after a lot of time wasting that had been going on since WBA took the lead.

Arsenal lose a match they shouldn’t have lost. A wasted chance to gain some advantage but this is how it goes sometimes. When things don’t want to come off, they don’t come off.

A bad day at the office.







41 Replies to “WBA – Arsenal 2-1, an unfortunate slip”

  1. A similar story to the U21s last night. Just not happening, enough chances to win but none taken. Oh well onwards and upwards. The usual loss floaters will be out shortly. I’m going out to dinner and won’t be watching MOTD tonight.
    We did get a penalty so my preview perhaps wasn’t that bad. Another goal from a ‘phantom’ foul as well and most decisions going to West Brom.

  2. Unhappy result…can’t say that the team played poorly…just not great. One of those days against a Pullis team that did what he told them to do. Tons of niggling fouls-some called-enough let go to slow down Arsenal. Loads of time wasting…I always wonder why the yellow for that is only given in the 90th minute when in fact it started in the 40th minute. Alexis did well, Gibbs OK in an unfamiliar position. Cazorla was good…miss excepted. Not really sold on Campbell…fast but doesn’t have great quickness and was not particularly creative. Still, he’s our guy and I hope that his lack of creativity is due to a lack of familiarity with his teammates on game day and that he will improve. We had enough chances to win it…so on to Tuesday.

  3. Our boys tried their guts out – lets give them credit for never giving up.

    Once again the PGMO tilted the playing field – Clattenburg has deteriorated from the best of the PGMO refs to a very average Riley clone.

    Once again the PGMO and the Pulis school of black arts, thuggery and cheating have cost us points.

    Having said that we had the chances to win and should have taken them.

  4. Walter, as I stated on the game thread, I disagree about the first West Brom goal. I think there was a foul by Arteta. The angle from the opposite side shows he indeed trips the opponent with his non-tackling leg. As for Cazorla´s miss, it was utterly predictable in my mind because of the way he´s dealt with being in a shooting position for months. I would have wanted Alexis to take it, especially in the midst of such an outstanding game for him. In this instance, I believe it´s making a huge disservice to Arsenal to blame the loss on the PGMO, when it was really a case of a bad day at the office, as you said. It also won´t prevent Arsenal from contending for the title this season.

  5. What was going on as Santi prepared to take the penalty? First the ref put the ball on the spot instead of handing it to the player who was going to take it. The Gardiner was messing about INSIDE the area as Santi prepared and started his run up. Clattenburg interfered as Santi slipped – yet the spot kick wasn’t retaken?

    As bjtgooner says, it was shocking from one of our better refs.

    Only Michael Oliver to go and Riley will have them all in his pocket!

  6. Goeland..

    I would tend to agree about Santi, but his shooting was fine for Spain against England last week.
    He was deliberately put off and the weak PGMOB referee did nothing about it.

  7. Goeland – watch the replay of the first goal & see what is happening to Mert. He is in a bear hug. Officials cannot see it? Even a 4 year old would have seen it. I do not like post mortems apart from this was murder by PGMO again.

  8. @Menace

    It was blocking on Mertesacker every bit as effective as in an American football match. Teams know that he cleans up most headers there and so they assigned a fullback to block his access to the ball. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Referees do not call this.

  9. Don’t understand why some of us keep blaming on the ref when we lose? It’s not because of the ref we lost. We had so many chances but couldn’t convert, bad luck with Ozil shot hitting the post and went another way instead of going to Giroud, Campbell mishit, and Santi miss penalty. But main reason is our defense, still giving away at set pieces, it’s like they don’t learn and can’t adjust. How many times our defense can’t deal with high balls. The own goal was bad luck. Sanchez what a player he gave everything. We are only 2 or 3 points behind and still in contention. Let pray no more injuries and some of our players come back soon. This is just a blip and I’m still optimistic that we can still win the title. Leicester top of league who would have thought that. This season is so open.

  10. There’s an African saying that says when it’s a monkey’s day to meet his maker, all trees become slippery( or th pitch, oh santi!)

    I guess this was just one of those awful awful days. Hoping the boys will take it in their stride and march on, shit happens. At least Thats one stupid game off our ‘stupid games’ quota for the season.

    And Oh, i also hope the November ‘curse’ is not about to strike. wishing the injured quick recovery . we really need to win this title. Well, here’s to hopinh.

  11. WBA prepared for the game and had their defence sweeping from left to right to cover our attack lines left right and center, on top of that they pressed, sometimes a little too hard and relying on the ref to not intervene.
    It scuppered our game for a while. Still we kept on and started to play our game and scoring. At this time i thought, we’re in control now.
    But WBA kept up their play and we soon lost it again. We made many mistakes that were costly, we panicked and at one point it looked like a panicky time for both teams as WBA also slipped a little.

    But we let the hard tackles get to us in the end. Santi was having a bad day and should really not have taken the pen, i was hoping he would be subbed in the 2nd half.

    A bad loss because we could not play our game, especially with this injury list. At least they will be back for the rear end of the season and more importantly, the xmas period. 🙂

    Feel free to read the Arsenal analysis on Arsenal.com. It is usually spot on.

  12. There is this popular broken English in Nigeria that says, “sidown there”. Meaning, continue to deceive yourself. How can I say Arsenal are contending for the title when they’ve taken only 1 point from the last 6 maximum points on offer? Is that championship form? Certainly NO! Even if Mark Clattenburg of the Pgmo has had some decisions against Arsenal which he shouldn’t have had, like that cynical tackle on Coquelin which looked as a bookable offence imo. But he didn’t even yellowcard that Albiom player talkless of to redcard him.
    However, Arsenal have 2 golden chances to score at least a goal to equalize. But Campbell showed the kind of quality he is for Arsenal as he can only sliced his chance. And Cazorla continues with his lackluster goalscoring form for Arsenal to miss that spot kick. Arteta with all his experience in football can only divert the ball to his net instead of to clear it out. Can we imagine he will do that? My assessment of the Gunners performance today is, they are careless with in their defending and in converting their goals scoring opportunities to goals. Today’s Boss’ starts were strong to beat WBA and top the table. Twice in succession now Arsenal have missed to top the table. Some of the Gunners that play today played to the gallery.

  13. Well, that was a pretty crap day all round, but we are still in touch.
    But….and there had to be a but coming, we were bloody poor.
    Maybe just one of those days where absolutely nothing goes right.. It sometimes seemed that way, But….how much of that was self inflicted?
    I have backed and supported the team through the lean years, tried to be positive, hoping for better days, and we have certainly had some of those. Indeed, I am sure we will have more……But……I long for the day when we put stupid defeats in games we should have won behind us. I live for the day we stop letting some journeyman clogged undo us from a set piece, and then…..this is the season of own goals. I wish for a time when those who say things like….typical Arsenal, shot themselves in the foot again….are consigned to history. I know there are no easy games, and richer teams than us fall foul as well, but I was a little shocked today, more so than usual in defeat, not sure why.
    ….despite world class players, a world class manager, world class facilities, these things happen far too regularly, especially away to teams north of Watford set up in certain ways in November dec.
    This is perhaps the most critical post I have written on here, I am not a WOB, I don’t want the manager replaced, I don’t think our players are shit, but surely it is time to reduce the occurrence of such defeats. Yes, sometimes the pgmol have played their part, but we do seem to have an amazing propensity to shoot ourselves in the foot against certain types of teams, who to be honest, are not in our league….or shouldn’t be.
    We have a problem, injuries. I don’t want to debate the causes here, but most years, this strikes in November /December. It seems we cannot stop the injuries, but we can ensure we have adequate replacements. There are times this season, in Europe and in the league, this has not always been the case. Like it or not, we have some very injury prone players, but unfortunately, some of their backup is equally injury prone. As the media and AAA will tell us, Coq is a serious concern. Arteta came on for him , look what happens.
    I back the team and manager, and expect them to respond to this immediately, but I really hope tMr Wenger has a very frank and honest assessment of the risks of injury within our squad, and if required, acts accordingly by whatever his means. Not only is this season a golden opportunity, with Chelsea, City looking flaky, Utd looking lucky, it is a season where we are also up against lesser managers with lesser players, but pride themselves on keeping players fit. Let’ the powers be ensure we don’t squander the opportunity this season presents, and do not let lessens catch up.
    And let’ them bounce back mid week, and put a really shitty month behind

  14. Some of our fans need to calm down, there’s 25 more games to go and we are only 2 points behind Leicester. Should we have won this match? Of course but we were unbeaten since Chelsea, all runs will end sooner or later. Some fans are so fickle, when we win oh arsenal going to win league, lose one and the season is over, get a grip and enjoy the roller coaster ride. Remember this year the lower clubs are trying extra hard to stay up for the money received next year, so don’t expect every lower opponent will be a push over. Stop with the negativity and stay positive. As a fan we should support the team whether we win, lose or draw. Yes we all feel frustrated and disappointed but we need to keep the positive vibe going otherwise it could truly ruin our season. As said before, we are only 2 points behind.

  15. Wow Mandy, I never thought I’d ever read such a sensible post like that from you, after all the years of being in denial both on here and the online gooner, you are finally beginning to see it.

  16. Mandy, I think you are letting your disappointment get the better of you. This is our first loss in seven. It’s not as if we are losing like this all the time. It looks to me as if we were unlucky as well, especially with some of the comments about what happened when the penalty was taken.

    You keep bringing up veiled comments about our injury record. What exactly do you think is going on? Do you think there is a plant in the treatment room doing our players in?

    I wonder what is happening in some other teams. Arsene Wenger has made some very strong comments suggesting the drug tests currently operating are superficial and that there should be blood tests. I suppose he must have a reason for saying this.

    Perhaps in this respect as in the case of refereeing there is not a level playing field.

  17. Pat…and Stevo for that matter, yes, disappointed, but for the reason, this was about old failings that I keep hoping, as our financial position improves, we will leave behind. Ok Chelsea…City…..I know, but I have been expecting fewer and fewer of these. And our performance this month has not been good enough for a team with our resources and our ambitions, if you look at the results, they have not been impressive. What is it about November?
    Yes, I refer to injuries, they are an issue, and I think a root cause of recent performances. I am not claiming to know the reason for them, may be just bad luck, as was perhaps a few things today. But it is clear we have several key players that are injury prone, end of……it also seems their backup players are equally injury prone, that is a worry. I am not blaming anyone for this, just citing a concern, I really hope Coq is not out for too long, he is vital for us, Arteta is in the wars, and I am not sure if Flam would stay fit for every game.
    As for Wenger and his raising of the doping issue, very interesting…..think we need to watch this space on that one, after FIFA, that could well be footballs next scandal, and with some very big players involved. But it does not explain why we regularly have so many out in November and December. And the damage it can do to our chances.

  18. @Walter,
    Excellent match report, i agree with your assessment that it was just another bad at the office. It seemed like a perfect example of Murphy’s law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. On another day:
    1) Özil’s shot would have gone in or deflected to Giroud
    2) Campbell would have at least hit the target
    3) Cazorla would have drilled in the penalty like he did so many times for us last year.

    A couple issues in regards to the Cazorla penalty:
    1) Not sure why a WBA player was allowed near Cazorla while the ball was placed at the spot, not allowing Cazorla to line up his run up to the ball like he usually does.

    2) After Cazorla went back, another WBA went into the penalty box around the area of the ball, possibly touching the ball. Cazorla told Clattenburg who only told the players to get out of the area, but it did not look like Cazorla reset his angle for the run up, which is what most likely caused his plant foot to slip when he did a last minute adjustment.

    In regards to the WBA players, this surely has to be against the rules since all players are supposed to be outside the penalty area during a PK right?

  19. After me slagging off our performance, in fairness, some suggestion that the ref spotted something, and was going order the pen to be taken again, only to change his mind. Arch Arsenal critic Danny Murphy has suggested,he changed his mind. If you believe FIF, the refs are miked up to God knows who.
    I always thought this ref was one of the better ones……time to re-evaluate on that performance, but this time, not blaming the ref…completely…..
    But that does not explain our failings today.
    We have lost to a lesser team and what’s annoying, in an entirely predictable manner against this manager.
    Time to regroup and do better, I feel a convincing win over DZ.

  20. My take on the injury problems. I think our players:
    1. Play to many games e.g PL, CL, and internationals therefore hardly any rest.
    2. Some of our players prefer speed over physicality therefore more prone to soft tissue injuries.
    3. The way some of our players play e.g hard tackles that has high risks in injuries like Coqs tackle in the WBA match.
    4. Insufficient warm-up time.
    5. Opponents doing UFC on our players.

  21. The penalty was an absolute farce. The WBA players were allowed to intimidate the penalty taker & not get booked. The player who interfered with the ball or the area near the ball should have been booked also. Clattenburg was inept as far as officiating goes but was excellent for the PGMO agenda. Arsenal were unfortunate but were also fouled beyond the pale. Coquelin did not get a knee injury from fair play.

    There is nothing wrong with seeing ‘what the referee missed’ & commenting on it. The league is not lost but when points are robbed so blatantly by cheats it is annoying. It is now time for Arsenal to comment on PGMO in an official capacity. The cheating has to be highlighted.

  22. It was sheer bad luck that we lost otherwise the boys played well there was no lack of effort imo.

    Arteta OG
    Santi slip
    Ozil hitting the post

    All bad luck nothing else.

    Keep the faith.

  23. Predictable is the word Mandy uses. She is right, we know how that manager, Pullis plays football and we were not prepared. There is no excuse for that.

    @Anyway a “critical mind” would probably say that the “stage has now been set for the game between the top two(Lei and Manu) to be played out in full glory on our TV screens, and what a hullaboo will be made of it, mark my words.@

    See what Pelligrini said about Manc loss:
    “I have never seen this team play in the way they did tonight. It is difficult to understand why we should play so badly – not just one name but a complete team in defending or attacking possession.”

    These words really jump out of that statement:
    “difficult to understand”

  24. “It was a very bad afternoon for us,” said Wenger. “We had 70% possession, scored an own goal, missed a penalty, gave away a goal on a set piece and missed open goal chances – that’s perfect to make the afternoon a nightmare.”

    Not one mention of the referee, PGMO or AAA.

    Says it all really doesn’t it!

  25. I’ve noticed that no one has commented on the early attacks on two of our VIP players by WBA. I actually thought they were targeted deliberately. Am i wrong?

  26. Coquelin’s injury is the biggest loss at The Hawthorns. Losing him means we don’t have a world-class defensive midfielder anymore. First half of the last season and those ten minutes when West completed a come-back have been a solid proof that Mikey simply doesn’t cut it anymore. I wish him a long career as a coach with our youth categories but his body doesn’t make him competent enough anymore.

    Speaking of Cazorla’s penalty incident, could it be that West Brom players were provoking him about that dive from 2012?

  27. Serge, of course Arsene Wenger will say that. His job is to convince his players that it’s in their own hands and they can win despite forces that may be against them. Our record in 2015 shows they can.

    This doesn’t mean that we as fans shouldn’t alert each other about some of the other things that are going on. The referee analysis on Untold for example has that purpose.

    By the way, I’ve been unable to activate the like buttons, so probably the likes and dislikes above aren’t a fair reflection of how people feel. Thanks particularly for the further analysis of the penalty.

  28. Olsen continual fouling of Giroud. Holding Mert at every free kick. Yacob fouled Alexis several times in between fouling other Arsenal midfield players but not booked. Morrison & Brunt not booked for thier offences until it was forced. The PGMO shitheads were cheating with their usual selective vision. Alexis was fouled so many times it begs the question where is the protection from the officials?

    There must have been three WBA players in the penalty box when the penalty was taken & should have been retaken….but not when it is Arsenal.

    Those of you who feel Arsenal should have been prepared for the WBA foul tactics, must explain why. Do teams have to excuse officials who bring their own Laws to the field?

    The off sides were not ruled according to the latest translation but then again that is a minute issue in the scheme of things.

  29. Le grove is saying that if Coquelin’s injury is serious, it is the end of the season. Hard to disagree with that analysis, at the risk of being accused of being ‘Anti Arsenal’. Wenger could, of course, buy some cover in a few weeks, but it may be too late by then. Just a pity he didn’t last summer.

    Personally, I think being kicked out of Europe could be a blessing in disguise. There is always the nightmare possibility of the Europa League, but could send the kids out for that,

  30. The dislikes seem to be concentrating on anyone that mentions the PK. In regards to my above post, I just want to clarify that yes multiple offenses by WBA players did occur which were not handled by Clattenburg, my main issue was that Cazorla did not reset or re-map his run up to the ball. It is expected more of a player with Cazorla’s quality and usual cool calm composure to also use basic penalty taking techniques which he followed every other time he takes a pk.

    In summary, WBA players were allowed to break Cazorla’s pk routine due to an enabling PGMO representative, but Cazorla should have restarted his PK routine (ball placement + backward steps) if he’s allowed to do so after the WBA commotion. Cazorla will make that PK 9 out of 10 times, this just happened to be the 1/10.

    Arsenal is still only 2 points off the top, so we just need to get behind the time so they can get max points throughout the rest of the season!

  31. @Pat

    Arsenal have conceded a goal every 177 minutes with Le Coq on the pitch.

    Without him we have conceded a goal every 46 minutes – roughly four times worse record without Le Coq.

    Evidence based worry, I’m afraid.

  32. If something happens and you walk wide eyed into an unfortunate situation do you blame your eye not communicating with your brain? We are not fickle fans but sometimes you can only demand more guts and decisiveness when vying for championship position. We are not class above the others and that is what I expect from our team. It’s not too much to ask now is it?

  33. Season over because we lost Le Coq is going over board in my opinion, he will be a huge lost no doubt about that but we were in this situation last season, then we got Le Coq in and we never looked back. Now this could be a opportunity for either Flamini to step up or give another youngster eg Beilik a chance, you never know we could find another gem. Our defense unit is not to bad, my only concern is we still having trouble converting our goal chances, fix that and we should be ok.

  34. OK, if you don’t like ‘season over’, then ‘without le Coq, Arsenal are likely, on past evidence, to concede goals at such a rate that not even their much-vaunted attacking prowess will not be able to compensate. If this state of affairs continues for long, the chances of Arsenal winning the Premier League this season are exceedingly remote, to the point of non-existent’.

    I am all for optimism, but there comes a point when it becomes complete fantasy.

  35. Polo, I might sound like Obvious Owen but if Arsenal concede two goals per game without Coquelin on the pitch, then we have to score three to win or at least two to avoid a defeat. We have scored 23 goals so far or less than two per game.

    If you want to find a silver lining though, it’s in terms of our goal per minute ratio without Coquelin. We have scored at every 40 minutes without Le Coq and at every 55 minutes with him on the pitch.

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