Arsenal move to fourth spot after 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion
Arsenal won 2-1 at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday to climb into the Champions League places at Chelsea's expense, while Aston Villa claimed a precious win in their fight to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
A brace from Tomas Rosicky gave Arsenal victory at The Hawthorns, but they allowed West Brom to come back into the game after Per Mertesacker was sent off for bringing down Shane Long in the penalty area.
James Morrison drilled the resulting penalty down the middle to reduce the arrears, but Arsenal held on to move into fourth place above Chelsea, who welcome Sunderland and their newly appointed manager Paolo Di Canio to Stamford Bridge today. Rosicky proved his worth in the early stages of the game when he cleared a header from Claudio Yacob off his own goal-line.
In the 20th minute he distinguished himself at the other end, adroitly heading Gervinho's well-struck cross from the left past home goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The Czech Republic midfielder claimed his second five minutes into the second half, ramming home at the second attempt after Foster blocked his initial attempt from the edge of the box.
Mertesacker’s mistimed lunge granted West Brom a lifeline that Morrison duly grasped with 19 minutes left, but Arsene Wenger’s side survived a late onslaught from the home side as they closed to within a point of third-place Tottenham Hotspur.
“We now we have one target — to win our games,” said Arsenal manager Wenger. “Then we do not have to look at Tottenham or at Chelsea. If we lose our games, you have always to look at the results of the others,” he added.