Arsenal 2-0 West Brom: Sanchez hits twice as Gunners tighten grasp on top four

first_img1 A first-half brace from Alexis Sanchez helped Arsenal to victory against West Brom, as the Gunners tightened their grasp on the top four.Heading into the game wary that Manchester United were just one point behind the North London side, the Chilean attacker eased the pressure after six minutes with his opening strike, adding a second before the end of the first-half.The course of the game was set early on, with Sanchez’s goal the perfect way for Arsenal to exert their control on the game.Picking up the ball just out of the West Brom penalty area, the attacker turned his defender whilst keeping possession, driving forward before firing a powerful shot low past Ben Foster in the Baggies goal.The Gunners were clearly the better team, dominating play in the West Brom half.However, they struggled to create any more clear cut chances, and it was the visitors who came closest to scoring the next goal.Some breaks into the Arsenal box brought around a series of corners, and from one such set piece, Gareth McAuley hit the woodwork.James McClean curled a left-footed delivery to the near post, and the Northern Irish international met the ball, heading onto the bar.The hosts then came close to doubling their lead, with Foster almost gifting a goal.Mesut Ozil hit a weak shot straight at the keeper, who let it pass through his legs. However, Craig Dawson was well placed on the post, and he cleared the ball off the line to keep the defecit to just one.But Arsenal grabbed their well deserved second not long after, with Sanchez grabbing his second seven minutes before half-time.He converted a free-kick from the edge of the box, curling it away from Foster, who was wrong footed by the perfect set-piece.Tony Pulis changed his approach at the start of the second period, bringing on Salomon Rondon to play two strikers upfront, but it was Arsenal who had the first chance of the half, Olivier Giroud firing weakly at Foster.There were signs that the Baggies were looking to get back into the game, with McClean having a weak header saved by Petr Cech, and Rondon causing some trouble to the host’s defensive line.However, it was Arsenal who again started to control the game, and they had a number of chances to extend the lead.Foster saved well from Ozil, Aaron Ramsey fired over when he should have hit the target, and there were two shouts for penalties turned down by Jon Moss.As the game moved towards its close, it was clear that neither team were too fussed about attacking, playing a game comprised largely in the middle of the park.The Gunners had the three points sewn up early, and they were content to play out a meandering second half in front of a sparse Emirates crowd, securing three easy points to move back into third place. Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring for Arsenal last_img read more