Arsenal were not to be denied as Olivier Giroud's late header saw them earn a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in Monday's Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
- Arsenal 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
- Foster denies Sanchez
- Alexis hits the post
- Yacob misses a sitter
- Giroud grabs a late winner
Arsenal struggled to break down a resolute West Bromwich Albion in the first half, with the best moments falling to Alexis Sanchez, but Ben Foster was up to the task. In the second period Foster denied both Alex Iwobi and Sanchez with a brilliant double save.
The Chile star then hit the post in the 51st minute with Foster seemingly beaten. Albion's best chance fell to Claudio Yacob in the 71st minute but he blazed over from eight yards. Olivier Giroud grabbed Arsenal's winner late on after Mesut Ozil's cross picked out the French striker.
It was a cagey affair at the Emirates as Arsenal struggled to break down a well organised West Bromwich Albion defence. The Gunners nearly opened up the Baggies in the 10th minute but Craig Dawson did well to tackle Mesut Ozil before he could get a shot away from 12 yards out.
Alexis Sanchez then showed skill and pace to fire off an effort from around 20 yards out but his strike seemed to be covered by Ben Foster. It was Dawson to the rescue again in the 25th minute when he produced a goal-saving tackle on Olivier Giroud, who had been played in on goal by Ozil.
West Brom's first meaningful attempt came in the 32nd minute although Petr Cech made a routine save after Nacer Chadli got his head on Matt Phillips' cross. After the break, the lively Alex Iwobi tested Foster but he denied the 20-year-old before also stopping Sanchez's attempt on the rebound.
In the 51st minute, Sanchez had a great chance to score after the ball broke to him in the box from seven yards out. However, his shot hit the outside of the post and went clear. It was again the Chile international who tested West Brom's keeper from over 20 yards out but he saved with his fingertips in the 56th minute.
It was turning into the Foster show in London as the 33-year-old did well to get his foot to Giroud's strike from the inside left of the penalty area three minutes later. Yet, after soaking up all the pressure, it was nearly Albion who hit the front in the 71st minute.
After Cech came out and flapped at a corner, the ball dropped to Claudio Yacob who put a fantastic chance over the bar from eight yards out. The Gunners pressed hard for a goal in the closing stages with Granit Xhaka and Hector Bellerin having moments where they may have done better.
However, the home team would snatch all three points in the 87th minute when Ozil picked out Giroud in the box. The France international showed great strength to guide a header past Foster as Arsenal collected the three points.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) December 26, 2016