Season’s greetings first and foremost to all readers of Gunpowder review..May God continue to bless you all.

It was back to the Business of Premier league hostilities and With their backs to the wall the Gunners desperately needed 3 points to stop the bleeding that had ensued following back to back defeats to Everton and Manchester City Last week. The tension was palpable and every one in red and white knew this was one game that any slip-up would literally certify the gunners camp as officially in Crises. I personally would have wanted any other club in the division other than West brom. They are tricky customers and had been on a run of good form lately boasting 4 wins in thier last 7 going into the game at the Emirates.

WestBrom Manager, Tony Pulis in whose hands we had suffered many an embarrassing results in the past, especially in his days as Stoke city manager was ready to heap more Misery on Arsene Wenger and his men.

So the stage was all set for the homeside…Get 3 points or watch the gap between us and Chelsea expand and get even uglier to look at.

Lineup: ARSENAL (4-2-3-1): Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Coquelin, Xhaka; Sanchez, Ozil, Iwobi; Giroud . Subs: Ospina, Holding, Elneny, Reine-Adelaide.

Cautious was the way the Home side began the game looking to build much needed confidence early by finding the combinations on the pitch that they believe would unlock the Westbrom Defence. Early chances fell to Sanchez and Iwobi in the Firsthalf but wayward shooting and last ditch defending prevented the Gunners taking an early lead. Westbrom had earned rave reviews due to the form of striker Solomon Rondon but from what i saw in the opening exchanges, it was evident that Westbrom were not in London to go toe-2-toe with Arsenal but where determined to stop them from Scoring. Pick a point and Go back home to the Hawthorns.

Arsenal were definitely not at their free flowing best, compared to the Chelsea game, where passes where assured and calculated. This was an Arsenal team feeling its way back to anything close to the cohesion they showed at the start of the season all over again. This is not completely strange, as it is what defeats can do to you in this division. The Half ended in stalemate with both teams unable to find a breakthrough. Nervous fans of the gunners were more concerned with the performance rather than anything else as the gunners looked uninspiring..

The 2nd began with the gunners showing their urgency to break the deadlock. Sanchez in a darting run hit the post with a great strike while Bellerin headed wide when he probabaly should have done much better from an ozil cross. It was all huff and puff from the Home-side and with every passing minute the anxiety levels kept piling up among the spectators and passing down through to the players on the feild. Olivier Giroud who led the attack was not getting any joy from Yakob and Evans. The rare moments he escaped their attention the Westbrom goalkeeper Ben foster proved a wall.

Then came the 87th minute when all seemed lost and it looked like Arsenal will go 11points behind Chelsea with a draw..Bellerin exchanged passes with Ozil and with the German well placed swung a tasty cross towards the Box which Giroud met expertly with a looping header that this time Goal keeper Foster was unable to keep out.

cue relief amongst the ranks of Goonerdom in the stadium and globally..1-0 ARSENAL

Ramsey should have made it 2..but contrived to produce probably the most inexplicable piece of play i have ever seen by a professional player in a scoring situation. The less said on that passage of play the better..

so 3points it was For Arsenal at the blast of the final whistle. It may yet be 9 points from the Top of the table for us..but there’s plenty of football left to play and points to be dropped. We march on to Crystal palace sunday

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