Olivier Giroud opened the scoring at the Hawthorns, heading home a Mesut Özil free kick to give us the lead on 28 minutes.
It was an uninspiring opening 25 minutes, and despite dominating the ball we weren’t looking hugely dangerous. Francis Coquelin unfortunately went off injured early on, and was replaced by Mikel Arteta. There were fears that we’d be exposed defensively, and we’ll come back to that later.
A free kick was earned deep into West Bromwich Albion territory, with Mesut Özil predictably standing over it. He whipped a ball into the box, and Giroud found himself in acres of space to nod home a relatively simple finish.
It was a quality ball and a deft header, but the defending from the home side was poor. We weren’t complaining though. 1-0.
Check out the goal below:
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Unfortunately, Coquelin’s departure did seem to effect us, and the Baggies were looking dangerous going forward. Arteta gave away a free kick, although he was unfairly penalised, as there was nothing wrong with the challenge and he clearly got the ball. We defended poorly from the resulting set piece, and James Morrison got ahead of the defence to knock it past Petr Cech. 1-1.
Moments later we were behind, more poor defending letting James McClean reach the byline. He cut across goal to nobody, by Arteta painfully knocked it into his own net. 2-1.
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We need to shape up in the second half, or risk finishing this weekend behind both Manchester clubs.