Arsenal pip Tottenham to third with win over West Brom

17:57 13 May 2012

Arsenal

Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny (far left) celebrates scoring his side's third goal of the game with teammates

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Premier League: West Bromwich Albion 2 Arsenal 3

Arsenal pipped Tottenham to an automatic Champions League spot with a dramatic victory over West Brom and they will have Baggies’ goalkeeper Marton Fulop to thank after a nightmare display between the sticks.

Fulop, who replaced the injured Ben Foster, was at fault for all three Gunners goals from Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Laurent Koscielny as Arsene Wenger’s side came from 2-1 down to win.

Albion had netted through Shane Long and Graham Dorrans after Benayoun’s opener, but Fulop’s horror show meant the Gunners ended the season with a win.

Most importantly, the result will also give the club a stronger hand to play in attempting to keep hold of leading scorer and skipper Robin van Persie.

Albion will now look to find a successor for Hodgson and attempt to build on a second successive mid-table finish.

Arsenal were the first to settle and a mistake by Fulop gifted Benayoun the opening goal after three minutes.

Van Persie and James Morrison challenged for the ball in midfield and the ball ricocheted into the path of Fulop.

But he appeared to stumble when under no pressure and Benayoun was left with the simplest of tasks to knock the ball into an empty net.

Albion retaliated and Wojciech Szczesny produced a fine low save to keep out a shot on the turn from a narrow angle by Marc-Antoine Fortune.

But after 11 minutes the fit-again Long brought the Baggies on level terms.

He chased down a pass from Morrison and hammered a low shot past Szczesny into the corner of the net.

Wenger appealed in vain for offside with the fourth official but Long appeared to be played onside by Carl Jenkinson.

Three minutes later an equally clinical finish from Dorrans put the Baggies in front.

Morrison was again the creator and Dorrans gave Szczesny no chance of saving with a similar finish to that of Long.

Gareth McAuley blocked an effort from Benayoun inside the box and a Van Persie free-kick hit the defensive wall, but after half an hour Santos brought the Gunners level.

Fulop got a hand to his swerving left-footed drive from 20 yards out but could only parry it into the corner of the net.

Play was moving from end to end and Van Persie became the first player to be booked seven minutes before half-time for a touchline challenge on McAuley.

Wenger brought on Theo Walcott in place of Tomas Rosicky for the second half.

The visitors started the period on the offensive and a cross-shot from Santos was only just off target.

Albion were forced to reshuffle after 51 minutes when the impressive Morrison limped out of the action to be replaced by Keith Andrews.

Fulop’s horror show continued when another mistake gifted Koscielny a goal after 54 minutes to restore Arsenal’s lead.

The former Sunderland goalkeeper punched a corner from Van Persie back towards his own goal and Koscielny made no mistake from four yards out.

Albion tried to recover and a Jonas Olsson header was deflected over his own bar by Van Persie.

Then Szczesny reacted quickly to turn aside a shot on the turn from Andrews.

In injury-time substitute Kieran Gibbs produced a vital block on Billy Jones’ shot after he burst into the box.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Submit your Arsenal player ratings

Latest Arsenal news

Friday, March 27, 2015
Mateo Kovacic of FC Inter (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

Inter Milan midfielder Mateo Kovacic has suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury on international duty with Croatia, chief medic Boris Nemec confirmed.

Thursday, March 26, 2015
Roy Hodgson is set to hand Harry Kane his England debut (Pictures: Getty)

England manager Roy Hodgson has backed man-of-the-moment Harry Kane to succeed in international football - but stopped short of revealing whether he would make his debut against Lithuania.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool target Sami Khedira  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Schalke manager Roberto Di Matteo has admitted it is unlikely he will be able to attract Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedia to the club this summer.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Liverpool player Daniel Sturridge (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Daniel Sturridge will join Martin Skrtel and Steven Gerrard on the sidelines for Liverpool’s crucial Premier League game against Arsenal, while Raheem Sterling remains a doubt.

Friday, March 27, 2015
Andros Townsend of Tottenham (Photo by PA)

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has criticised Roy Hodgson’s decision to pick Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker for the England squad.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Arsenal Transfer News