Arsenal blew away the cobwebs with some breathtaking attacking play in a 4-1 win over West Brom on Sunday. Having gone three homes games without scoring, the Gunners were firing once again, thanks to Theo Walcott.
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It was 4-0 at half time as English duo Walcott and Jack Wilshere ripped Tony Pulis’ Baggies to shreds. Walcott – who may now be demanding an FA Cup final start on the back of his heroics today – got the Gunners off to a terrific start as he gave the ball an almighty whack that blazed it into the top corner.
Despite having to play second fiddle for the majority of the season to the likes of Danny Welbeck, Chuba Akpom and main man Olivier Giroud, Walcott now has some evidence he should be getting more starts.
Indeed, Walcott now has more goals than Danny Welbeck, despite the former Manchester United man’s many opportunities. Surely this puts him ahead of his England teammate in the pecking order? If not, it’s unclear just what more he has to do.
Walcott got in on the act again with his second just 12 minutes later. A slick Arsenal move saw Walcott pick up the ball on the edge of the box before dodging a number of challenges and poking the ball past Boaz Myhill in the Baggies goal.
It certainly looks like Wilshere is back to his best. Perhaps he too will be badgering Arsene Wenger for a look-in in the FA Cup final starting XI, having played his best game in several months.
Teed up by Gabriel, the 23-year-old took an incredible swipe at the ball from the edge of the box with his left boot and cannoned a half volley into the top right corner.
And Walcott got his third on the back of a lovely interchange between Santi Cazorla and Wilshere. The Spaniard weaved past a few challenges before cutting the ball across the goal with his left boot.
Myhill will was beaten in the West Brom goal and the ball looked like it might just creep in but Walcott made sure with a tap-in at the back post.
West Brom salvaged a little dignity in the second half with a goal from Gareth McAuley.
Goalkeeper David Ospina should be expected to do a lot better in that situation and it’s another addition to the list of blunders the Colombian has committed this season.
McAuley gets in front of Ospina to head the ball into an empty goal. Surely raised arms should be higher than headers?
Arsenal were putting on perhaps their most coherent attacking display since their 4-1 thumping of Liverpool, and Wenger’s reaction to a flurry of Aaron Ramsey strikes that cannoned twice of the post was priceless.