By Randy Osae
A win is a win, no matter how or by how many – that is exactly what Arsenal believed and did today. On his Premier League debut, Samir Nasri did what few have – that is, score just four minutes in with what proved to be the game winner in the end. There were frustrations about Arsenal’s lack of killer-instinct, leaving the result in the air, but what matters, is the 3 points.
The only change in Wenger’s line-up was Bendtner and Nasri coming in for Van Persie and Ramsey. Last year, it took just seconds after kick-off of Arsenal’s season to go behind to Fulham, this time on, it was the opposite. An intelligent move on the left, helped by Denilson and finished by Nasri gave Arsenal a dream start.
Then there were signs of a thrashing to come as Arsenal began to fire anyhow. Gallas, Sagna and Nasri all saw their shots come close to registering Arsenal’s second. West Brom rarely saw the other end and at half time, it was comforting, but a little incomplete by Arsenal as goal number two was still desired.
The second half saw the Baggies warn Arsenal about a haunt to come. The visitors through Miller came close, but Almunia’s save was enough. There was a little frustration then in Arsenal’s defense as Djourou and Almunia were against Gallas. But it was sorted out when Arsenal began to boss the game again. Adebayor made a great run on the right, met up with the keeper, swerved the ball to the other side of the net stylishly, but it missed by centimeters.
Nasri and Clichy were imperious on the left. The two French men, especially the new signing showed attacking strength and incredible pace throughout. But Arsenal’s search for a killer goal continued as Van Persie and Toure later came on for Bendtner and Walcott. The Dutchman’s strike with his weaker foot went just wide after an anxious berth. West Brom brought memories of last season’s woes in the late minutes when they looked poised for an equalizer. What made it even possible was the bringing-on of Bednar – their striker caught Arsenal’s back a few times, but the Gunners were resilient.
The second goal never came after several opportunities – there is still a lackluster feeling, but Arsenal did it the hard way to earn those three important points.