Hopes for Cazorla return as Lacazette brace breaks the Baggies
France striker shines with two goals to keep Arsenal on five game unbeaten streak
25 September, 2017 — By Tom Foot
ARSENAL 2 (Lacazette 20, 67 pen)
WEST BROM 0
ARSENAL fans praying for the return of Santi Cazorla after tonight’s shaky 2-0 victory over West Brom will have to wait until after Christmas.
The midfield maestro, who has not played a professional game for 18 months, will soon be back in full training.
Wenger said: “The first signs are positive. He needs a few games with the reserve team. I think if all goes well after Christmas.”
The Gunners could have done with Cazorla’s invention against West Brom as they struggled to breakdown a typically well drilled Tony Pulis side.
There was an early scare in the 7th minute when Jay Rodriguez was upended by Shkodran Mustafi in the box. The striker got back up and curled a shot to the far left corner. Petr Cech produced a stunning one handed save to tip the shot onto the post.
Had the striker stayed down it would have been a cast iron penalty but the referee waved the advantage.
Alexandre Lacazette headed in the opener on 20 minutes after Alexis Sanchez free kick bounced back off the cross bar into his path. The summer signing added a penalty later on, struck confidently into the bottom right corner, after Aaron Ramsey was barged off the ball by Nyom.
Wenger said: “He is not only a goal scorer … he has good hold up play and fights, he looks to have adapted very well.”
Arsenal lie in 7th – one point behind Spurs – after a stuttering start to the season but Wenger praised his side’s home form.
Wenger complained that television companies had dealt him a “cruel schedule” with a tricky run of fixtures with Monday night, Thursday night in Belarus in the Europa League and then Sunday midday back at home against Brighton.
“There is no need to talk to the Premier League about that because it is television that decides,” he said. “I don’t complain about that, but the selection has an impact.”
ARSENAL: Cech, Kolasinac, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Bellerin, Ramsey (Maitland Niles 93), Xhaka, Sanchez (Ozil 83), Lacazette (Giroud 83).
Subs not used: Mertesacker, Wilshere, Ospina, Walcott
WEST BROMWICH ALBION: Foster, Gibbs, Nyom (Phillips 74), Dawson, Hegazy, Evans, Livermore (Morrison 63), Barry, Krychowiak, Rodriguez, Robson-Kanu (Rondon 64)
Subs not used: Brunt, Myhill, McClean, Yacob
Tickets sold 59,134