Van Persie inspires comfortable Arsenal win

Arsenal 3 West Brom 0

Another Robin van Persie-inspired performance saw Arsenal collect three points from this afternoon's encounter with West Brom.

The Holland international started the dreary midweek Champions League draw with Marseille on the bench, but was recalled to the starting line-up as Arsenal won their 400th Premier League game.

While unable to match his hat-trick heroics at Chelsea last weekend, Van Persie was the difference once more as he netted the first and then turned provider for both Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta.

Aaron Ramsey's exquisite through-ball helped the Arsenal skipper net his 11th league goal of the campaign, finishing from close range after Ben Foster blocked a Theo Walcott effort.

Vermaelen then netted his first goal for almost two years as he turned in a Van Persie cross and, after the break, Arteta fired home after neat work between the Dutchman and substitute Tomas Rosicky.

Van Persie and Laurent Koscielny were the only two changes Arsene Wenger made to his starting line-up heading into the match, while counterpart Roy Hodgson made four alterations to the side that lost 2-0 to Liverpool last weekend.

Arsenal started the stronger of the sides and dominated the early proceedings in north London, but were struggling to turn their possession into clear-cut chances.

Van Persie, fresh from collecting the October player of the month award, saw a shot blocked by Gareth McAuley inside the opening minute and then Andre Santos thumped a 20-yard free-kick over the bar.

Those attempts were all Arsenal had to show for their early exertions as the Baggies defended resolutely, with Jonas Olsson receiving a cut under his eye when challenging Vermaelen.

The patched-up Sweden international was forced to change shirt and shorts in order to continue for the visitors, who soon eked out their first opportunity as Simon Cox sent in a low cross that Zoltan Gera came close to pouncing on.

The Baggies were matching the home side with their endeavour, but were undone in the 22nd minute by an exquisite pass from Ramsey.

The Wales international's low ball cut through the West Brom defence and straight to Walcott, whose blocked shot fell kindly for Van Persie to net his 29th goal in 28 games this year.

The goal spurred Arsenal into life as they pressed for a second, with Arteta seeing a penalty shout rejected before Gervinho was adjudged offside in a dangerous position.

Wenger's side were still struggling to regularly test Ben Foster, but managed to double their advantage six minutes before the break.

Alex Song's ball to the back post was volleyed across goal by Van Persie, allowing Vermaelen to fire home his first of the season.

Arsenal continued to test West Brom's backline after the break and only a late block by McAuley stopped Carl Jenkinson's right-wing cross finding Gervinho.

Vermaelen headed just wide from the resulting corner as the home side pressed for a third, before Ramsey lashed across the face of goal.

West Brom were struggling to get out of their own half and only a quick reaction save from Foster thwarted a Song drive.

With less than 20 minutes remaining, Wenger brought on Yossi Benayoun and Rosicky in a bid to add another attacking dimension and force a third.

The move immediately had the desired effect as Arsenal scored with the next attack as Van Persie and Rosicky played a neat one-two, before the former teed up Arteta to fire home from 20 yards.

Somen Tchoyi saw a shot blocked by Vermaelen at the other end as West Brom looked to reduce the deficit, although Arsenal were still dominating the majority of possession.

Steven Reid tested Wojciech Szczesny with a late header, but the Gunners held out for a comfortable victory and a clean sheet.

PA

Arts and Entertainment
arts + entsWith one of the best comic roles around, it's no wonder she rarely bothers with films
News
people
News
i100
News
Davis says: 'My career has been about filling a niche - there were fewer short actors and fewer roles – but now I'm being offered all kinds of things'
PeopleWarwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
A Russian hunter at the Medved bear-hunting lodge in Siberia
Save the tigerWildlife charities turn to those who kill animals to help save them
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
News
i100
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Life and Style
A small bag of the drug Ecstasy
Health
News
i100
Life and Style
Floral-print swim shorts, £26, by Topman, topman.com; sunglasses, £215, by Paul Smith, mpaulsmith.co.uk
FashionBag yourself the perfect pair
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the Tiger: Meet the hunters tasked with protecting Russia's rare Amur tiger

Hunters protect Russia's rare Amur tiger

In an unusual move, wildlife charities have enlisted those who kill animals to help save them. Oliver Poole travels to Siberia to investigate
Transfers: How has your club fared in summer sales?

How has your club fared in summer sales?

Who have bagged the bargain buys and who have landed the giant turkeys
Warwick Davis: The British actor on Ricky Gervais, how the Harry Potter set became his office, and why he'd like to play a spy

'I'm a realist; I know how hard this business is'

Warwick Davis on Ricky Gervais, Harry Potter and his perfect role
The best swim shorts for men: Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer

The best swim shorts for men

Bag yourself the perfect pair and make a splash this summer
Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Has Ukip’s Glastonbury branch really been possessed by the devil?

Meet the couple blamed for bringing Lucifer into local politics
Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In grandfather's footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

Martha Stewart has flying robot

The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

The dining car makes a comeback

Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

Gallery rage

How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

Eye on the prize

Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

Women's rugby

Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup