Arsenal took on West Brom on Saturday afternoon needing to get back on track in the Premier League after their home defeat to Manchester United last weekend.
A positive result against Borussia Dortmund in mid-week did lift spirits but the Gunners found themselves 15 points off the pace in the domestic title chase at kick off this afternoon.
As a result, the fact they took all three points thanks to a Danny Welbeck header will be fantastic tonic for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal fans who have already endured their fair share of poor luck this season.
Rather than give you a match report, here’s the Arsenal player ratings for the match today…
Emiliano Martinez - 6
In the first half West Brom did not muster a single shot attempt, and while they improved in the second half, it was a pretty easy afternoon for the young stopper.
Calum Chambers - 6
Solid if unspectacular from the former-Saint. Didn’t get forward as often as Kieran Gibbs but did his job when tasked with defending.
Laurent Koscielny - 7
Arsenal fans will be delighted to see the Frenchman back. His pace and cover provide the perfect compliment to Per Mertesacker and the Gunners looked much more solid at the back.
Per Mertesacker - 7
The German will be another delighted to see Koscielny return as he looks much better when alongside a defender quick enough to sweep up behind him. Managed West Brom’s late assault well.
Kieran Gibbs - 7
Got forward to good effect on the left and didn’t have much to worry about going back. If he stays fit, then Arsenal will have something approaching a full strength defence.
Mathieu Flamini - 6
Effective defensive shield. Flamini has always been solid in these types of scrappy games, it’s when Arsenal need more in attack that the Frenchman struggles.
Aaron Ramsey - 6
Still not back to last season’s form, Ramsey was good enough for the Gunners today. He’s still their most dynamic central midfield presence, and he spurned one good opportunity to find the net in the first half. Last season, it would have gone in.
Santi Cazorla - 8
Man of the match performance from Cazorla. Missed a couple of chances to open the scoring but was involved in all good things and crafted the winner beautifully for Welbeck.
Alexis Sanchez - 6
Plenty of effort as you’d expect from the Chilean but West Brom did a good job keeping him under wraps. One of his quietest games since joining from Barcelona.
Danny Welbeck - 8
The match-winner. Welbeck took his header well, powering home from Cazorla’s inviting centre. Really good performance from the England international.
Olivier Giroud - 6
Cazorla and Welbeck were the key contributors today, leaving Giroud to forage unsuccessfully for large parts of the match. He’s still working his way back to fitness, so there’s nothing to worry about. Arsenal benefited from his presence as a focal point, even if not much came off for him during the game.