Arsenal have found their penalty-box poacher in Alexandre Lacazette
Arsenal were worthy winners as two goals from Alexandre Lacazette helped them to a 2-0 victory over West Brom, but they had to survive some difficult moments in the first half in particular. Not least when Shkodran Mustafi was incredibly lucky not to concede an early penalty for a reckless sliding tackle on Jay Rodriguez.
Referee Bobby Madeley played on, and the visitors will feel hugely aggrieved by such a bad decision. There were penalty shouts for the Gunners as well for fouls on Nacho Monreal and Alexis Sanchez. The Spanish defender made an incredible goal-line clearance to keep his side in front after Lacazette had put them ahead, reacting quickest to a Sanchez free kick which came back off the bar.
Arsenal were better in the second half, and had more control, and it was a penalty which gave them a cushion. A foul on Aaron Ramsey gave Lacazette the chance to double the lead, and he made no mistake.
There were chances to score more, but it would have added gloss to an overall performance that didn't quite merit it. Arsenal got their three points in a functional if somewhat uninspiring win.
Two goals for Lacazette brings his Premier League tally to four from five starts, with all of them coming at the Emirates. His eye for goal is obvious and Arsenal have lacked a sharp penalty-box poacher for many years. At the back Monreal was superb throughout, and the second-half performance was one which fully merited the win.
Where Arsenal have been vulnerable this season is when they've been sloppy and caught in possession. There were instances in the first half when a better side would have punished them more harshly. Mustafi was hugely fortunate not to concede a penalty, and there were times when they conceded possession far too easily. It's an ongoing issue and one that needs to be corrected soon.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- A win, a clean sheet, his starting XI won the game for him, so a decent night for Arsene Wenger.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Petr Cech, 7 -- Didn't have a huge amount to do. The one time he was beaten his clean sheet was kept intact by a brilliant clearance. Strong from crosses which is West Brom's main threat.
DF Laurent Koscielny, 7 -- Marshalled the back line well, rarely caught out and positionally excellent.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 5 -- He had a decent game overall, but his continued insistence on making sliding tackles in dangerous areas is an issue that Wenger and his coaching staff have to address as quickly as possible. He was let off the hook by absurd refereeing tonight and can count himself very lucky.
DF Nacho Monreal, 9 -- Fantastic all night long, his desire to defend encapsulated by that clearance off the line. Got forward well at times, too.
MF Hector Bellerin, 7 -- Had a good tussle with former teammate Kieran Gibbs, the two nullified each other well but the Spaniard was dangerous going forward.
MF Sead Kolasinac, 7 -- Another solid performance from the solid Bosnian. He made that left hand side a barren area for West Brom, their attacking seeds could find no purchase.
MF Mohamed Elneny, 7 -- He covered a lot of ground, making attacking runs down both flanks, but was always an option in midfield as Arsenal dominated possession.
MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- Looked off the pace in the first half in particular, and his set-piece delivery was a bit below it's usual high standard.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 7 -- The quality and timing of his runs into the box is exceptional, playing further forward allowed him to do it more often, but it's a shame his teammates so rarely found the right pass for him.
MF Alexis Sanchez, 7 -- Another mixed bag from the Chilean. Some moments of great quality interspersed with some carelessness, but played his part in the opening goal.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 -- His first goal was the result of his positioning and anticipation, his second a perfectly dispatched penalty. His all-round game was good, and he looks to be growing into the team well.
FW Olivier Giroud, N/R -- Still seeking his 100th Arsenal goal, didn't really have a chance on Monday.
MF Mesut Ozil, N/R -- He played for eight minutes with the game basically won.
MF Ainsley Maitland-Niles, N/R -- Came on with 60 seconds to go.
Andrew Mangan is one of ESPN FC's Arsenal bloggers. You can follow him on Twitter: @arseblog.