Gunners comeback from two goals down at West Brom
Arsenal produced a second-half fightback to snatch a 2-2 draw at West Brom, but they lost ground on Premier League leaders Manchester United.
The Gunners were huge favourites before kick-off to take all three points but it was the hosts who took the lead when Chris Brunt’s corner was met by Steven Reid, who scored his first goal for nearly five years to give West Brom the lead after just three minutes.
Arsene Wenger’s side failed to respond well to falling behind, performing under-par far until the game reached the half-hour mark.
Arsenal almost drew level when Robin van Persie hit the woodwork from Gael Clichy’s cross, with Scott Carson saving well from the rebound when Aaron Ramsey followed the Dutchman’s effort up.
The Gunners dominated the final stages of the first half but for all their possession were failing to create many chances in front of goal as they trailed at half-time.
Wenger introduced Marouane Chamakh at half-time for the largely anonymous Denilson as they looked to get back into the game.
The substitute had a half chance minutes before the Baggies had the chance to make it 2-0 when a superb move ended with Marek Cech crossing for Chris Brunt, who slid in to meet the ball by narrowly prodded the ball wide.
But the hosts did make it 2-0 after 58 minutes when Peter Odemwingie took advantage of a terrible decision by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, who came out of his goal to try and clear Youssef Mulumbu’s ball over the top, only to allow the striker to put the ball into the open goal from 25 yards out.
Arsenal pulled one back after 70 minutes through Andrey Arshavin when the forward – who had been disappointed throughout the game – combined with Chamakh before firing into the top corner.
The in the 78th minutes, Robin van Persie put Abdoulaye Meite under pressure as the West Brom player put the ball into his own net to give the Gunners an equaliser.
A late push forward from the Gunners in the final minutes but were forced to settle for a point as they saw the gap to leaders Manchester United increase after the leaders won 1-0 at home to Bolton.
Player ratings: Almunia 3; Sagna 5, Squillaci 5, Koscielny 6, Clichy 6; Denílson 4 (Chamakh ht 6), Wilshere 7, Nasri 7, Ramsey 6 (Bendtner 57 5), Arshavin 6; Van Persie 6