Arsenal secured their first English Premier League victory since the middle of November with their 2-0 triumph over West Bromwich Albion at home on December 8, 2012. However, the game was marred by poor officiating, as is becoming the case much more often in the past several years.
In the 23rd minute of the match, Santi Cazorla was awarded a penalty for what replay has shown to be clearly a dive as West Brom defender Steven Reid never made contact with the Spaniard. The result was Mikel Arteta sending the Gunners into the lead thanks to his first of two goals from the spot on the day.
Since the incident, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has since seen the replay and has been shaky in his players diffidence according to comments from Goal.com:
I am sorry if it was not a penalty. I have spoken to Santi and he said he has been touched and lost his balance. Maybe he made more of it, I don’t know.
It’s a difficult decision, it can go against you, it went for us today. That’s what it is. What I mean is, when he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty. Of course [I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched]. I will look at it, don’t worry.
We were a bit lucky maybe on the first penalty because he could have given it or not given it.
For the rest we created many chances, kept a clean sheet and have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game. That’s all we could do, we did our job very well.
I feel overall we played well. They tried to stop us playing, they are physically strong and they played deep. Their keeper started very early in the game to gain time, and we were a bit nervous. I think that showed in the way we took our chances. But you could feel that we were ready for a fight and we knew we absolutely had to win this game.
Whether Wenger believes that his side played well or not is up for debate. Arsenal created multiple chances, but their finishing touch was found to be left wanting more times than many as the club only scored twice due to Mikel Arteta slotting home two goals from the spot.
Arsenal have a quick turn around as they face Bradford City int he Capital One Cup quarter finals on Tuesday Dec. 11, and the side will hope to continue their return to form.
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