Last Updated: 08/12/12 4:52pm
And that's it! Arsenal take hold of three precious points, and they've looked well worth it this afternoon. It's back to the drawing board for West Brom, who will be hoping today's performance is merely a blip on the radar. Well, I hope you've enjoyed it! I'm Ryan Gordon and here's wishing you a great rest of your weekend. Cheers all!
Kieran Gibbs puts a really dangerous delivery in across the face of goal, but all his team-mates are on the edge of the area and Albion have plenty of time to clear their lines.
How Podolski did not score now is beyond me. He's completely unmarked inside the area and has the entire goal to aim at, but somehow he scoops his shot up and miles over the crossbar. Strange one from the Germany international, that. Meanwhile, there will be four minutes of time added on, of which we've already had 60 seconds.
Arsenal play the ball around inside the six-yard area they look to walk the ball in, but Wilshere's shot is blocked from close-range as a good chance goes begging.
Final change of the game for Arsenal now as Santi Cazorla leaves the field of play to a standing ovation, with Lukas Podolski coming on for the final few minutes.
A rare shot on target for Szczesny to save, and the goalkeeper does well to push away Long's effort. The resulting corner picks out Lukaku in the area, but he gets his header all wrong and the ball bounces harmlessly out.
Arsenal show glimpses of their former selves as they effortlessly string together a series of passes, but they uncharacteristically give the ball away, but Albion, as has been the story of their day, just can't seem to make anything of the chance and the Arsenal defenders can relax.
Around seven minutes plus stoppages to go here in north London, and it's three vital points almost secured for Arsene Wenger's side as they look to return to their customary position in the top-four of the standings. They'll still finish the day behind West Brom, mind you.
Gervinho's afternoon is over as he's brought off to be replaced by the recently returned Thomas Rosicky.
A series of errors in the Arsenal defence allows West Brom a chance to find target, but Rosenburg's shot is blocked point-blank.
Mikel Arteta takes responsibility for this one, but he can't complete his hat-trick as his effort flies just wide.
Steven Reid is shown a yellow card now as he shoulder barges into Gervinho with a bit too much force for the referee's liking. Arsenal, meanwhile, have a free-kick in a very promising position...
A change for Arsenal now as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who has put in a full shift this afternoon, makes way for Francis Coquelin.
The substitute's first piece of action is almost to run clean through on goal from Lukaku's pass, but Vermaelen just gets a toe to the ball and deflects the pass to one of his team-mates.
Brilliant again from Arsenal as Oxlade-Chamberlain breaks down the wing before delivering a peach of a delivery, but Myhill just gets in front of Giroud to palm the danger away.
Arsenal win another free-kick and try to take it short, but the referee isn't having it and makes them wait for the whistle. When the set-piece is eventually taken it's not a bad delivery and forces the defence to play the ball out for a corner.
Cazorla plays the ball over the top for Giroud to chase, with the Frenchman keeping the ball in play before seemingly winning a corner off Olsson, but the linesman saw it differently and awards a goal-kick.
More slick passing from the Gunners now as Wilshere's touch plays Oxlade-Chamberlain in behind the defenders, but his cut-back is well blocked and eventually goes out off Giroud for a goal-kick.
West Brom just don't seem to have an answer for Arsenal's movement today, which has been miles better than what has been on display during some of the previous matches this season.
Arsenal have a free-kick right on the edge of the area now as Shane Long just bundles Gervinho out of the way. It's Santi Cazorla who lines this one up, but his effort is straight at the wall.
Sanga whips in a decent delivery from out wide, which Giroud manages to get onto, but the Frenchman can't direct his header and the ball loops well over.
Per Mertesacker is the latest to go into the referee's note book, and this one as well is for apparently talking back to the official.
The Arsenal fans are in full voice now inside the Emirates Stadium and can sense the three points are staying in North London.
It's Mikel Arteta who lines up the spot-kick again, and once more the Spaniard goes down the middle in what was almost a carbon copy of his first goal.
The corner is eventually taken but it's not a very good one and Arsenal have possession. Gibbs gets the move going and it's a sweeping one, and Alex Oxlande-Cahmberlain eventually wins his side a penalty, although the Baggies players are furious because they thought the Englishman had fouled Brunt in the build-up...
Steven Reid takes responsbility for this one, and Giroud's sliced clearance flies out for a corner. There'll be a change before it's taken though, with Peter Odemwingie being replaced by Romelu Lukaku.
West Brom are getting closer with their free-kicks, and this one is in a really dangerous position...
What a glorious chance for Arsenal to double their lead as Giroud flicks Cazorla's clipped pass back into the danger zone, but Gervinho doesn't show enough strength to get in front of the ball and McAuley does enough to put the striker off.
Meanwhile, Chris Brunt is shown a yellow card for apparent dissent towards the referee's assistant on the near side.
A corner for West Brom is floated to the far-post where Szczesny tries to come but only flaps at the ball, but there's no-one in an Albion shirt underneath the ball and the chance is gone.
An old-school drop-ball now after the referee had brought play to a halt for what he thought was a head injury for Long, but the official got it wrong and felt a new kick-off was in order.
Tempers are starting to flare inside the Emirates, and it's a double booking now as Olivier Giroud and Jonas Olsson both see yellow after getting up in each other's faces.
Arsenal threaten now as Gervinho feeds Cazorla on the edge of the area, and the Spaniard skips round two defenders before appearing to be blocked off, but the referee waves away the appeals, although it was a more legitimate foul than the earlier one that led to the penalty.
West Brom are seeing much more of the ball in this half, and they've just won another free-kick in a dangerous position out wide following a rash tackle from Mertesacker. Brunt delivers once more, but he slips as he makes a connection and Arsenal can break. Arteta leads the move by Wilshere takes his eye off the ball as the Spaniard passes, and the Albion defence easily gather up the danger.
Jack Wilshere looks to play Gervinho through on goal, but the midfielder gets too much purchase on his pass and the ball rolls through to Myhill.
Chris Brunt floats it in and McAuley gets on the end of it, but he can't direct his header and the ball bounces out for a goal-kick.
Richard Bogusz has a bone to pick with the Arsenal manager, and says: If it was'nt for George Graham - Wenger would not have won anything. Because it was the defence that started him off on the road to success. He won't ever be sacked because he makes money for the board which have made them even richer than they already were. Wenger has lost the plot but how much money has Wenger pocketed lately??
Quinlan Baker-Peng writes: After a poor season for Arsenal so far, this could be the turning point! 3-0 final score with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Cazorla getting the goals
The half closes out without much more goal-mouth action, and I think Arsene Wenger's only complaint will be their wastefulness in front of goal. Steve Clarke, meanwhile, has a big speech to give his players in the dressing room. Join me after the break to find out who gets it right in the second period.
The fourth official shows there will be two minutes of time added on. In the mean-time, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clearly has all the confidence in his own ability as he goes for a spectacular bicycle-kick, but he can't get his angles right and the ball flies over the crossbar.
Once more Gervinho is played in behind the defence, but once more his delivery is poor and floats to the far-post where it's easily picked up by the defenders.
Arsenal are turning the screw in the closing stages here. Cazorla's miss-hit shot is controlled by Gervinho, whose low drive is well-saved by Myhill, and Wilshere is just blocked off as he looks to smack the rebound home.
Another free-kick for Albion now, and Per Mertesacker appears to handle the ball in the area, but the referee correctly adjudges the Arsenal defender to have been pushed, and the home side are awarded the foul.
Around six minutes until the break now, and Clarke will probably be hoping to get his side down the tunnel with the score only at 1-0.
Arsenal really should be 2-0 up now, but some more poor decision making from Gervinho sees a great chance go begging. The Ivorian is played in behind the defence and again has four team-mates to pick out in the area, but he holds off on the delivery before getting it in at the very last moment, but by then the defenders had already gotten back and Giroud's laboured stretch only sends the ball wide of the mark.
The Frenchman gets a bit of a talking to from the referee now for going in a bit hard on the back of his marker. Meanwhile, at the other end a West Brom free-kick is whipped in dangerously, but Olsson is off-side and the play is brought back.
The Gunners playing some keep-ball at the moment as they're momentarily down to 10 men. Giroud is back on the pitch though, and Podolski returns to his seat on the substitutes' bench.
Olivier Giroud is on the floor and looks to be in a considerable amount of pain. It wasn't a tackle that hurt the striker, who is clutching his back, and it looks more like a pulled muscle. Lukas Podolski starts warming up...
West Brom fans have finally found their voice: Barrie, Baggies fan, Albion's defence won't be able to handle the speed of Arsenal's attack,they need more organisation and better defenders.
Russell Sealey is back and writes: the gunners have most of the posession but we dont have that killer ball that puts the strikers through on goal
More pressure from the hosts and another corner. Mertesacker's up for this one, but besides the delivery being cleared by the first man, the referee's whistle goes for a bit of argy-bargy inside the area.
Replays show the referee may have been duped by Cazorla there, with the Baggies man appearing to not actually have touched the midfielder, who went down anyway. Question marks sure to hang over that moment, but as it stands it's Arsenal 1, West Brom 0.
Mikel Arteta is handed spot-kick duties, and the Spaniard doesn't disappoint as he calmly places his shot straight down the middle with the goalkeeper already committed.
Penalty to Arsenal! End-to-end stuff now as Gervinho breaks down the right before riding the challenge of his marker and breaking through on goal, but his attempted cut-back can't find a team-mate. The visitors clear, but not too well and Cazorla has the ball back and is eventually brought down by Brunt inside the area...
Up at the other end and Albion create their first real chance as the ball is played through to Brunt on the edge of the area, but his rasping curler is always rising and fizzes over the angle of the woodwork.
Shane Long plays the ball straight to an Arsenal player to allow the hosts to break, but a slide ball for Gervinho is well intercepted and the visitors can clear.
The Gunners get in behind as Cazorla threads the ball through for Oxlade-Chamberlain, but the move breaks down as the linesman's flag is raised for off-side.
A break in play now as Chris Brunt is down and needs some attention from the medical staff. He's ordered off the park to receive it though, while his calls to book Sagna for his early tackle is not taken well by the referee.
The Baggies finally get hold of the ball for more than a few moments, but they needlessly give possession away as Zoltan Gera's attempted flick is to no-one but the Arsenal defence.
Hardly a moment for the visiting defence to catch their breaths as Oxlade-Chamberlain bursts down the wing before hanging up a gorgeous delivery, but Cazorla can't get his body shape right for the volley and skews his effort well over.
Brilliant free-kick from Cazorla now that curls into the area with real pace, but none of his team-mates can get a head on it, while Oxlade-Chamberlain's follow-up shot is blocked.
It's been all Arsenal in the opening stages of this match, although Per Mertesacker almost plays his goalkeeper into a world of trouble with a miss-placed back-pass, but there's no-one in an Albion shirt to pick up the loose ball and the keeper trots over to regain possession
Kieran Gibbs puts in a cross that isn't going anywhere in particular, but the West Brom defenders aren't taking any chances and clear for a corner. The set-piece isn't too bad but it's too close to Myhill who can punch well clear.
We've seen Santi Cazorla score from distance before this season, but he's lacking in accuracy this time as he bends his effort well wide of the top corner.
Arsenal attack again through Jack Wilshere as he breaks through the middle of the park with real purpose, but Gervinho is not on the same wave length as the rest of his team-mates and makes a different run to where the Englishman had wanted him to go and a stray pass bounces out for a throw.
Sagna gives away possession in the final third but then Arsenal quickly win it back as Giroud plays the ball wide to Gervinho, but with four players waiting in the middle the winger decides to instead go for a shot, but he's instantly closed down and the chance is gone.
A forced change for Albion now as Liam Ridgewell has picked up an injury and comes off for Goran Popov.
An early corner for Arsenal now as Kieran Gibbs' attempted cross is deflected behind. Santi Cazorla whips it in and it's initially dealt with, but the ball comes back in and Giroud does well to put Myhill under pressure, and the ball falls perfectly for Gervinho but he can't find target and drags his close-range shot wide. Really should have done better there, the Arsenal man.
A chance for Albion as Shane Long breaks in behind the Arsenal defence, but Szczesny is off his line in a flash and can clear. Gervinho is almost released at the other end, but some quick defending see the ball nipped off the Ivorian.
Only a few scrappy passes to tell you about in the opening moments of this game. Meanwhile, Russell Sealey says: I really think arsenal are in need of a reformation.. i have been an arsenal fan since the age of 4 and the last few years have not impressed me.
Ciaran Dunphy is the first to be heard and emails in: No midweek Champions League football for most of this Arsenal team meaning no excuses if they fail to win. I cannot take another loss or draw at home. Just win Arsene.
We're less than 10 minutes away from the kick-off now and the two teams are just moments away from being led out by today's referee Mike Jones.
For West Brom, Peter Odemwingie returns to the starting XI after being rested last time out against Stoke, while Romelu Lukaku is on the bench. Boaz Myhill overcomes a stomach bug to start in goal, while third-choice goalkeeper Luke Daniels is on the bench with Ben Foster injured. Yassine El Ghanassy and Billy Jones were not so lucky with their respective stomach ailments though and remain in the infirmary.
So, Arsene Wenger has to do without Theo Walcott who is struggling with a calf strain, but Lukas Podolski seems to have shrugged off his injury but is on the bench. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain starts in the midfield, while Olivier Giroud looks set to play the lone-striker's role. Laurent Koscielny (thigh) and Andre Santos (abdomen) are both out though, but Bacary Sagna overcomes an ankle problem to start.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Wilshere, Arteta, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, Giroud Subs: Martinez, Rosicky, Podolski, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin, Jenkinson
West Brom: Myhill, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell, Brunt, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gera, Odemwingie, Long Subs: Daniels, Popov, Rosenberg, Dorrans, Lukaku, Tamas, Fortune
The team sheets have come across my desk, but before we look at those why not get involved by emailing your thoughts or predictions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get the banter going.
Reckon you know the score? Think you got it in you to predict who'll get the goals? Well, why not pop over to our friends at Sky Bet and up the ante on today's encounter more than just a little bit, with Arsenal at 1/2 for a win and West Brom 5/1 for the points, while a draw is at 100/30 and Olivier Giroud is 4/1 to open the scoring. Good luck!
Form can sometimes count for little though, and the Arsenal will always remain a dangerous opponent. The Baggies, though, might feel they have the momentum to power past the wobbling Londoners and maintain their march towards the top-four. They'll also be looking for some revenge over last season's results, with today's home side having pulled the double over Albion, including that thrilling final-day 3-2 victory that gave Arsenal their place in the Champions League.
Meanwhile, with none of the on-field problems currently facing the north London club, are West Brom. Sitting pretty in fifth at the start of play today, it's been a superb start from Steve Clarke's side, with the boss having guided them to the final European qualifying position and, if you dare to dream that high, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United.
It's been an out-of-sorts season for Arsenal, to say the very least. The Gunners currently sit 10th in the Premier League standings with just 21 points from their opening 15 league matches - their worst start to a top-flight season for some 18 years. Manager Arsene Wenger would seemingly be feeling the intense pressure from the fans and the club's board, but the Frenchman is, as ever, sticking to his guns.