Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Football : Arsenal 2 - 0 West Brom


Sanchez Watt scored his first senior goal as an Arsenal side featuring eight teenagers saw off 10-man West Brom.
The Baggies' hopes suffered a blow when ex-Gunners trainee Jerome Thomas was sent off after 37 minutes for a clash with Jack Wilshere.
Arsenal needed 68 minutes to open the scoring, Watt pouncing after substitute Carlos Vela's shot was saved.
Vela then took advantage of a mistake by Leon Barnett to tap in after Mark Randall's chip came off the bar.
As expected, Arsene Wenger stuck to his policy of blooding his young players in the Carling Cup, with the likes of keeper Wojciech Szczesny and forwards Watt and Gilles Sunu getting their chance to shine.
Philippe Senderos and Mikael Silvestre added experience at the back, and took the average age of the team to just over 20, but it was the Baggies who had the better of the first half.
Simon Cox and Rob Koren forced good saves from Szczesny, while Kerrea Gilbert and Kieran Gibbs cleared off the line for the Gunners, but Thomas's petulance cost the visitors.
The 26-year-old was shown a straight red card when he shoved Wilshere to the floor as the pair clashed following the Arsenal midfielder's challenge.
But the Gunners continued to toil until Wenger introduced Mexican star Vela just before the hour mark.
The 20-year-old, who missed the start of the season with an ankle injury, created space for a shot which Dean Kiely could only palm into the path of Watt, who showed great poise to slot in the opener.
Vela made the game safe after 75 minutes - albeit with some help from Baggies defender Barnett.
After Randall's 20-yard chip came back off the bar, Barnett tried to chest the ball back to Kiely only for Vela to steal in.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:"When Vela came on, straight away he made a difference.
"He is dangerous in his control, movement and class. He gives you something special.
"He still has work to do on his fitness, but he is in my plans."
West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo on the sending off:"Thomas went to shake hands with Wilshere, he refused and Thomas reacted. I am disappointed Wilshere did not accept his hand.
"That was the turning point. I felt before Thomas got sent off, we were starting to get on top of them."

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