West Brom 0 Arsenal 4: Kieran Tierney stars with goal and assist as Gunners smash Baggies in the snow

ARSENAL sizzled in the snow to clock up a handy hat-trick of wins which saw them move up to 11th in the table.

It may not be where Mikel Arteta wanted or expected last season’s FA Cup winners to be after their first outing of 2021.

But it certainly made a mockery of Sam Allardyce’s recent claims that the Gunners were potential relegation battlers, like his Baggies!

On a night when the snow tumbled down, we shouldn’t have been surprised when a Scot wearing short sleeves mastered the conditions quicker than most to fire the visitors in front.

Kieran Tierney arrived at the Hawthorns in a foul mood after watching his old club Celtic’s ten-in-a-row title hopes melt away after losing their lunchtime Old Firm clash with bitter foes Rangers.

Poor old West Brom were the unfortunate ones on the receiving end of the Glaswegian’s wrath as he put them to the sword midway through the first half to bag his first goal of the season with a stunning opener.

Five minutes later Bukayo Sako finished off a slick move as Arteta’s boys hit top gear with a sensational interchange of passes to kill off big Sam’s boys pretty much before the break.

It might have been a different story had Albion been rewarded with a goal two minutes into the second half when Bernd Leno deflected a Matheus Pereira shot on to his far post and Callum Robinson rammed home the rebound.

However far-side linesman Harry Lennard raised his flag for offside to dash any faint hope the home side had of pulling off an unlikely second-half recovery.

But just in case they had other thoughts, Alexandre Lacazette helped himself to a quickfire double as Albion’s defence imploded.

Arsenal are beginning to show signs of the consistency Arteta craves following recent wins over Chelsea and Brighton.

And with home games against Crystal Palace and Newcastle next up – and another Emirates date with the Magpies in the FA Cup – Arsenal could get 2021 off to a pleasing start.

The same couldn’t be said for West Brom who look well capable of wrecking Big Sam’s record of never being relegated.

His side equalled an unwanted Premier League record by conceding three or more goals in four consecutive home fixtures – only the fourth team to achieve this far-from-impressive feat!

Allardyce has now lost 17 Premier League games to the Gunners which puts them level with Manchester City and United as the clubs who have put him to the sword more often than any others.

Arsenal virtually went into this game with a goal of a start – thanks to history and precedent.

Incredibly, the Gunners had scored in 25 successive top-flight games against the Baggies – last failing to do so in 0-0 draw at The Hawthorns in November 1985.

That represents the the best 100 per cent scoring record by one side against an opponent in top-flight history – the only real surprise was it took them as long as it did to stretch that record to 26 games.

Hector Bellerin had an early shot kept out by Sam Johnstone’s right foot before the ‘keeper got down well to smother a low Saka potshot.

Arsenal were ripping Baggies five-man defence to shreds down both flanks with Saka particularly troublesome on the right.

He couldn’t believe he hadn’t broken the deadlock after 16 minutes when he flashed in a left-foot shot which beat Johnstone, only for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to lose his footing and just fail to connect at the far stick.

The Gunners almost paid a heavy price when Albion carved out their one real chance of the half five minutes later.

Pereira clipped a cute chip over Arsenal’s spreadeagled defence on a rare break and Matt Phillips burst through but cursed when he shot straight at Leno, who palmed the ball down to deny him.

Two minutes later the floodgates finally opened and it was Tierney who did the damage from the left, beating Darnell Furlong twice before cutting inside him and unleashing a screamer of a right-foot shot which found the top bin of Johnstone’s net.

Tierney’s blood-curdling battle-cry suggested Arsenal were well and truly up for the fight.

If that goal was a piece of individual magic, then their second was all about teamwork as Bellerin, Emile Smith Rowe, Lacazette, Smith Rowe again combined to put Sako clear.

And the youngster expertly finished off a stunning 12-pass move which started with Bellerin’s throw-in.

Big Sam sent on Charlie Austin for Grady Diangana at the break but he could have put his entire bench on and it would have made no difference as Arsenal swatted his strugglers aside.

Johnstone as always, did his best to defy the odds and made a string of super saves.

But he could do nothing to prevent Lacazette polishing Albion off with a double.

The first on 61 minutes came after Ajayi had thumped a Saka cross off his own post.

Smith Rowe’s rebound was blocked by fell to Laca who smashed it home.

And the striker made it five goals in four games when he provided the finishing touch to convert Tierney’s teasing cross.

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