Controversial penalty earns West Brom draw with Arsenal

"West Brom is going to be a tough one, but we've got the players and staff for it and the fans behind us, so we need to try and get three points at home and it will be very important for us to start the New Year on a good note".

Unlike at Selhurst Park, all of Arsenal's players - barring petr Cech - celebrated with the Chilean worldwide.

Considering Manchester City's injury problems, whether Sanchez remains at the club remains to be seen but he made his mark in an otherwise bad game - only for it to end in controversy.

Alan Pardew's side had early encouragement when Matt Phillips crossed and Petr Cech dived to catch a Rodriguez header.

Arsenal immediately went up the other end and Alexandre Lacazette's drive deflected just wide off Jonny Evans.

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Iwobi also forced Ben Foster to push away another shot safety but Arsene Wenger's team did not have it all their own way.

Allan Nyom came on for West Brom as Pardew looked to protect a point, but his side nearly had the lead when Rodriguez had an effort parried by Cech and McClean's angled follow-up was charged down.

Arsenal suffered a blow seven minutes from time when Saed Kolasinac was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles due to injury.

Arsenal had begun the second half dreadfully but they might have led on the hour-mark when Lacazette came to life following an exchange of passes with Iwobi on the edge of the penalty area.

A knee injury kept Mesut Ozil out of the Arsenal side and they missed the guile of the Germany worldwide as they struggled to create any real openings in the first half.

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Arsenal were increasingly desperate for a breakthrough with Iwobi trying an ambitious shot from distance that Foster held comfortably.

The visitors' pressure increased in the closing stages and Sanchez struck the vital blow when his free-kick glanced in off James McClean, but Rodriguez levelled in the 89th minute to leave Wenger furious.

But six minutes later Jay Rodriguez equalised for West Brom as the Premier League's bottom club collected a draw their dogged display merited, even if the manner of its arrival was hugely contentious.

Rodriguez stung the hands of Cech with a decent shot.

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