Arsenal 1 Queens Park Rangers 0

Mikel Arteta struck six minutes before time to earn Arsenal all three points against ten man QPR at the Emirates. The win will do wonders for the Gunners’ fragile confidence, three points are just that after all, and given the woeful performances from Arsenal in recent games, Arsene Wenger will settle for the win. Rangers had Stephane Mbia red carded for lashing out at Thomas Vermaelen, and that was to ultimately cost the visitors.

With time rapidly running out, substitute Andrey Arshavin sent over a cross that fell right for Olivier Giroud only for Julio Cessar to save his header. Arteta then hit the bar with his header, but turned to find the target with his next effort. Worryingly for Arsenal, ten man Rangers went in search of an unlikely leveller, but having beat Arteta, then Andere Santos and Vermaelen, substitute Jamie Mackie saw Vito Mannone produce a fine save from point blank range?

The scoreline would have been even more emphatic in favour of the home side but for the fine saves from Julio Cesar, but in truth that would have done injustice to what was another inept Arsenal showing. But for the returning Jack Wilshere , the Gunners failed to set any semblance of their trademark passing game , and that will be of huge concern to Wenger.

The recent international break has been spoken of as to the reason for Arsenal’s poor recent showings, and here we had further evidence. Such a maestro before the international break. Santi Cazorla seems to have run out of steam in October. Lukas Podolski failed to provide any width, and, although he has the potential to be a top player, Aaron Ramsey showed again that he remains a work in progress. Olivier Giroud netted his first Premiership strike at West Ham, and given a start here,and on his effort, he will feel that he will get many more.

Arsenal’s new number 10 Wilshere fizzed in the early exchanges, so mu h so that even the normally effervescent Cazorla was happy to lay the ball to the England man. Wilshere and Cazorla combined on 19 minutes before the former let fly with a powerful drive that although Cesar spilled the ball, no one was alert to the possibility of a rebound – a feature that would become evident later in the match. Chances fell to Giroud and Santos, but the visitors would not be breached in an opening half of unimaginative football.

There was a moment of worry for Wilshere however who was caught by Esteban Granero, but thankfully, got up with no obvious signs of damage to his left ankle.

Per Mertesacker was a rock in the midweek Champions League loss to FC Schalke, and the German almost opened his Arsenal goal scoring account from an Arteta free kick six minutes after the break. Once again, Cesar saved. Midway through the second half, on came Walcott to replace Wilshere, and it was his cross which eventually fell to Cazorla via Giroud. That should have been buried by the Spain midfielder, but his shot flew over the Rangers’ bar to the audible frustration of most of the 60,103 inside the Emirates.

Ten minutes before time, and the turning point to the match, the hitherto anonymous Mbia received a straight red card for swinging a boot out at Vermaelen from a prone position. Referee Anthony Taylor brandished a straight red card, and that would prove to be costly for Rangers. Cesar had already denied an own goal off a combination of Jose Bosingwa and Ryan Nelsen, but Arsenal were not to be denied their first post international break victory, even as Mannone tipped away Granero’s late free kick.

The Gunners will rapidly need to build on from here.