Arsenal 4 West Bromwich Albion 1
( Walcott 4, 14, 37, Wilshere 17, McAuley 57 )

Arsenal ended their season on a four goal high and a first half hat-trick from Theo Walcott to help thrash West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates stadium. Jack Wilshere’s rocket added to the gloss as a rampant Gunners played the kind of game which we know that they are capable of, the added difference here, the four goal for their creative efforts. The visitors were under the cosh for most of the first half, as Arsenal comfortably went through the gears. Only a brief response when Gareth McCauley headed in soon after the restart but it was always going to be a mere consolation. Third spot now secured and an FA Cup final against another West Midlands side Aston Villa next Saturday. In this mood, the Gunners will fancy successfully defending their trophy and will need some stopping.

For once Arsene Wenger had the luxury of a relatively fully fit squad, with Wilshere. Walcott and Gabriel getting a starting role. The Arsenal intent was clear from the off and with only four minutes on the clock, they took the lead.

Cazorla seems to be enjoying his deeper role, but he needed no invitation to join in attack. He found Walcott, who fired in an angled flat trajectory shot which beat Boaz Myhill at his fat post for the opener after onLH four minutes. More Arsenal pressure ensued, and two minutes later an Alexis free kick was hammered at the Albion goal, but also over the bar. Alexis’s next effort was scuffed, giving Myhill the opportunity to get behind and hold the ball.

After fourteen minutes the visitors could no longer repel the Gunners’ onslaught any further. Mesut Özil, and Wilhsere were involved in the build up of sharp exchanges in a tight area. As Jonas Olsson slid in, Walcotft lifted the ball over the defender before letting fly with a low prod past Myhill to double his and Arsenal’s lead.

It was sublime stuff from Arsene Wenger’s side who clicked into gear and had the goals to show for it. There was no stopping the Gunners and now Wilshere got in on the act. Surging forward, purposeful and creative, the England man has been a big miss for the home side this season. When Sanchez saw his shot blocked from a corner, Gabriel was alert to retrieve the ball, and set up Wilshere. One shot, one volley into Myhill’s net, and Arsenal were 3-0 up with only 17 minutes played.

Walcott should have gotten his hat-trick when Wilshere found Alexis. He set up Walcott who although the ball was slightly behind his run, took a shot in his stride but saw Myhill push the ball for a corner.

Another combination from Wilshere, Alexis, and the return to Wilshere, and a strong shot which Myhill held.

Alexis thought he had netted an Arsenal fourth, but last man Craig Dawson’s block denied a fourth Gunners’ goal. That however wasn’t too long in coming.

Wilshere, Ozil and Alexis set up the advanced Cazorla with the type of pass and movement which can bamboozle defences all day long. Cazorla hit a scuffed shot which ended up as a cross for Walcott to tap in his third of a memorable treble.

The best from the visitors could muster was Saido Berahino’s effort on the break and James Morrison’s free kick. Neither troubled David Ospina. The Gunners finished the half strongly. Cazorla raced away, put in Wilshere, but his shot was deflected up and over the bar.

The attacking intent continued in the second half. Cazorla plucked a ball from height but saw Myhill save and then Walcott hit over from follow up.

Ospina and Gabriel contrived to misjudge an Albion corner which let in Mccauley to head in for a 4-1 scoreline.

Francis Coquelin made way for Aaron Ramsey, with Olivier Giroud replacing hat-trick hero Walcott. More firepower for Albion to contend with was not what they would have wanted, but Ramsey twice struck the woodwork. Firstly a drive which had the beating of Myhill but crashed onto the post and away, and then a cleverly weighted shot which Myhill palmed onto the woodwork.

An excellent Arsenal performance and goals to show for it. Much of what has been needed all season was evident at the Emirates stadium. Good football and goals too. We look forward to more of the same from the Gunners when Arsenal meet Aston Villa in the FA Cup final next Saturday.