Fairweather footballers? Not Arsenal, at least not here. Mikel Arteta’s team made light of fierce conditions and desperate opponents to produce possibly their best performance of the season. Kieran Tierney, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette scored beautiful goals and, along with 20-year-old Emile Smith Rowe, delivered outstanding displays, helping to give Arsenal a third consecutive victory and renewed hope of a bright future. For West Brom the forecast is bleak.
Sam Allardyce has relished jabbing at the fragilities of Arsenal teams down the years and must have been rubbing his hands before kick-off here, and not just to keep warm. Heavy snow around the Hawthorns put a bracing new twist on the wet-and-windy-night-in-Stoke maxim, and although the pitch was cleared by the time the match began, Allardyce no doubt urged his side to test how much Arsenal fancied going into battle on a freezing night when even the air felt like it had fangs.