Arsenal finished their Premier League campaign in style as they brushed aside a competent West Bromwich Albion 4-1 in front of a delighted Emirates Stadium crowd.
In the build-up to their FA Cup final, boss Arsene Wenger wanted the Gunners to put their recent profligacy behind them and record a confidence-boosting victory.
Recalling Theo Walcott to the starting line-up as a central striker was a great opportunity for the speedster and he didn’t disappoint, netting a first-half hat-trick in devastating fashion.
Jack Wilshere also found the net in a blistering first 45 minutes, prompting a blown-away West Brom side to head into the changing rooms having suffered a first-half like never before.
4 - West Brom have conceded four goals before half-time in a Premier League game for the first time. Ransacked.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) Mayo 24, 2015
As per Opta, it was first time the Baggies had shipped four goals during a first-half throughout their Premier League history – and it could have been even worse for Tony Pulis’s side.
Recent blanks against Swansea City and Sunderland had caused a number of observers to question the Gunners’ physical state, but the reality was in both games they could have scored a hatful.
West Brom weren’t so fortunate as Walcott opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute, and the game was over as a contest before the 20-minute mark with the hosts 3-0 up.
Despite a fairly subdued second-half showing, it was the perfect response Wenger was seeking from his players and the morale-boosting afternoon needed ahead of next week’s FA Cup final.