Mikel Arteta arrested Arsenal's recent slide as he scored two penalties to steer his side to a win over West Brom.
The midfielder's first spot-kick came after Steven Reid was controversially adjudged to have fouled Santi Cazorla.
The visitors thought they should have had a penalty for a Per Mertesacker handball but they struggled to create any real chances.
Wenger relief after Arsenal win
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled by Chris Brunt for Arteta's second and a first Arsenal win in four league games.
Lukas Podolski should have put a more convincing gloss on the win only to scuff a late shot horribly high from six yards.
For West Brom, it was a third straight top flight-defeat but they will no doubt point to the decisions of referee Mike Jones for playing a part in their downfall.
Victory will come as a relief for the Gunners as they battled to a result that moves them up to sixth from 10th in the Premier League.
Arsenal were watched by former striker Thierry Henry amid talk he could return to the club on a temporary basis from MLS club New York Red Bulls, but he will have seen a side a shadow of the title-winning ones he spearheaded.
John MotsonBBC Match of the Day commentator
"The referee will be questioned over two important decisions leading to the penalties. But it is three defeats in a row for West Brom, while Arsenal are back on track."
The Gunners delivered an early statement of intent when Gervinho slid a shot narrowly wide but, despite dominating possession, Arsenal lacked the speed of thought and pass to break down a Baggies side waiting for the opportunity to pounce on the counter-attack.
The visitors' strategy almost paid off when Brunt bent a shot just wide before referee Jones awarded the home side a penalty after deciding Reid had tripped Cazorla.
The aggrieved Albion players argued that there had not been any contact but had to watch on as Arteta, who missed a penalty against Fulham last month, put the spot-kick down the middle to beat keeper Boaz Myhill.
The visitors almost let in a second when Gervinho pulled the ball back for a lunging Jack Wilshere to poke an effort wide.
Albion again felt hard done by when a cross into the area struck the arm of Gunners centre-back Mertesacker only for Jones to reject their penalty appeals and give a free-kick against them.
Arteta in focus
Mikel Arteta's double moved him ahead of Cesc Fabregas as the second highest Spanish scorer in the Premier League with 36 goals. He is behind Fernando Torres.
At the other end, Arsenal were only denied a second when keeper Myhill palmed away a Gervinho shot and the same player should have done better from close range after being found by fellow forward Olivier Giroud's chipped pass.
The Gunners needed another spot-kick to give them some breathing space, with Brunt penalised for a foul on Oxlade-Chamberlain.
While there was little complaint at the award of the penalty, the Baggies believed Oxlade-Chamberlain should have been penalised for a shove on Goran Popov in the build-up.
The Baggies threw on Romelu Lukaku and Markus Rosenborg to join Shane Long in attack and, while the former headed wide, they rarely looked like mounting a comeback as Arsenal earned a much-needed win.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger:
"I am sorry if it was not a penalty, but I have spoken to Santi and he said he was touched, lost his balance. Has he made a bit more of it? I don't know.
"Overall we played well. We were maybe a bit lucky on the first penalty, but we created chances and kept a clean sheet.
"We have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game, so we did our job very well."
Clarke bemoans Arsenal penalty
West Brom manager Steve Clarke:
"There was zero contact [for the first penalty], it wasn't even close. I am not sure what the referee saw.
"It was a bad decision for us and obviously changed the shape of the afternoon. It could have been a nervous afternoon for Arsenal, at 0-0 they hadn't created too much.
"We knew the longer the game went the more pressure would come on Arsenal and then we would have a chance. That decision changed it."
He added: "I don't want a witch hunt on referees, in this country we have fantastic referees and a fantastic group that work hard to make the game the game it is.
"We have to try to work as hard as we can with the referees, in this game unfortunately it was the poorest of a really good group."
90:00+3:20 The referee blows for offside against Olivier Giroud. Indirect free kick taken by Gareth McAuley.
90:00+0:44 Lukas Podolski decides to take a short corner.
89:58 Lukas Podolski takes a shot from close range clearing the crossbar.
89:38 Shot by Lukas Podolski from 12 yards. Blocked by Steven Reid.
88:58 The official flags Shane Long offside. Wojciech Szczesny takes the indirect free kick.
Correction - 88:30 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Jonas Olsson gets a block in.
88:30 Kieran Gibbs takes a shot. Blocked by Jonas Olsson.
85:55 Substitution Santi Cazorla leaves the field to be replaced by Lukas Podolski.
85:55 Tomas Rosicky is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. A cross is delivered by Chris Brunt, Close range header
by Romelu Lukaku misses to the right of the target.
85:40 Shane Long takes a shot. Save by Wojciech Szczesny.
84:49 The official flags Markus Rosenberg offside. Indirect free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
Correction - 82:31 Tomas Rosicky is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Youssouf Mulumbu.
82:31 The assistant referee signals for offside against Tomas Rosicky. Gareth McAuley restarts play with the free kick.
80:53 Jack Wilshere handles the ball and concedes a free kick. James Morrison takes the direct free kick.
80:06 Wojciech Szczesny takes the indirect free kick.
80:06 Substitution Tomas Rosicky replaces Yao Gervinho.
80:06 Shane Long is caught offside.
79:41 Chris Brunt takes a shot. Francis Coquelin gets a block in.
78:01 Shot on goal comes in from Mikel Arteta from the free kick.
78:01 Booking Steven Reid is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
77:55 Foul by Steven Reid on Santi Cazorla, free kick awarded.
76:42 Free kick taken by Boaz Myhill.
76:42 Substitution (Arsenal) makes a substitution, with Francis Coquelin coming on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
76:42 Foul by Mikel Arteta on Chris Brunt, free kick awarded.
74:54 Substitution Markus Rosenberg comes on in place of Zoltan Gera.
73:26 Short corner taken by Santi Cazorla.
72:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jack Wilshere by Youssouf Mulumbu. Santi Cazorla crosses the ball in from the
free kick, Jonas Olsson manages to make a clearance.
67:47 Shane Long concedes a free kick for a foul on Yao Gervinho. Shot comes in from Santi Cazorla from the free kick, Shane Long
gets a block in.
67:17 Headed effort from inside the penalty area by Olivier Giroud misses to the right of the target.
66:12 Corner taken by Zoltan Gera from the left by-line, save made by Wojciech Szczesny. Yao Gervinho fouled by Youssouf Mulumbu,
the ref awards a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.
66:12 Booking Per Mertesacker goes into the referee's book.
65:28 Corner from the right by-line taken by Chris Brunt, clearance by Per Mertesacker.
64:38 Steven Reid concedes a free kick for a foul on Yao Gervinho. Kieran Gibbs restarts play with the free kick.
63:34 Assist by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
63:34 GOAL - Mikel Arteta:Arsenal 2 - 0 West Brom Penalty taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta and scored. Arsenal 2-0 West Brom.
62:26 Chris Brunt challenges Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain unfairly and gives away a Penalty.
61:19 Corner taken right-footed by Zoltan Gera.
61:19 Substitution Romelu Lukaku replaces Peter Odemwingie.
60:12 Mikel Arteta challenges Zoltan Gera unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Steven Reid, clearance
made by Mikel Arteta.
59:30 Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Boaz Myhill makes a comfortable save.
59:09 Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Jonas Olsson gets a block in.
57:44 Booking The referee shows Chris Brunt a yellow card.
56:47 Corner taken left-footed by Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left
of the target.
56:14 Header by Yao Gervinho from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.
54:43 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Zoltan Gera by Mikel Arteta. Boaz Myhill restarts play with the free kick.
54:12 Shane Long challenges Jack Wilshere unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Vermaelen takes the free kick.
53:32 Boaz Myhill restarts play with the free kick.
53:32 Booking Olivier Giroud goes into the book for unsporting behaviour.
53:30 Booking Booking for Jonas Olsson for unsporting behaviour.
52:57 Jack Wilshere is caught offside.
49:52 Unfair challenge on Shane Long by Per Mertesacker results in a free kick. Chris Brunt crosses the ball from the free kick
left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Mikel Arteta.
46:16 Zoltan Gera fouled by Mikel Arteta, the ref awards a free kick. The ball is swung over by Chris Brunt, Headed effort from
deep inside the area by Gareth McAuley misses to the right of the target.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:00+2:02 The first half comes to an end.
45:00+0:31 Zoltan Gera has a headed effort at goal from just inside the area that misses to the right of the goal.
44:17 Corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla, Shot from deep inside the area by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain goes over the bar.
42:21 Mikel Arteta gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Youssouf Mulumbu. Direct free kick taken by Youssouf Mulumbu.
41:25 Corner taken by Santi Cazorla played to the near post, clearance by Shane Long.
41:08 Yao Gervinho takes a shot. Save by Boaz Myhill.
39:06 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bacary Sagna on Zoltan Gera. Free kick crossed left-footed by Chris Brunt, Jonas Olsson challenges
Per Mertesacker unfairly and gives away a free kick. Wojciech Szczesny restarts play with the free kick.
36:55 Close range shot by Jack Wilshere goes wide of the right-hand upright.
35:09 Peter Odemwingie fouled by Thomas Vermaelen, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Chris Brunt from
right wing. The referee blows for offside. Wojciech Szczesny takes the free kick.
30:36 The referee blows for offside. Boaz Myhill takes the indirect free kick.
29:10 Inswinging corner taken by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line played to the near post, Jonas Olsson fouled by Per Mertesacker,
the ref awards a free kick. Boaz Myhill takes the direct free kick.
27:39 The assistant referee flags for offside against Chris Brunt. Free kick taken by Wojciech Szczesny.
26:45 The referee blows for offside. Boaz Myhill takes the indirect free kick.
25:18 Assist by Santi Cazorla.
25:18 GOAL - Mikel Arteta:Arsenal 1 - 0 West Brom Penalty taken right-footed by Mikel Arteta and scored. Arsenal 1-0 West Brom.
24:17 Foul by Steven Reid on Santi Cazorla, Penalty awarded.
22:29 Chris Brunt has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.
20:54 Foul by Jack Wilshere on Youssouf Mulumbu, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Youssouf Mulumbu.
20:14 Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is caught offside. Free kick taken by Boaz Myhill.
16:11 Santi Cazorla produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the area which goes wide of the left-hand post.
15:14 Jack Wilshere takes a shot. Blocked by Jonas Olsson.
14:39 Goran Popov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Bacary Sagna. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Santi
Cazorla, clearance by Steven Reid.
12:22 Corner from the left by-line taken by Santi Cazorla, clearance by Jonas Olsson.
10:47 Santi Cazorla produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses right.
6:34 Foul by Shane Long on Per Mertesacker, free kick awarded. Wojciech Szczesny takes the direct free kick.
5:57 Substitution (West Brom) makes a substitution, with Goran Popov coming on for Liam Ridgewell.
4:57 Zoltan Gera concedes a free kick for a foul on Bacary Sagna. Free kick taken by Bacary Sagna.
4:04 Effort from inside the area by Yao Gervinho misses to the left of the goal.
3:31 Corner taken right-footed by Santi Cazorla from the left by-line, clearance made by Steven Reid.
2:25 Mikel Arteta challenges Youssouf Mulumbu unfairly and gives away a free kick. Youssouf Mulumbu restarts play with the free
0:00 The referee starts the match.
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