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Summary

  1. Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs; Cazorla, Coquelin; Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott.
  2. West Brom XI: Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott; Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison; McManaman, Berahino, Brunt.

Live Reporting

By Mike Whalley

All times stated are UK

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Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

The victorious Arsenal players bring their children on to the pitch - and two or three of the youngsters get a mini-football out and have a kickaround. The season may be over, but football's future is still keen to get out there and sharpen up the skills.

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, gives a wave to the crowd. A Champions League group stage place is secured for the 18th successive season. They might have a trophy to go with it six days from now. It's been a good enough season at Emirates Stadium.

Thanks for joining me this afternoon. For post-match reaction,

head over to our main live text commentary.

FULL-TIME

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

Arsenal v West Brom
Opta

FULL-TIME

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

Arsenal did ease up a little after half-time, and yet still could have had at least another couple of goals. An excellent afternoon for Arsene Wenger ahead of next weekend's FA Cup final. Be afraid, Aston Villa. Be very afraid.

Final day dramas: Arsenal (7 May, 2006)

Thierry Henry
Getty Images

Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League every year since 1998, and this season has been no exception - but they looked set to miss out with one game to play in 2006.

Arsene Wenger's side hosted Wigan knowing that even a win would not be enough to secure a top-four finish unless rivals Tottenham slipped up at West Ham. But in the build-up to the match at Upton Park, 10 Spurs players fell ill - and they lost 2-1, while Arsenal won 4-2 to take fourth spot.

Initially, it was claimed that Tottenham's players had fallen victim to a dodgy lasagne - but investigations subsequently showed that it was just a plain old virus, and nothing to do with what the squad had eaten for dinner.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

West Brom ending the game on the attack. Who would have thought that after 37 minutes?

Final day dramas: West Brom (21 April, 2002)

Darren Moore
Getty Images

Albion had been out of the top flight for 16 years when promotion beckoned in the spring of 2002. There was drama galore along the way for Gary Megson's side - a match at Sheffield United in March had to be abandoned as the home side were reduced to six players by three red cards and two injuries. And with a week of the season to go, Igor Balis scored a dramatic injury-time penalty at Bradford to put Albion within reach of the Premier League.

A home win over Crystal Palace was needed on the final day to seal promotion. West Brom did it thanks to goals from Darren Moore and Bob Taylor. To make it even sweeter, the team they beat to promotion were their neighbours Wolves.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

A bit of a scare for Arsenal keeper David Ospina, who hasn't had a great game. Craig Gardner hits one from 25 yards, and the ball slips through the Colombia international's hands and out for a corner.

INJURY TIME

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

MOTD's John Motson

at Emirates Stadium

"There are three minutes of added time here at the Emirates Stadium. You won't hear that announced over the public address system, because Arsenal never do that. I think it's an Arsene Wenger instruction."

Final day dramas: West Brom (8 May, 1994)

Frank Skinner
BBC

A year after promotion to what is now the Championship, West Brom faced relegation as they travelled to Portsmouth on the final day. Victory - and survival - was secured thanks to a first-half winner from Lee Ashcroft.

In his 2001 autobiography, comedian and Albion fan Frank Skinner recalled watching this game with former club striker Jeff Astle, who took him to meet Pompey manager Jim Smith afterwards. According to Skinner, Smith sat at his desk, drinking whisky and smoking a cigar, while the metal waste paper basket beside his desk contained "about two hundred cigar butts".

I'm hoping that was an exaggeration.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

Albion push for another goal in the closing minutes. Victor Anichebe juggles the ball on the edge of the area, and tees up Chris Baird to fire a shot straight at David Ospina from the edge of the area. A scoreline of 4-2 would almost be respectable, in the circumstances.

Final day dramas: West Brom (30 May, 1993)

A bit of a cheat, this one, as your season is guaranteed to go to the final match if you reach the play-offs. But this was a pivotal moment in West Brom's history. Two years earlier, they had fallen into the third tier for the first time, and were seeking a return under the management of Argentine World Cup-winning midfielder Ossie Ardiles.

Having beaten Swansea over two legs in their play-off semi-final, Albion faced Port Vale at Wembley. With the game goalless, Vale defender Peter Swan was sent off for a professional foul on Bob Taylor - and then West Brom cut loose. Andy Hunt, Nicky Reid and Kevin Donovan scored; promotion was secured. They haven't been back to League One since.

HITS THE BAR

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

Arsenal's finish to this league season is nowhere near as dramatic as it was in 1989 - although Aaron Ramsey seems to be doing his best to get a Michael Thomas-esque late goal. He gets in behind the Albion defence to angle a chip towards the top corner, but Boaz Myhill flips the shot on to the bar. Unlucky.

Final day dramas: Arsenal (26 May, 1989)

Michael Thomas
Getty Images

The 1989 First Division title race remains arguably the most dramatic in English football history. With one game left, Arsenal visited fellow contenders Liverpool needing a two-goal victory to be crowned champions for the first time since 1971. Anything less, and the trophy would remain at Anfield.

Early in the second half, Alan Smith headed the visitors in front. But as the match moved into stoppage time, George Graham's side were still one goal short. Then, with their last attack, Arsenal sprang forward - with Michael Thomas charging through. "It's up for grabs now!" yelled ITV commentator Brian Moore as Thomas slotted a shot past Bruce Grobbelaar, before going head over heels to celebrate.

HITS THE POST

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

So nearly a fifth. Substitute Aaron Ramsey collects a pass on the edge of the penalty area, wraps his left foot around the shot and strikes the post.

Final day dramas: West Brom (24 April, 1976)

Tony Brown
Getty Images

In the summer of 1975, West Brom appointed legendary Leeds midfielder Johnny Giles as player-manager in an attempt to drag themselves out of the Second Division. It worked.

With one game left, Albion needed a victory at Oldham to secure promotion. Around 15,000 visiting fans made the trip to Boundary Park and, after a tense first half, were rewarded when Tony Brown juggled and then volleyed a spectacular winner into the top corner.

"Tony Brown, the man who has given all his footballing life to Albion, scores what could be his most important goal for them," said John Motson, commentating for Match of the Day. A whole 39 years later, and he is commentating on West Brom today too. Where did the time go, Motty?

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

Decent run down the left by Chris Brunt sets up Victor Anichebe to shoot from a tight angle for West Brom, but David Ospina beats the ball away.

Meantime, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain makes his return after more than two months out with a hamstring injury, as a substitute for Jack Wilshere. A chance for Oxlade-Chamberlain to play himself into the FA Cup final squad.

Final day dramas: Arsenal (3 May, 1971)

Ray Kennedy
Getty Images

Back in the olden days, the league programme didn't always finish when it was supposed to. Winters were harsher, cup runs could go on longer, television was less demanding. And so Arsenal played their final match of the 1970-71 First Division season two days after title rivals Leeds had completed their fixtures.

Bertie Mee's side went to North London rivals Tottenham on a Monday night knowing that a win or a 0-0 draw would secure the championship. A crowd of 51,992 packed into White Hart Lane, with thousands more locked out. With just three minutes to go, Ray Kennedy climbed to head in George Armstrong's cross via the underside of the bar.

Five days later, Arsenal beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley, completing the Double.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

The drama has drained out of this game now after its extraordinary start. So as the Premier League season draws to a close, let's take a look at some final-day dramatics involving these two sides.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

The match has dropped to walking pace. Alexis Sanchez ambled in from the left and rolls in a shot for Arsenal. Boaz Myhill gathers comfortably.

It's absolutely chucking it down now.

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

MOTD's John Motson

at Emirates Stadium

"I suppose you could say at the moment that West Brom are winning the second half 1-0."

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

A round of applause for Theo Walcott as the hat-trick hero departs, to be replaced by Olivier Giroud. Which of those two will start against Villa in the cup final next week, then?

GOAL

Arsenal 4-1 West Brom - Gareth McAuley

Well. Is this the start of a fightback? Gareth McAuley climbs to head in a corner, with Arsenal keeper David Ospina making a bit of a dog's dinner of it, to be honest. It's the Albion centre-back's first league goal since December 2013.

There's a third and final West Brom substitution in the aftermath of that goal, as Chris Baird comes on for Claudio Yacob. I suspect if Tony Pulis had been allowed 11 substitutions, he would have used the lot after that first half.

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Arsenal don't, for now, look to be settling for four. Santi Cazorla's curling shot is pushed aside by Boaz Myhill, and Theo Walcott puts the loose ball over on the stretch. Tony Pulis makes another substitution, taking off Callum McManaman and bringing on Craig Gardner. The words "deckchairs" and "Titanic" spring to mind.

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Arsenal continue to pass the ball around neatly in the opening minutes of the second half. Tony Pulis responds by bringing off Jonas Olsson, a defender, and putting on Victor Anichebe, a striker. Well, Albion have nothing to lose. They might as well go for the 4-4 draw now.

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Theo Walcott's last hat-trick for Arsenal, by the way, was in that extraordinary 7-3 Premier League win over Newcastle in December 2012.

Who should start up front in the FA Cup?

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown

Final Score

"Theo Walcott has looked absolutely rapid today and it must be on Arsene Wenger's mind about whether or not he should start him next week."

KICK-OFF

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

We're back under way at Arsenal. I dread to think what Tony Pulis's half-time team talk was like.

HALF-TIME

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Gary Lineker

MOTD presenter

Theo Walcott has scored a hat-trick in 33 minutes, the fastest in the Premier League since.....last week.

HALF-TIME

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Arsenal v West Brom
Opta

A one-sided first half in numbers.

HALF-TIME

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

MOTD's John Motson

at Emirates Stadium

"That was one of the best and most eventful first halves Arsenal have produced this season."

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Arsenal could have had more in this first half as well. Jack Wilshere has a shot blocked by a desperate Albion challenge. And as brilliant as the Gunners have been, this is a desperate Albion performance.

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

MOTD's John Motson

at Emirates Stadium

"Arsenal have now scored 105 goals this season, and there have been 21 different scorers."

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

I cannot believe this is the same West Brom starting line-up that beat Chelsea 3-0 six days ago. And yet it is.

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

Theo Walcott again! It's as if West Brom have never heard of the England forward, given the amount of space he's getting. Walcott runs at the Albion defence again and drives a shot that Boaz Myhill pushes around the near post.

GOAL

Arsenal 4-0 West Brom - Theo Walcott hat-trick

Theo Walcott
AFP

What a superb day this is turning out to be for Theo Walcott. Before today, he had scored three goals all season. Now he has three in 37 minutes.

It's another lovely Arsenal move, with Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez combining, before Santi Cazorla rolls the ball across goal for Walcott to tap in. Ridiculous game, this.

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George Jenkins: Crazy last day of the season - keep them coming, Arsenal!

Harry Partridge: Arsenal haven't had an injury crisis for a few months. Shad Forsythe [the head of athletic performances] has done great work and could help them win the title next year.

Abdul Said: Let's see who will start the FA Cup final, Giroud or Walcott, and who will be the main striker next season.

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom

Arsenal haven't scored for more than 10 minutes now. I'm classing this an official goal drought.

Per Mertesacker gets in front of his marker to touch a Santi Cazorla free-kick towards goal, but Boaz Myhill gathers.

I'm thinking back to Arsene Wenger's pre-match quote about his team's recent lack of goals: "The best way to approach it sometimes is not to talk about it."

Hard to argue, Arsene. Hard to argue.

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown

Final Score

"Walcott has gone through a couple of challenges there where before he might have been worried coming back from the injury he has had. This is him staking his claim to start in the FA Cup."

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom

Now Jack Wilshere has a sight of goal on the edge of the penalty area, and fires straight at Boaz Myhill. This could end up any score. Well, any score greater than 3-0.

Arsenal 3-0 West Brom

Theo Walcott is tearing West Brom to pieces. Played in by Alexis Sanchez, he gets in behind the visitors' over-stretched defensive pair of Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley, and whips in a shot that keeper Boaz Myhill does well to push aside.