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Live Reporting

Mike Whalley

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    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.


    Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

    Arsenal v West Brom

    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.

  4. Post update

    Final day dramas: Arsenal (7 May, 2006)

    Thierry Henry

    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.

  5. Post update

    Arsenal 4-1 West Brom

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

  6. Post update

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

    Darren Moore

    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.

  7. Post update

    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.


    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."

  9. Post update

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

    Frank Skinner

    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.

  10. Post update

    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.

  11. Post update

    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.


    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.

  13. Post update

    Final day dramas: Arsenal (26 May, 1989)

    Michael Thomas

    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.


    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.

  15. Post update

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

    Tony Brown

    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?

  16. Post update

    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.

  17. Post update

    Final day dramas: Arsenal (3 May, 1971)

    Ray Kennedy

    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.

  18. Post update

    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.

  19. Post update

    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.

  20. Post update

    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."

  21. Post update

    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?

  22. 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.

  23. Post update

    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.

  24. Post update

    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.

  25. Post update

    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.

  26. 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."

  27. 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.


    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.


    Arsenal 4-0 West Brom

    Arsenal v West Brom

    A one-sided first half in numbers.


    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."

  31. Post update

    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.

  32. Post update

    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."

  33. Post update

    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.

  34. Post update

    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.

  35. GOAL

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

    Theo Walcott

    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.

  36. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    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.

  37. Post update

    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.

  38. Post update

    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."

  39. Post update

    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.

  40. Post update

    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.

  41. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Mark Robinson: Please please please play like this next week, please! 3-0 already!

    Peter Collins: What on earth is going on at the Emirates? At this rate Arsenal will get 10! Pulis must be furious...

    Tom Chance: Walcott, Wilshere, Ings & Vardy on the scoresheet already. Good day for England.

  42. GOAL

    Arsenal 3-0 West Brom - Jack Wilshere

    Jack Wilshere

    This is sensational stuff at Emirates Stadium. West Brom fail to clear an Arsenal set-piece, and Jack Wilshere thumps a shot into the top corner from 20 yards. Arsene Wenger's side, without a goal in their previous three home games, have hit three in 17 minutes today.

    If Arsenal score twice more, they'll have as many goals for the afternoon as the United Kingdom managed points at last night's Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna.

  43. GOAL

    Arsenal 2-0 West Brom - Theo Walcott

    Theo Walcott

    Theo Walcott is having a grand day out. Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil combine to set him up, and the forward side-steps a defender to slot past Boaz Myhill. Walcott, who has had a wretched time with injury troubles over the last 16 months, races over to the bench to embrace Arsenal physio Declan Lynch.

    I'm going to take a punt here. If Walcott stays fit, he will start next Saturday's FA Cup final.

  44. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    James Butler: Just what Theo needed, just what the team needed. Early goal to ease the nerves and give WBA a reason to go forward.

    Nickoluoch: Walcott showing Wenger what he can do. Still think he might just leave though.

    Kerry Peter Parvin: Great start to the last league game of the season! Walcott getting a goal!

  45. Post update

    Arsenal 1-0 West Brom

    Almost a second for Arsenal as top scorer Alexis Sanchez weaves his way through a wobbly West Brom defence, but the final shot is weak, and Boaz Myhill gets down to save.

    AP McCoy - 20 times a jump-jockey champion and a big Arsenal fan - is enjoying a bright start from the home side as he watches from the stand.

  46. Get involved

    #bbcfootball, text 81111, BBC Sport Facebook, Google+

    Should Walcott start against Villa at Wembley next weekend, then? Is this the right time for Jeremy Peace to sell up at West Brom? Let me know your thoughts on these and other Arsenal and West Brom issues.

    You can tweet #bbcfootball, text 81111, or visit the BBC Sport Facebook and Google+ pages to get in touch.

  47. GOAL

    Arsenal 1-0 West Brom - Theo Walcott

    Theo Walcott

    What a start for Arsenal - and for Theo Walcott. The England forward thumps a shot across Boaz Myhill and into the top corner. Walcott, who has had an injury-hit season, may well be playing himself into the FA Cup final starting line-up here.

  48. Post update

    Arsenal 0-0 West Brom

    Theo Walcott, starting in a central attacking role, has an early shot blocked inside the area. Motty thinks there's a fair chance he will start against Aston Villa in the FA Cup final next weekend.

  49. KICK-OFF

    Arsenal 0-0 West Brom

    Thanks, John. Let's get down to business...

  50. Post update

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    MOTD's John Motson

    at Emirates Stadium

    "Arsenal should consider it a successful week. Draws against Manchester United and Sunderland have virtually assured them of a third-placed finish, thus avoiding a dreaded Champions League qualifier in August. That fate awaits Louis van Gaal's team.

    "The Gunners' focus now turns to next weekend's FA Cup final, where they could become the first team to lift the trophy 12 times - they are level with Manchester United on 11 - and they won't want to go into that game on the back of a poor performance.

    "West Brom are one of the last sides you want to face if goals are proving a problem. Since the arrival of Tony Pulis, they've kept 10 clean sheets in 17 league games and they certainly won't roll over for Arsenal.

    "What's left to say about Pulis? In successive seasons, he has rescued two different teams from the threat of relegation. This time around it's West Brom he has improved beyond all recognition."

  51. Post update

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    The teams are with us and the pre-match handshakes are taking place. We're just about ready to go. But let's hear a little more from Motty first...

  52. Post update

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    MOTD's John Motson

    at Emirates Stadium

    Jeremy Peace

    "I spoke last night at length to Jeremy Peace, the West Brom chairman, and he has confirmed he is in discussion with more than one party to sell the club. There is a deadline of the end of June, so there might be a new regime in charge by the time they report back for a new season."

    Peace is looking to sell West Brom for around £150m this summer.

  53. 'Arsenal worry me to death'

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    West Brom head coach Tony Pulis: "It was a very easy decision to stick with an unchanged side after the performance against Chelsea. The players played really well against Chelsea. We've had five really good performances in a row, and we needed them to get clear of trouble.

    "I've named a couple of kids on the bench today. Alex Palmer, the goalkeeper, deserves a chance and the lads have been pushing to get him in the squad. And we think Tyler Roberts is going to be a very good player. He might get a chance.

    "The fact that Arsenal haven't scored in their last three home games worries me to death. The chances they've had in games have been exceptional. Arsene has said they've got to be a little more ruthless in front of goal. We've got to make sure we give our best."

  54. 'We've stuttered at home recently'

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I want to rest some players today and keep the balance of the team right as well.

    "We've stuttered a little at home recently and we want to get back to a winning habit. It's important to finish the final home game of season with a win, to send the fans away happy.

    "When you're not scoring many goals, the best way to approach it sometimes is not to talk about it. We know we can score goals if we play well, so let's play well."


    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    Theo Walcott starts in Arsenal's attack as Arsene Wenger makes three changes to the side held 0-0 at home by Sunderland in midweek. Walcott is in for Olivier Giroud, Gabriel replaces Laurent Koscielny at centre-back and Francis Coquelin takes over from Aaron Ramsey in midfield.

    West Brom manager Tony Pulis sticks with the side who started Monday's 3-0 win over champions Chelsea. Boaz Myhill continues in goal as Ben Foster recovers from cruciate knee ligament damage.

    Arsenal XI: Ospina; Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Gibbs; Cazorla, Coquelin; Wilshere, Ozil, Sanchez, Walcott.

    West Brom XI: Myhill; Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Lescott; Fletcher, Yacob, Morrison; McManaman, Berahino, Brunt.

  56. Cup final momentum

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    Anyway, if Arsenal avoid defeat, there's no need to worry about all that stuff. And in truth, manager Arsene Wenger is more focused on trying regain a little momentum ahead of next Saturday's FA Cup final against Aston Villa.

    They could do with a bit of momentum too - as they haven't scored in their last three home games. West Brom, by contrast, are unbeaten in five matches - a run that includes wins over Manchester United and Chelsea.

  57. Possible play-off?

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    OK, let me try to explain. Whoever finishes third in the Premier League secures entry to the Champions League group stages. Whoever finishes fourth faces a play-off in August.

    But ... in accordance with Premier League rules, there would be a play-off to determine third place - and automatic Champions League entry - in the unlikely event that Manchester United and Arsenal finish level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

    For that to happen, there would need to be a seven-goal swing in United's favour, with Louis van Gaal's side scoring at least five goals at Hull.

    For example, if United win 5-0 and Arsenal lose 2-0 at home to West Brom, or a 5-1 win to United coupled with a 3-0 Arsenal defeat. Head-to-head doesn't come into it.

    All clear?

  58. Post update

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    There are European priorities of a different sort for Arsenal today, as they look to make absolutely certain of the Champions League group stage place that they more or less secured with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland on Wednesday. It's not quite in the bag, as the next entry will explain...

  59. Post update

    Arsenal v West Brom (15:00 BST)

    Only one stat to start with today...

    Arsene Wenger and Katrina and the Waves

    Still, at least we got more points than Germany this year. And France, for that matter.