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West Brom 1-1 Arsenal - Mike Dean ruins the game

Arsenal looked like grafting their way to a victory, but Mike Dean's awful late decision denied us the win.There was a surprise before kickoff in regards to the lineup, with playmaker Mesut Ozil left out of the matchday squad entirely. The reason given for his expulsion was a knee injury, but with the transfer window opening, most of us will worry this is the first step of his departure. Fingers crossed this isn’t the case.Alex Iwobi was Ozil’s replacement, but the pattern of play at the start matched what we have seen recently. We were bossing possession and West Brom, aside from a moment when Petr Cech dropped a cross, were content to sit back. It was strange to see us play in red shorts - especially so when the reason given for breaking with tradition was because of a potential colour clash that hasn’t been an issue in previous seasons. There was some neat interplay in and around the box and Jack and Alexis were integral to it all. Xhaka too was playing more of a role in the buildup, and we were starting to get into the game with twenty minutes gone.West Brom were beginning to flicker into life though. Jay Rodriguez was looking lively and the balance of the game was even as the Baggies enjoyed a spell of possession that stretched our defence and checked to see if we were switched on to threats.The match began to slow down for both sides. Passing lost its zip, movement became broken into bursts and the attacking third for our side looked a little at sea as we searched for the elusive opening.Thankfully, the referee wasn’t taking centre stage for once. Mike Dean was not in the spotlight but the game wasn’t exactly thundering along. We needed chances created. Sead Kolasinac succumbed to injury on the 36th minute, thanks to a tackle from Gareth Barry that jarred his knee. Ainslie Maitland-Niles replaced the Bosnian.The half drew to a close and it was clear to see we were missing the spark of Ozil. We were plodding and Alexis was dropping deeper to try and galvanise us. We hadn’t conceded, but we hadn’t truly threatened.The second half continued the same thread, with precious little in terms of breakthrough for our attack. West Brom were starting to probe down the flanks though, and the crowd were picking up the newly found intent from the home side. It was clear we needed to change things up, and Alex Iwobi was not making much of a difference, making him a prime candidate to switch with either Danny Welbeck or Theo Walcott.Lacazette on the 60th minute had a great chance, thanks to a pass from Wilshere and a great touch from the Frenchman, but it didn’t find a way through. It was more of what we needed though. Jack and Alexis needed to find the ball further up, and crucially, quicker.We were amping up the pressure though at the least. As time was ticking, the possession was spending more and more time in the West Brom third. The anticipated change for Iwobi didn’t materialise, as Per Mertesacker came on surprisingly, in place of Laurent Koscielny who must need a rest.Danny Welbeck came on for the disappointing Alex Iwobi on the 73rd minute, and that would give us a more direct runner, hopefully for the eagle-eyed Jack Wilshere or Alexis to pick out. With ten minutes to go, we needed something to change if we were to win it.On the 83rd minute, we broke the deadlock. Alexis picked up the ball and cut in just outside the box. He was unceremoniously dumped to the turf and from the resulting free kick, Alexis hit a low effort that took a deflection and Ben Foster had no chance. The box was filled with players and any effort on target had a great chance of going in, and so it proved.West Brom had to come out of their shell, and that meant we could get the chance to kill the game off. Instead, the alternative happened.Mike Dean, not happy with being in the shadow, gifted the Baggies a penalty as Kieran Gibbs cut back in the box and Dean decided that Chambers handballed. It was definitely not a penalty.Jay Rodriguez put the penalty away, and with mere minutes to go, it was all square.Four added minutes were all we had to grab back the win we had grafted for, and that was stolen from us by an awful decision by Mike Dean.It wasn’t enough time though, and the last act of Premier League football was Mike Dean intervening on an Arsenal victory, not for the first time.