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Ailing Arsenal loses for 4th time in 5 Premier League games

Ailing Arsenal loses for 4th time in 5 Premier League games

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 18, 2017 at 9:40 a.m.

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WEST BROMWICH, England (AP) — Arsenal fell to its fourth loss in five Premier League games when West Bromwich Albion beat Arsene Wenger's side 3-1 Saturday to further jeopardize its chances of Champions League qualification.

"We are sorry to the fans because that's not acceptable for Arsenal Football Club to lose the way we did," Arsenal midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

Arsenal's downfall once again was its porous defense with Craig Dawson heading in twice from corners on another day of protests against Wenger.

"We knew who their danger-men were and we failed to stop them which is really disappointing," Oxlade-Chamberlain said. "We will look at that and review what went wrong."

In the skies above the Hawthorns, a plane trailing a banner reading "No contract Wenger out" appeared during the game. Inside the stadium, "Enough is enough time to go" posters were also held aloft by fans who want the Frenchman to leave at the end of the season after 21 years in charge.

In the last month, Arsenal has been eliminated from the Champions League by Bayern Munich and only won two games — both against fifth-tier teams in the FA Cup. Arsenal is further than ever from winning the Premier League title for the first time since 2004 and is five points adrift from the fourth Champions League place.

"We have to keep fighting because it's not been pretty for us recently," Oxlade-Chamberlain said, "and I'm sure it's not going to get any easier anytime soon."

Arsenal fell behind in the 12th minute in central England when Dawson rose above Laurent Koscielny to glance in his first header from Nacer Chadli's corner.

Although Alexis Sanchez equalized inside three minutes after a 19-pass move, West Brom regained the lead in the 55th when substitute Hal Robson-Kanu scored with only his second touch of the game.

The Arsenal defense was at fault again when substitute David Ospina, who replaced injured goalkeeper Petr Cech, came to collect a cross and clattered into Hector Bellerin. The ball fell to Robson-Kanu to prod into the net.

The crossbar prevented Arsenal leveling again through Danny Welbeck's header before the unmarked Dawson sealed the win in the 75th minute with his third goal in four games. West Brom has scored from 18 set pieces this season — more than any other Premier League team.

"Their deliveries are absolutely fantastic and their movement is good," Wenger told broadcaster Sky Sports. "We were guilty especially on the second goal but they score against anybody from set pieces."

There was no coming back for Arsenal and Wenger was subjected to chants of "You don't know what you're doing" when Sanchez was replaced by Alex Iwobi.

"I decided to take him off and his ankle doesn't look good," Wenger said.

While Arsenal's misery was compounded, eighth-placed West Brom moved to 43 points to maintain its bid for Europa League qualification that could be secured by finishing seventh.

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