West Bromwich Albion had started the 2010-11 campaign in relatively solid form with unsuccessful trips to Chelsea and Liverpool the only blemishes on their record, but after seeing off Birmingham City at The Hawthorns, a formidable week lay ahead as they were posed with the challenge of trying to overcome both Manchester City and Arsenal.
The contest with City came in the League Cup on their own turf against a team that bore little resemblance to that of their usual star-studded lineup, but the Baggies, under the stewardship of Roberto Di Matteo, showed that they weren't influenced against the emerging Premier League giants and two second-half goals ensured that Roberto Mancini's side were sent crashing out of the competition.
That triumph left the West Midlands outfit on a high as they made the trip to the Emirates Stadium to face an Arsenal side that were unbeaten in their first five league matches and had also thrashed Braga 6-0 in the Champions League, so despite the heroics of midweek, Di Matteo's men were underdogs in North London.
The opening exchanges of the contest saw Arsenal look to establish a foothold in proceedings early on, but the closest they came to an early goal came from the left foot of West Brom player Chris Brunt, who lashed the ball against his own post after a teasing cross from Bacary Sagna.
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Despite that near miss, the visitors were showing little fear as they looked to break forward in numbers at every opportunity, and shortly after he had forced Manuel Almunia into a finger-tip stop, Peter Odemwingie was hauled down by the Spanish stopper in the penalty area.
However, Almunia redeemed himself with a excellent save down to his left from Brunt's spot kick, and as the game reached half time, there was a feeling that West Brom may have missed their best chance of causing one of the upsets of the season so far.
Their disappointment lasted barely five minutes after the restart though as they stunned the home fans by taking the lead. Jerome Thomas, a former Gunner, made inroads down the left flank before crossing for Odemwingie for the simple conversion from close range.
The goal sparked mass jubilation in the travelling set of supporters but the decibel level went up a notch when their team doubled their advantage within two minutes. Brunt backheeled the ball into the path of the advancing Gonzalo Jara who drove the ball into the back of the net via Almunia's legs.
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Arsenal were shell-shocked, but they remained undeterred as they looked for a way back into the match. Samir Nasri was lively in and around the penalty area but as the minutes ticked by, Marouane Chamakh became a more direct target although he continued to flatter to deceive in his opening months as an Arsenal player.
However, with less than 20 minutes remaining, West Brom seemingly made the points safe with a third goal. After setting Brunt free down the left, Thomas made plenty of ground to get himself into the penalty area before receiving the ball back of his teammate to send the ball past Almunia.
It was turning into a dream afternoon for everyone concerned with West Bromwich Albion but joy quickly turned to anxiety as Arsenal mounted an immediate response through Nasri, who provided a cool finish after some fine individual work.
As the match entered added-on time, a second followed for Arsenal, again from Nasri who fired low past Scott Carson, but despite one late charge from the home side, the Baggies were able to hang on to record their first away success in the top flight for 19 games.