LONDON – Arsenal suffered a humiliating 3-1 away defeat on Saturday against West Bromwich Albion in Premier League action at The Hawthorns stadium, a loss that further dampens the London club’s hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
Defender Craig Dawson opened the scoring for West Brom just 12 minutes into the game, but Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez equalized for the Gunners three minutes later.
Striker Hal Robson-Kanu scored his team’s second goal at the 55-minute mark, while Dawson gave his squad a two-goal cushion a quarter-hour before stoppage time.
The loss casts further doubt on the future of Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger, who said after the loss that he had made a decision about his future and would announce it very soon.
The 67-year-old French manager has guided Arsenal to 20 consecutive Champions League berths, but the club has never won that elite Europe-wide competition and also has failed to capture the Premier League crown since the 2003-2004 season.
The London club’s participation in this year’s Champions League ended with an ignominious 10-2 defeat on aggregate in the round of 16 at the hands of Bundesliga powerhouse Bayern Munich, the seventh time in a row it has been eliminated at that stage of the tournament.
Some Arsenal fans in the crowd at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich held up signs demanding Wenger’s departure.
Arsenal currently is in fifth place in the Premier League after 27 games with 50 points, five behind fourth place Liverpool (albeit with a game in hand), and could slide to sixth place if Manchester United defeats lowly Middlesbrough on Sunday.
Eighth-place West Bromwich now has 43 points after its victory on Saturday.