First XI

Albion looking for hat-trick of wins against Arsenal

The good news ahead of Saturday is it's five wins against Arsenal since 2017. The bad news? Our last victory on New Year's Eve was 34 years ago!

By Bruce Talbot • 31 December 2022

By Paul Hazlewood
Goalscorers Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray celebrate during the 2-1 win over Arsenal in 2018.

If previous games are a guide, Albion have a good chance of ending a brilliant year with a positive result when the Premier League leaders Arsenal arrive at the Amex on Saturday.

Albion have only won seven of their 26 meetings in all competitions with the Gunners, but five of them have been since we joined the Premier League in 2017.

After losing 2-0 at the Emirates in our first Premier League meeting in October 2017, we beat the Gunners 2-1 in March 2018, our first win over Arsenal since September 1982 when a Gerry Ryan goal in a Tuesday night encounter at the Goldstone in front of 13,507 proved decisive. 

Goals in the first 26 minutes from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray put Albion in control and although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back before the break Albion held on. Only three players in our 18-man squad are still at the club – Dunk, Solly March and Pascal Gross. Danny Welbeck came on in the second half for Arsenal.

When the sides met again on Boxing Day 2018, Aubameyang was again on target but Jurgen Locadia equalised in a 1-1 draw.

The 2-1 win at the Amex in June 2020 was among the most important in our Premier League history.

It was the first game of Project Restart after Covid-19 had put the league into cold storage for more than three months and was played in front of an empty Amex.

Albion came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Dunk and Neal Maupay in stoppage time. It gave us lift-off in the battle against relegation and we eventually finished the season 15th.

When the sides last met at the Amex in October 2021, Dunk made his 350th appearance for the club and 150th in the Premier League and helped Albion keep a clean sheet in a goalless draw. It was our 100th draw in the top flight.

Since then we have won twice at the Emirates, 2-1 in the league last April and 3-1 last month in the Carabao Cup.

But while our recent record against Arsenal gives us plenty of optimism heading into the game Albion will be looking to improve a modest record in matches on New Year’s Eve.

Our last December 31 game ended in a 2-0 defeat at Coventry in 2011 and you have to go back to 1988, and a 4-0 Goldstone triumph over Birmingham City, for our last win on the final day of the year. That day Kevin Bremner scored a second-half hat-trick with his older brother Des lining up in Birmingham’s midfield. Albion have lost five of their last seven on New Year's Eve.