Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 5/13/12
Arsenal secured an automatic Champions League spot with victory over West Brom after being helped by a nightmare display from Baggies' stand-in goalkeeper Marton Fulop. Fulop, who replaced the injured Ben Foster, was at fault for all three Gunners goals from Yossi Benayoun, Andre Santos and Laurent Koscielny as Arsene Wenger's side edged out Tottenham for third spot. Albion had netted through Shane Long and Graham Dorrans after Benayoun's opener, but Fulop's horror show meant it was a losing end to new England head coach Roy Hodgson's reign. Wenger will take immense satisfaction from his side's achievement after some supporters had called for him to be sacked earlier in the campaign. It will also give him a stronger hand to play in attempting to keep hold of leading scorer and skipper Robin van Persie. Albion will now look to find a successor for Hodgson and attempt to build on a second successive mid-table finish. Arsenal were the first to settle and a mistake by Fulop gifted Benayoun the opening goal after three minutes. Van Persie and James Morrison challenged for the ball in midfield and the ball ricocheted into the path of Fulop. But he appeared to stumble when under no pressure and Benayoun was left with the simplest of tasks to knock the ball into an empty net. Albion retaliated and Wojciech Szczesny produced a fine low save to keep out a shot on the turn from a narrow angle by Marc-Antoine Fortune. But after 11 minutes the fit-again Long brought the Baggies on level terms. He chased down a pass from Morrison and hammered a low shot past Szczesny into the corner of the net. Wenger appealed in vain for offside with the fourth official but Long appeared to be played onside by Carl Jenkinson. Three minutes later an equally clinical finish from Dorrans put the Baggies in front. Morrison was again the creator and Dorrans gave Szczesny no chance of saving with a similar finish to that of Long. Gareth McAuley blocked an effort from Benayoun inside the box and a Van Persie free-kick hit the defensive wall, but after half an hour Santos brought the Gunners level. Fulop got a hand to his swerving left-footed drive from 20 yards out but could only parry it into the corner of the net. Play was moving from end to end and Van Persie became the first player to be booked seven minutes before half-time for a touchline challenge on McAuley. Wenger brought on Theo Walcott in place of Tomas Rosicky for the second half. The visitors started the period on the offensive and a cross-shot from Santos was only just off target. Albion were forced to reshuffle after 51 minutes when the impressive Morrison limped out of the action to be replaced by Keith Andrews. Fulop's horror show continued when another mistake gifted Koscielny a goal after 54 minutes to restore Arsenal's lead. The former Sunderland goalkeeper punched a corner from Van Persie back towards his own goal and Koscielny made no mistake from four yards out. Albion tried to recover and a Jonas Olsson header was deflected over his own bar by Van Persie. Then Szczesny reacted quickly to turn aside a shot on the turn from Andrews. In injury-time substitute Kieran Gibbs produced a vital block on Billy Jones' shot after he burst into the box.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Winners and losers of Astros' ALCS victory over Yankees

Steph Curry may face suspension for throwing mouthpiece at ref

Alex Cora reportedly getting three-year deal from Red Sox

Kristaps Porzingis wants to see changes from Knicks before committing long-term

Bobby Portis apologizes for role in Nikola Mirotic fight

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tennessee fans fly banner: 'Butch your mom still loves you'

Steelers rack up $94K in fines for penalties against the Chiefs

Kyrie Irving has no regrets about cursing at heckler who taunted him about LeBron

Tennessee's Rashaan Gaulden flips double bird to 'Bama fans, down by 22 points

WATCH: Adrian Killins injured after crashing into goat bucket

Twitter reacts to Adrian Killins leaving everyone in dust on 79-yard TD

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Houston Astros hold off Yankees, forcing Game 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker