Midfielder acknowledges Albion gave it their all but lacked clear-cut chances
JAMES Morrison was proud of the wholehearted performance he and his Albion team-mates put in despite falling to a narrow 1-0 defeat at Arsenal.
The Baggies were undone by Olivier Giroud’s 14th-minute header as the Gunners collected all three points.
It was an encounter in which Albion’s endeavour and hard work was not matched by clear-cut openings, although they did enjoy a couple of half-chances at the Emirates Stadium.
Midfielder Morrison said: “I think you could see by the performance, the lads gave it everything.
“We were just lacking those clear-cut chances.
“I’m proud of the team, we dug in deep.
“We huffed and puffed and had a few chances from set-pieces, it’s a bitter blow to lose to a set-piece.
“We gave 100% and I think we were on top late on in the second half.”
The game’s crucial moment came after Youssouf Mulumbu had done well to deflect over a goalbound shot from Santi Cazorla.
The Spaniard whipped in the resulting corner and Giroud was on hand at the near post to head home from six yards – his 16th Barclays Premier League goal of the season.
And Morrison could not help but admit his disappointment at conceding what turned out to be the matchwinner from a set-piece.
“We’d worked all week on our shape, trying to force them out wide and then score off a set-piece early on ourselves,” he said.
“But we dug in and worked until the end. Who knows, one of those half-chances could have gone in.”
Despite defeat today, the form of Pepe Mel’s side of late has been impressive.
Albion have only lost to the Gunners and fellow high-fliers Manchester City in their last six matches – a period in which they have collected eight points.
Scotland international Morrison added: “I think our performances over the last five or six games have been really good, especially under pressure.
“It’s never easy to play with pressure but credit to the lads, we’ve rallied, stayed together and I’m proud of the team.”