Arsenal lost ground on leaders Manchester United after a horrendous mistake from Manuel Almunia led to a 2-2 draw against West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns after United had scored a late goal to earn a 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers.
The draw meant that Arsenal's misery continued. They came to this game on the back of elimination from the FA Cup at the hands of Manchester United, having already been out of the Champions League and the Carling Cup.
Things didn't get off to a bright start for the Gunners though as West Brom opened the scoring early after Steven Reid was at hand to head home a Chris Brunt corner within three minutes. With West Brom tight at the back, Arsenal struggled to find a way through and things got worse for the visitors early in the second half.
A long ball forward from Youssouf Mulumbu saw Sebastien Squillaci struggle to contain Peter Odemwingie. However, Arsenal's third choice keeper, Maneul Almunia surprised the entire stadium after rushing 25 yards out in an attempt to win the ball. However, he only succeeded in making matters easier for Odmwingie, who eased past both Arsenal players and slotted home into an empty net.
It was a horrendous mistake, no doubt. But it didn't spark an Arsenal comeback. Andrei Arshavin finished a fine move with 20 minutes remaining, to give his side hope. Ten minutes later, Van Persie was at the right place at the right time to trudge in the equalizer. However, the comeback was too little too late and they failed to find the crucial winner. Almunia's mistake may well have cost the London side a first trophy in six years.
Manchester United now have their destiny in their own hands as they lead by five points. Arsenal need to win their game in hand as well as against Manchester United when they visit in early May. If the Gunners don't get past this blip though, the trophy drought could run into its seventh year.