Ultimately, a second giant-killing in eight days proved a step too far for Albion.
But yesterday at The Hawthorns looked, sounded and felt very much like another huge victory for a team that appears to have turned an important corner.
Jack Wilshere’s deflected equaliser earned Arsenal the point that took them joint-top of the Premier League from a hugely entertaining clash with Steve Clarke’s side, who had led through a first Baggies goal for midfielder Claudio Yacob.
But if the noisy Gunners fans departed the West Midlands satisfied with a share of the spoils that maintained their flying start to their campaign, then The Hawthorns faithful went home thrilled with another clear sign that their side has rediscovered its mojo.
A week and a day earlier, Clarke’s men had outplayed Manchester United in a fabulous second-half performance at Old Trafford as history was made.
And their return to home turf saw them stand toe-to-toe with the top flight’s most in-form outfit and more than hold their own.
In fact, had Nicolas Anelka remembered his shooting boots against his former club, the home side might well have been out of sight before Wilshere’s low drive struck Jonas Olsson and beat a helpless Boaz Myhill just after the hour mark. The veteran Frenchman’s squandered chances were the only major disappointment for Albion on a day when their new-look attacking unit once again showed it is gelling nicely as they head into the international break that precedes the long winter.
That winter now looks infinitely more exciting for Albion than it did just three short weeks ago, when a stuttering start to the season and inactivity in the transfer market left serious concerns among the fanbase.
Yesterday, however, Morgan Amalfitano and Stephane Sessegnon maintained their impressive starts to Baggies life while Saido Berahino, handed a first Premier League start, once more looked to the manor born.
And Yacob, whose poor early-season displays were a source of real worry, capped a personal return to form with a maiden Albion goal that he, his team-mates and fans celebrated extravagantly.
Clarke made his intentions clear with a bold team selection, overlooking the claims of captain Chris Brunt and the experienced James Morrison and handing Berahino a first Premier League start wide on the left in place of the injured Scott Sinclair.
Anelka also returned to face his former club after Victor Anichebe was ruled out by a groin problem, and both Anelka and Berahino played a part in a positive early move that reflected their boss’s adventurous selections.
They combined with Sessegnon wide on the left with Liam Ridgewell eventually forcing a corner which was taken by Amalfitano and cleared by Per Mertesacker. Another darting run by Anelka moments later was spotted by Amalfitano, but former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward Anelka’s cross from the right-hand corner was cleared by Laurent Koscielny.
But the Gunners also posed an early threat and Mikel Arteta saw a stinging long-range effort strike Olivier Giroud and deflect wide before Aaron Ramsey’s free-kick flew high off target following a foul by Yacob.
The visitors looked most dangerous on the counter-attack, and one incisive break ended with Kieran Gibbs firing just over.
Another moments later saw Mesut Ozil sent clear on the right, but Albion cleared his cross from the near post.
And Wilshere, who was shifted out wide to the left on his return to the Gunners team, drifted into the centre and tried his luck with a 20-yard drive that skidded wide.
The temperature of the game increased when a series of disputed decisions and meaty challenges raised the hackles of the players.
Myhill in the Albion goal produced a brilliant reaction save to keep out a shot by Ramsey from an Ozil corner.
And the value of his block was underlined three minutes before half-time when a fabulous Baggies goal broke the deadlock.
A neat move forced a right-wing corner and, when the ball was cleared back to flag-kick-taker Amalfitano, his fine, curling cross was guided home by the head of Yacob, five yards out at the near post.
The Argentina international celebrated his first Baggies goal in jubilant fashion at the Smethwick End with forefingers raised to the heavens and a kiss of his bicep.
Albion had held their own in the first half and claimed the lead just before the interval, and they should have doubled their advantage and taken a huge stride towards victory two minutes after the restart.
Berahino left a couple of flimsy Arsenal challenges in his wake before galloping down the left and curling a low cross that found its way to Anelka at the far post.
But the former Gunners man failed to anticipate the arrival of the ball and could not control it, meaning a glorious opportunity went begging.
Clarke’s men were almost punished immediately for Anelka’s profligacy as Arsenal broke to the other end and Wilshere burst into the area but the England man blasted over as Billy Jones made a sliding tackle that did enough to put the England star off.
Anelka then had another superb chance to give his side a two-goal cushion as he tore down the left flank to collect a clipped ball from Liam Ridgewell and cut in to the edge of the area before bending a right-footed effort millimetres wide of the far post.
There were inevitable fears that Anelka’s missed chances would end up costing his side, and so it proved when the previously-isolated Wilshere drifted inside to level the score on 63 minutes.
He seized on Tomas Rosicky’s lay-off from Giroud’s right-wing cross and hit a low right-footed effort that clipped Jonas Olsson’s shin to wrongfoot Boaz Myhill and find the net.
But, just as Manchester United’s equaliser did at Old Trafford eight days earlier, the Gunners’ goal inspired a second wind from Albion and a powerful drive from Jones from 25 yards was palmed around the post superbly by Wojciech Szczesny in the visitors’ goal.
And moments later a fabulous pass from substitute Shane Long released Amalfitano, who saw his effort deflected behind for a corner by Gibbs.
But the Gunners found another gear of their own and were denied superbly again by Myhill with 15 minutes to go.
Giroud latched on to a fine pass from Wilshere and found himself one-on-one with the Baggies keeper, but the Wales international stood up strongly to block the French striker’s shot as he twisted and turned.
The Gunners made the running in the closing stages but Albion had chances on the break and Amalfitano sent a dipping effort wide from 30 yards after a good header back from substitute Long.
And that was the final real chance for the Baggies, who could not hold on for the victory that looked possible, but who head into their two-week break with confidence completely restored.
For pictures and match report click here