West Ham 1 – 3 Arsenal
On the back of a solid win at home against Olympiacos in the Champions League, Arsenal were looking to grab three points in the Premier league, to stay within touching distance of Chelsea, who currently top the table.
The game began in typical fashion. Arsenal were retaining the ball excellently, and were creating chances. Giroud was leading the line, with Gervinho on the right wing, and, despite the Ivorians impressive goal record, it must be said, Giroud was doing a much better job.
Instead of bouncing back to the midfield, through balls and lobbed passes were being controlled and flicked on with purpose, and we were keeping the ball well in the final third, unlike in recent matches against stern defences.
Just as we looked to be comfortable, the game took yet another typical Arsenal spin. Diame picked up the ball from outside the box, nutmegged Aaron Ramsey, and fired the ball into the far corner, past a helpless Mannone. It was a top class finish.[quote_right]”Andy Carroll was constantly causing problems in the Arsenal box. However, Mertesacker proved to be a difficult adversary for the Englishman.”[/quote_right]
All of the possession, none of the goals. Sound familiar?
However, in the 41st minute, Giroud picked up the ball in midfield, and played Podolski out wide. Giroud continued his run with determination, and got onto the end of the German’s excellent cross to poke it home. Olivier Giroud’s first Premier League goal, and it couldn’t have come at a batter time.
The second half proved to be a bit of a battle, especially for the first ten minutes. West Ham were determined to get back into the game, with Andy Carroll constantly causing problems in the Arsenal box. However, Mertesacker proved to be a difficult adversary for the Englishman.
Kieran Gibbs was replaced by Santos with what appeared to be a light injury. Theo Walcott was then thrown on in place of the lacklustre Gervinho.
Midway through the second half, Giroud’s excellent pass set Theo Walcott free down the right-hand channel. Theo was calm as he beautifully passed the ball into the bottom corner. His celebration with the fans was a pleasant sight, as controversial contract negotiations continue. Sign him up, Arsene!
We held on to our slender lead, but West Ham were constantly bombarding out box and causing our back line issues. We needed a third. And we got it.
Theo Walcott did brilliantly to win the ball in the midfield, dropping the ball onto Cazorla’s capable feet. He set himself and slammed the ball towards the West Ham goal, and the ball dipped elegantly into the top corner. An amazing finish from the Spaniard.
Laurent Koscielny was then introduced in place of Lukas Podolski to ensure the victory. And the three points were well and truly bagged up, thanks to an excellent team performance.
[title]Arsenal Player Ratings[/title]
Couldn’t do much about the goal, almost conceded by losing out to Carroll in the air, but made a few good saves.
On his way to becoming one of our established players. Another excellent performance offensively & defensively.
Solid as usual, kept Carroll quiet enough, and didn’t make any mistakes. What more could you ask for.
Proved once again why Koscielny will struggle to win his place back. Dealt with Carroll well and made a superb challenge on Noble to prevent a goal.
Not one of his best games. Crosses were not as good as we’ve become accustom to. Subbed by injury.
Given a defensive role today, and coped rather well. Should have done better against Diame for the opener, and still makes unneccessary long balls.
Simply integral to the Arsenal midfield. Keeps the ball moving, gets tackles in, and links up perfectly with Santi Cazorla.
MOTM. Despite losing the ball on occasion, Cazorla was yet again at the heart of every Arsenal move. Took his goal beautifully.
Worked hard down the left-hand channel all game, winning tackles and driving forward. Great cross for Giroud’s equalizer. Subbed.
Placed on the right wing, and was rarely in the game. His first touch& passing was poor, and he was caught offside in vital moments. Frustrating. Subbed.
Won most of his aerial battles, held up play excellently and grabbed a goal and yet another assist. Giroud now has more assists than any other player in the Arsenal squad. His goal was well deserved.
Replaced Gervinho with immediate impact. The run for his goal was well timed, and he kept his head to produce a top class finish. Currently outshining The Ox and Gervinho by far.
Santos [6.5/10], Koscielny [N/A]
[title]Forever Bursting Bubbles[/title]
West Ham showed real grit and determination, especially in the first half, to mount successive attacks on the Arsenal box. They got a deserved goal through Diame, and were well organised across the pitch. However, Arsenal simply proved too strong, thanks to great performances from Giroud, Cazorla & Theo Walcott.
We now have the dreaded International break, followed by Norwich away. Another three points that need to be taken.
What did you think of the West Ham Vs Arsenal match? Let us know in the comments section below!