In their first game since Arsene Wenger confirmed he’d be leaving the club at the end of the season, Arsenal put on a late show to ensure they kept their faint hopes of finishing in the top four alive. The Gunners were struggling during portions of their game against West Ham United to pull ahead, but eventually they managed to get the edge, as David Moyes’ side ensured their future in the Premier League would remain uncertain for at least another week.
The atmosphere was noticeably different at the Emirates in the wake of the news that the ‘Wenger Out’ campaign had finally got their wish, with the Frenchman beginning his final few games in charge. The club likely would’ve had one eye on their upcoming Europa League showdown with Atletico Madrid, but they still managed to dig deep and find it within themselves to pull off the victory with three goals in the final ten minutes of the contest.
Never in doubt?
Following a first half that was quite mild by comparison to the second, Arsenal finally managed to kick themselves into gear as Nacho Monreal volleyed the ball home masterfully from a corner. It looked as if they’d ease towards the three points, but West Ham showed the tenacity of a team battling for survival as Marko Arnautovic smashed his effort past the helpless David Ospina.
Another frustrating afternoon could’ve easily been on the cards for Arsenal, but thankfully, the in-form Aaron Ramsey put them back ahead as a comedy of errors between Declan Rice and Joe Hart meant the Hammers went behind for the second time in the game.
Alexandre Lacazette scored a quick brace to continue his confident run as of late, which meant that the home side walked away with a 4-1 win that looked more convincing than it actually was.
Alas, it doesn’t really matter how they got the win, because the important thing is that they haven’t lost any steam prior to hosting Atletico in midweek. That game will take place on Thursday, whereas West Ham will host Manchester City next Sunday as they aim to secure their spot in the top flight next season.
Arsenal: Ospina (6), Bellerin (6.5), Mustafi (6), Koscielny (7), Monreal (7), Xhaka (7.5), Elneny (7), Iwobi (6), Ramsey (7), Welbeck (6), Lacazette (8)
Subs: Maitland-Niles (6), Aubameyang (6.5), Chambers (n/a)
West Ham: Hart (7), Zabaleta (6), Ogbonna (6), Rice (5.5), Cresswell (5.5), Kouyate (7), Fernandes (6), Noble (6.5), Masuaku (5), Mario (7.5), Arnautovic (6.5)
Subs: Lanzini (7), Hernandez (6), Carroll (n/a)
Referee: Lee Mason
Goals: Monreal, Ramsey, Lacazette x2 :: Arnautovic
Yellow Cards: Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Zabaleta, Arnautovic
Red Cards: N/A
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