For the first hour of their game in East London tonight, Arsenal were easily heading for yet another miserable night at the office as they were playing some wretched football against West Ham United. In the end, though, they were able to turn it all around and defeat the hosts 3-1 to vault themselves back into contention for the top four.
Angelo Ogbonna had given the Hammers a first half advantage, but in the second, Gabriel Martinelli popped up with a goal on his full Premier League debut to equalise. Nicolas Pepe curled in a wonderful effort to put Ljungberg’s side ahead, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completing the hat-trick and sealing the points.
Arsenal caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg was overcome with joy after his side were able to finally get themselves back into the win column.
“The players have belief and tried to move the ball with more tempo. West Ham got tired. The players ran their socks off and fought. I believe in them. When I could see them put their shift in I could see the quality. I thought ‘it is here for the taking’.
The hopes are slightly higher
“Martinelli did amazingly. He is like a Duracell battery, he keeps going. Laca (Alexandre Lacazette) is a tremendous player but I had to make a tough decision.
“We have a lot to work on. A lot of things to fix. They have been under a lot of pressure but had the mental strength to win.
“I tried to keep calm and see what was happening on the pitch. They sorted it out themselves. It is amazing what they did today. I just want to enjoy the day and then get to work tomorrow.”
There’s a very good chance that Manuel Pellegrini isn’t going to last the night for West Ham, but if he does, then the focus will turn towards a huge relegation six-pointer on Saturday when they take on Southampton in the sort of game they just cannot afford to lose. Arsenal, on the other hand, will attempt to progress in the Europa League before hosting Manchester City in a huge game.
West Ham: Martin (5), Cresswell (7), Ogbonna (7), Balbuena (6.5), Fredericks (6.5), Fornals (6.5), Rice (7), Noble (6), Snodgrass (6.5), Anderson (6.5), Antonio (6.5), Holland (6.5), Haller (6), Masuaku (6.5)
Arsenal: Leno (7), Maitland-Niles (7), Chambers (7.5), Sokratis (7), Tierney (6.5), Xhaka (6.5), Torreira (7), Pepe (7.5), Ozil (6.5), Martinelli (7.5), Aubameyang (8), Nelson (6), Guendouzi (6.5), Kolasinac (7.5)
Referee: Mike Dean
Goals: Ogbonna :: Martinelli, Pepe, Aubameyang
Yellow Cards: Cresswell, Snodgrass
Red Cards: N/A
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