In one of the most dramatic Premier League games of the season so far, Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with West Ham United. The Hammers were able to start like a house on fire but once the Gunners had a sniff of goal, they were the ones in the ascendancy on a thrilling afternoon in the capital.
A few months ago this kind of performance would’ve felt impossible, if only because Arsenal have a tendency to drop the ball and fail to impress when they’re put under pressure. Instead, the visitors absolutely exploded into life in the second half and a lot of that needs to come down to manager Mikel Arteta. The players put in the grind but Arteta let them know at half time that they needed to up their game, because their showing in the first half hour simply wasn’t good enough.
The West Ham collapse
For all of the praise we’ve heaped onto the shoulders of West Ham United this season, it needs to be reiterated that they aren’t used to being at this level. They’re punching far above their weight and in that second half it showed – and it showed badly. That’s the kind of collapse which could either spur them on to bigger things or drag them out of the top four, and potentially even top six, race. Moyes has a job on his hands over the international break and we’re interested to see what comes out of it.
Momentum with the Gunners?
West Ham are priced at 11/2 with Betfair to finish in the top four whereas Arsenal are at 40/1, yet after yesterday, we’d much prefer to put money down on the Gunners than the Hammers. The top four race is shaping up to be the most interesting of the lot in the Premier League heading into the final eight games and both of these teams are in the mix. Sure, they may be content with settling for the Europa League, but knowing the prestige that comes with Champions League football is too appealing to ignore under any circumstances.
West Ham: Fabianski (6.5), Cresswell (6), Diop (6.5), Dawson (5), Coufal (6.5), Rice (7), Soucek (7), Benrhama (7.5), Lingard (8), Bowen (7.5), Antonio (7.5), Fredericks (6), Noble (6)
Arsenal: Leno (6), Chambers (6.5), Luiz (6.5), Mari (6.5), Tierney (6.5), Partey (6.5), Xhaka (6), Aubameyang (6.5), Odegaard (7.5), Saka (6.5), Lacazette (8), Pepe (7.5), Smith Rowe (6.5), Martinelli (6)
Referee: Jonathan Moss
Goals: Lingard, Bowen, Soucek :: Soucek OG, Dawson OG, Lacazette
Yellow Cards: Coufal, Cresswell, Antonio, Lacazette
Red Cards: N/A
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