Result: Arsenal 3 – 1 West Ham
Competition: Premier League
Date: 25 August 2018
Venue: The Emirates Stadium
Arsenal gained their first 3 points of the season in a London derby against West Ham at home. It wasn’t always smooth sailing as West Ham sliced through the Arsenal midfield often in the first half, culminating in a goal from Arnautovic on the 24th minute. Monreal hit back a few minutes later to equalize. The second half was much better as Lacazette came on to create the second goal which was turned in by a West Ham defender. Substitute Danny Welbeck, making his first appearance of the season, put the icing on the cake with a goal in injury time. Arsenal fans can be enthused by the number of chances created on goal but should also be equally worried by the defensive issues plaguing team. Emery’s work is far from done.
The Arsenal Team
Starting XI: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Monreal, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
Subs: Leno, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Torreira, Welbeck, Lacazette
0′ – A RETURN FOR ARSENAL OLD BOYS
The Emirates welcomes back the popular Jack Wilshere and the hero of our 2014 FA Cup triumph, Lukas Fabianski. Ex-players usually have a point to prove against their former teams. Will they have an excellent game with their new teammates? Let’s hope not.
1′ – RAMSEY THE PRESSING INSTIGATOR
Arsenal start out in a 4-3-3 formation with Ramsey slightly higher up to dictate the high press. The full backs push high too while Guendouzi and Xhaka stay deep to cover in defence and distribute the ball.
6′ – ARSENAL FINDING THEIR RHYTHM
Emery wants the team to play a fast tempo game and Arsenal try to do so with mixed results. Some of the passes are not sticking as the players are a little too anxious in possession.
9′ – FREE KICK FOR ARSENAL
Guendouzi is too quick for Wilshere as the ex-Arsenal man takes down the shaggy haired midfielder outside of the box. Mhkitaryan’s free kick is cleared by a West Ham defender.
10′ – GOAL RULED FOR OFFSIDE
Quick counter by Arsenal with Bellerin crossing low for Mhkitaryan to shoot from the edge of the box. A great instinctive save from Fabianski left the ball for Ramsey to head in. Unfortunately, Ramsey is offside and the goal is disallowed.
11′ – ARNAUTOVIC HITS SIDE NETTING
The poor man’s Zlatan beats the offside trap and hits the side netting with his attempt. Major warning there for the Arsenal backline.
16′ – IWOBI GETS STUCK IN
Wilshere breaks on the counter but Iwobi sprints back to dispossess the ex-Arsenal man. Excellent stuff there from the midfielder who is trying to show Emery he’s got the work rate to stay in the first team.
20′ – SNODGRASS CROSS SAVED
Snodgrass’ cross from the right side eludes Sokratis who dangles a lazy leg to clear and misses the ball entirely. The ball almost reaches a West Ham player but is eventually saved by Cech.
24′ – ⚽ WEST HAM GOAL 0-1
Arnautovic combines well with Anderson outside the box. Arnautovic receives the final ball and makes a powerful low strike to Cech’s right to draw first blood.
28′ – RAMSEY SHOT BLOCKED
Aubameyang releases Ramsey into the box to score but Fredericks makes a brilliant interception to prevent the equalizer.
29′ – ⚽ GOAL BY NACHO!! 1-1
Bellerin crosses the ball from the right resulting in a scramble. The ball falls to Monreal who is in acres of space and rifles in the equalizer. Get in, boys!
31′ – ANTONIO SHOT SAVED
Antonio creeps in behind Bellerin and shoots just outside the box, straight at Cech. It’s been an open game and we have to be wary of the West Ham counter.
32′ – ANDERSON SHOT BLOCKED
Arsenal fail to clear the ball due to their disorganized defence. Anderson finds some space to receive the ball on the inside left only to have Sokratis make a last ditch tackle to put an end to the attack.
36′ – RAMSEY STRIKE SAVED
Ramsey manages to find some space in the box and is put through by Mhkitaryan. The shot is deflected and saved by Fabianski. The Armenian has been making some great through balls thus far.
36′ – ARNAUTOVIC GOES CLEAR BUT IS OFFSIDE
Somehow West Ham counter immediately and make it a 2v2 situation at our back. Arnautovic races clear after a looped ball lands at his feet but the referee calls for offside. A very close decision.
39′ – AUBAMEYANG CURLER FROM OUTSIDE THE BOX
Aubameyang attempts a shot on goal but it skims just above the crossbar.
41′ – AUBAMEYANG FOULED
Aubameyang is taken down by a nasty foul from Diop who rakes his studs down Aubameyang’s shins. He tries to walk it off despite looking uncomfortable.
43′ – XHAKA AND SNODGRASS COLLISION
Both men clash when challenging for the ball and it looks to be a painful one for both players. Xhaka is lucky not to earn a yellow for the late challenge.
45 + 1′ – SNODGRASS ALMOST SCORES
Another scramble outside the Arsenal box sees a through ball to Snodgrass who races through on goal. Cech sprints off his line well to cover his angles and saves the low shot.
HALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-1 WEST HAM
It’s been a crazy and open game of football as West Ham went ahead first through Arnautovic on the 24th minute before Monreal responded with an equalizer 5 minutes later. Arsenal has been too susceptible to counters by West Ham with numerous long balls bypassing our midfield and finding its way into a disorganized defence. Perhaps Torreira could help us out in the area if he played. Arsenal also need to hold on to possession better in the final third. Lacazette would be useful in the second half.
46′ – LACAZETTE COMES ON FOR IWOBI
Emery shows off his proactive instincts with another half time substitution. Aubameyang shifts to the left with Iwobi coming off. Can Lacazette help the Arsenal attack hold on to the ball better in the final third?
47′ – MUSTAFI CHANCE
Aubameyang crosses from the left and Mustafi heads a looping header to the far post, only for Fabianski to palm it away from danger.
52′ – LACAZETTE’S FIRST ATTEMPT ON GOAL
A nice ball through the lines from Xhaka reaches Aubameyang who lays it off to Lacazette to shoot straight at Fabianski. Decent build-up play.
54′ – ARNAUTOVIC ALMOST SCORES AGAIN
The Arsenal back line is stretched again as Anderson runs down the left wing and squares it for Arnautovic whose shot bounces off the pitch to nestle safely in Cech’s arms. A better strike could have resulted in a goal.
55′ – TORREIRA COMES ON
Emery has seen enough and brings on Torreira for Guendouzi. Can he plug the holes in our defensive shape?
56′ – LACAZETTE ATTEMPT ON GOAL
Another strike on goal by the Frenchman who has been lively and active in finding space in the final third. Good save by Fabianski. Monreal scuffs the rebound when trying to volley the ball with his right foot.
58′ – WEST HAM SUBSTITUTION
Arnautovic limps off the field due to injury and is replaced by Chicharito. The Austrian has been dangerous for West Ham and many Arsenal fans are happy to see him leave the pitch.
61′ – LUCAS PEREZ IS SUBBED ON
Another ex-Gunner joins the fray, this time coming on as a subfor Antonio.
66′ – LACAZETTE IS MAKING A DIFFERENCE
Lacazette looks sharp so far – making flick-ons, keeping the ball and dropping deep to combine with the midfield.
69′ – ⚽ GOAL ARSENAL! 2-1
West Ham let the ball bounce in the box and Lacazette takes the opportunity to gain possession, holds up the ball well with his back to goal and swivels to shoot. The ball hits Diop and deflects into the net.
71′ – ARSENAL CHANCE
Ramsey shimmies past the defence on the byline and pulls it back for Aubameyang but the shot is cleared by Diop. Arsenal is smelling blood and it’s one way traffic in favour of the Gunners.
74′ – IT’S DAT GUY
No goals for Aubameyang but it’s time for Danny Welbeck’s first appearance of the season. He replaces the Gabon international to provide some graft down the left.
77′ – FIRST CHANCE FOR WELBECK
Lacazette hounds Perez and wins the ball high up the field. Ramsey receives it and crosses the ball for Welbeck but his header is weak and Fabianski saves easily.
78′ – WEST HAM PINNED BACK
West Ham are struggling without Arnautovic and it’s all Arsenal since he was subbed off.
79′ – YELLOW CARD, WEST HAM
Fredericks receives a yellow for a poor tackle on Monreal.
82′ – RAMSEY HALF VOLLEY SAVED
Fabianski is having a great game, this time saving a fizzing shot to the bottom corner.
83′ – WEST HAM COUNTER AGAIN
Best chance by West Ham in the last 20 minutes as Anderson charges down the middle. He lays off the ball for Perez on the left who crosses the ball for Chicharito but it goes out for a goal kick. Arsenal is risking too many players forward in the dying minutes when they’re a goal up. Some things never change.
87′ – YELLOW CARD, WILSHERE
Wilshere scythes down Welbeck at the halfway line to prevent an Arsenal counter.
89′ – YELLOW CARD, SOKRATIS
Sokratis is booked for time-wasting and blocking of a West Ham free kick.
90′ – WEST HAM GO CLOSE
Anderson crosses low into the box from the left but no West Ham forwards take the risk to make that tap in.
90 + 1′ – ⚽ GOAL BY DAT GUY! ARSENAL 3 – 1
Another fast break by the Gunners and Welbeck receives a ball from a Bellerin cutback. He had all the time in the world to turn and stick the ball in.
FULLTIME: ARSENAL 3 – 1 WEST HAM
It was a much better second half from Arsenal as Lacazette’s introduction helped produce passing angles and fluid movements in the attacking third. It was his deflected shot which created a West Ham own goal to give Arsenal the lead. Arsenal were the better team from then on but still managed to give West Ham a couple of chances on goal. Danny Welbeck punished West Ham with a goal in injury time to seal Emery’s first 3 points of his Arsenal tenure.