Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Saka, Lacazette
Subs: Okonkwo, Holding, Tavares, Elneny, Maitland-Niles, Lokonga, Smith Rowe, Pepe, Nketiah
Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe gave Arsenal a 2-0 win over West Ham at the Emirates this evening, moving the Gunners into the top four for the first time this season.
Mikel Arteta named an unchanged side after Saturday’s 3-0 win over Southampton, and the early stages saw both sides feeling each other out without too much happening.
Coufal picked up a booking after an arm in Tierney’s face, an incident to which the Arsenal players reacted strongly, but the subsequent free kick was cleared. It raised the temperature inside the stadium a bit, but with the Hammers set up to counter-attack, the onus was on the Gunners.
Mikel Arteta was animated on the sideline, and referee Anthony Taylor took time to remonstrate with one of the coaching staff after what appeared to be a foul on Aaron Rasmdale. Both Partey and Saka almost found space to shoot but were robbed at the last second. Lacazette collided with Dawson in the box after Odegaard’s nice touch to Martinelli, but by the half hour mark neither keeper had had a save to make in a tight game.
A dive from Soucek gave West Ham a free kick in a dangerous area, from which Fornals curled a shot just wide. It prompted the visitors into their best spell of the game. Masuaku shot over, but then Saka created a chance for Saka which was blocked, and from there Tierney hit a shot which clattered back off the crossbar after a touch from Fabianski.
The former Arsenal keeper made another good save from Lacazette, and Dawson’s defending on the rebound was enough to distract Martinelli. The half ended 0-0, but the Gunners played with intent and positivity, could they do more in the second period?
There were no changes for either side at the break, and Saka had the first attempt, shooting over from outside the box, but within a minute we were ahead. Lacazette picked up the ball from Gabriel, turned towards goal and played a pass inside the defender. Martinelli took it on, opened up his body, and finished in Henry-esque fashion inside the far post. 1-0.
Xhaka had a shot blocked, and after an Odegaard pass caught Xhaka on his heels, Ramsdale had to make a save from Bowen. Lacazette won a free kick just outside the D when he was fouled by Dawson, Odegaard put it on target but Fabianski made the save. Martinelli picked up a yellow card on the hour mark, Partey saw a good shot blocked, and after Xhaka got caught on the ball in midfield, Bowen shot wide as West Ham looked for an equaliser.
Emile Smith Rowe replaced Odegaard in the 65th minute, and moments later Arsenal had a penalty when Coufal fouled Lacazette in the box, and picked up a second yellow card in the process. The Frenchman took it himself but his poor spot kick was saved by Fabianski, leaving the tightest of leads for the final 20 minutes.
Ramsdale was booked for time-wasting, and there was a sense of nervousness around the stadium. Gabriel hooked a shot just wide from a Martinelli corner, and the young Brazilian created a glorious chance for Saka but brilliant defending saw the ball fizz just wide. Martinelli then came off with what appeared to be cramp, replaced for the last 10 minutes or so by Eddie Nketiah.
West Ham pressed for a goal, and the one goal lead was always going to be precarious, but with 3 minutes of normal time we made the game safe. Tomiyasu won it back in our half, Saka took it forward, played it outside to Smith Rowe who took it on, drove towards the box, and fired a left footed shot inside the post leaving Fabianski standing still. 2-0.
A late free kick outside our box caused some danger, but Benrahma hit the wall.
In the end, a deserved win, which takes us to the dizzy heights of the top four!
Great win, another great game from martenelli. Keep the form up boys! We’re showing that we can win without auba
So proud of the lads tonight. Those games where there’s a window for genuine progression we always seem to slip up in. But we didn’t. Incredible match. Really tense. Really exciting. And we fucking won it.
Christmas is red and white.
Christmas is Arsenal.
Remember last year before the Chelsea game when Arteta was somewhat forced to play ESR and his play forced him to keep him in the lineup from that point on. Kinda felt like Martinelli might be doing the same thing.
This is the type of football we should be playing, week in, week out. For the first time probably all season, I think I’ve felt comfortable for the duration of a match. Yes, we should probably have scored more goals and earlier, but that was a very composed performance. Let’s keep it up!
love the positivity. but i was bricking it until ESR scored!
Auba thanks for this opportunity given to GM. We will not miss u very much
@Omash – A comment in poor taste, mate.
He defended well too!
He was all around great. Finally he’s getting the chance to show arteta what he can do.
We actually have a higher winning percentage without Auba in the team than when he is picked. 64% v 49% if I remember rightly.
64% of games where we’ve played without Auba we’ve won. 49% of games we have played with Auba we’ve won. So it’s not the 2 percentages added together. However, the percentage doesn’t show the whole picture as it could be 6/10 for the first stat and 490/1000 for the second (I know it isn’t, but the point remains). Depends on the narrative doesn’t it, as stats can be misused to just feed into a specific point of view. So we need to look at per 100 games, what is the win percentage with/without Auba. Though I’ve struggled to find the… Read more »
2 beautiful goals!
And could have been more. Like how we didn’t seat back after the Martinelli goal.
I feel like Partey had his best game this season.
Really? I thought Partey was a hot mess.
I guess it sums the player up.
Beautiful goals are good, but somebody needs to be practicing penalties! A lot of unnecessary nervousness caused
Strange that Arteta hasn’t thought of doing that in training…
One thing I have noticed during our recent struggle to score a lot of goals: those we do score are invariably pretty good ones. Those scrappy, lucky scrambles of recent seasons don’t seem to be as frequent these days.
That’s because we don’t have Welbeck anymore to score with his left cheek
Fantastic to see the oozing confidence! Great game by Martinelli over all and clean sheets on Ramsdale just makes me happy. So so happy.
Also, fun fact – we currently hold the best home record in the league (drawn with Man City) – 7 wins, 1 draw and just 1 loss in 9 games this season. It’s really good to see that we’re making the Emirates a tough place to come to.
Yes now it’s time to get some away form going!
Welcome back ESR!
Love that he took it on and went for the shot like it was no big deal – shows how far he’s come with his confidence in front of goal! That finish was cool as you like. And kudos to the whole team for chasing down second balls from start to finish, building up to the moment Tomi and Saka created that excellent counter. There was no sitting back tonight – all hussle and commitment!
Great second goal that!
Smiling again, UCL in our hands now
Don’t get carried away but it was a good win
Agreed. Long way to go still, but definitely a big step in the right direction. It’s about time we started taking points off the teams around us.
Yes, there is a long way to go but do get carried away, enjoy the good times.
It was Only West Ham afterall
Technically it still isn’t. Utd have a game in hand and Spurs have 3. Better to have points in the bag, but it’s not really in our hands quite yet
big big win lads letsgooooooooooo COYG
If the Everton game was arguably our worst performance of the season given the circumstances, this was arguably our best. Been complaining about us playing too deep for pressing/possession football, that was rectified today in a big way. After performances like this we all always say we need to do that every game, this will be no different!
So good to see how we managed the last 5 minutes or so. Very composed, smooth and quick passing, and most of our players were in their half pinning back their play. That’s how you do it!
I always said we would beat West Ham and lose to Leeds. Let’s buck the trend and prove me wrong!
Leeds lost 7-0 at the weekend and should be there for the taking. Then again, we said that too about Everton.
Anyways, this type of football makes the rollercoaster worth the while at least. Now it’s time to be good away from home.
I agree with Blogs when he says that teams who are bereft of confidence and an utter shambles, always seem to the the shot in the arm they need from Arsenal…. so let’s hope we don’t repeat that and destroy Leeds next 🙂
That was quite fun. Well played lads
Odegaard must be scared for his place. SmithRowe, Martinelli and Saka have sent him an sms.
Odegaard played well tonight
Odegaard has been fantastic. The competition is bringing the best out of everyone.
Wow, seems to be an unpopular opinion. There is a clip of the Arsenal bench after ESR and Martin was the only person not celebrating. He even looked a bit sad.
I hope he doesn’t let the goal or sub get him down because he’s finally got his confidence back. I expect to see him starting against Leeds.
Might have been a little disappointed to be taken off that early but he’s been playing a lot and had started to wane a little – excellent timing to bring on ESR’s fresh legs to wrestle some control back, which worked beautifully. There are plenty of games coming up so all of those guys are going to get playing time – I have no doubt he’s ecstatic for the win and just wants to do his bit to help the team keep winning. No player likes to sit on the bench! Agree with you re his confidence and that he’s… Read more »
Noticed that as well, would think there’s nothing to it, from what I see from him his attitude and work rate are his biggest assets.
after ESR scored.
Yeah didn’t notice that moment but I felt something was slightly off with Martin tonight.
We need that competition!
Best all round performance of the season by a mile..very impressive from all of the boys
Top 4 with the youngest team in the league. Some people here must be feeling a bit sheepish about their recent hysteria.
I don’t think so. There was good reason for the hysteria. As tasty as this win is, it does not make the bad losses against Man U and Everton easier to take. We would be firmly in top 4 – irrespective of our rivals’ outstanding games – if we played as well as we could in those games. 4 points was a distinct possibility; and considering that we took the lead in both games, a more positive, front footed approach would have enhanced our chances of going home with 6. I am glad the team seem to have learnt some… Read more »
“There was good reason for the hysteria”.
You want another go at that? 🤣
I wouldn’t call it hysteria.
What do you expect when we give lose points that they are there for the taking? Fans to celebrate?
No, but some of the comments here were absolutely laughable given the position we were in to press on and get into the top 4, the youth of our team and our bad luck in some situations to that point.
We shouldn’t be so fickle that the sky is falling and the manager is an imbecile every time we don’t get a result.
Nobody has been saying the sky is falling.
Just that the manager has this team playing passive, low-scoring football all the while falling out with an unprecedented number of players and that he doesn’t really seem to be improving.
We’ll see if he manages to build on the recent performances. He hasn’t before.
Huge huge win.
The difference in having a forward that can contribute in build up couldn’t be clearer. Despite the pen miss, Laca had a blinder. Saka too, Martinelli too. Partey was also quietly excellent in this game.
He definitely is starting to do the basic things. Let’s hope he gets better.
His partner, on the other hand, was poor tonight. Found himself in some pretty good places, but still fluffed his lines.
The basics? Back heeld nutmegs when pinned by two centrebacks?
Defense splitting passes?
He’s playing much better than our other forward option, Eddie nketiah
He’s talking about Partey and his Partner…
I thought Lacca was motm tonight, Saka odegaard class too, defence very good also
We made some dodgy passes coming out of defence thru oďegaard and xhaka and TP was loose too. But overall in 2nd half much more spark. Martinelli and laca great duo. Need 2 key signings nxt season… ray Kennedy happy up there.
Laca MTM regardless of penalty miss, he was immense.
The kids will get the plaudits and rightly so. But for once the experienced core of Partey, Laca and Xhaka were all excellent and gave the basis for the young guns to go and express themselves. Great performance all round
Xhaka was solid nothing more. He was better last week. A couple mistakes that could have cost us on another day. A typical 6.5/10 performance. Laca and Partey were miles ahead of him in this game. Just glad Xhaka wasn’t made captain.
I thought he was very good, especially covering the space between KT and Gabriel when defending. He has his moments but tonight I think, although not the best Arsenal player, he was excellent.
There was this moment when Xhaka clearly told KT to move up, which he did – seemingly against his better judgement – Xhaka moved into the LB position, leaving Party alone in midfield.
West Ham got into a good opportunity almost immediately.
I was reminded of the notion that Xhaka is the “manager on the pitch”.
We should also give him +0.5 for not doing his monthly brain fart on this game!
He tried – falling asleep on the ball while we were playing it out and getting pick-pocketed 35 yards out from our goal!
Did you notice gabriel with lacazette anytime he was talking to the referee? Right from the time Tierney got caught in the face. Don’t think you have to worry about xhaka, seemed to me as if it was planned for gabriel to be there any time lacazette was arguing our case.
Gabriel is our next captain IMO.
I didn’t notice who took the armband when lacazette went off.
Xhaka was NOT solid… when will we realise that he represents the ‘handbrake’ (to use the le Prof’s favourite phrase)? Blogs subtext above says it all: ‘Xhaka caught on his heels…’ Xhaka caught in possession’… And please can he stay out of the opposition area – he just gets in the way: twice he found himself in perfect shooting positions and both times, couldn’t get the ball out of his feet, despite perfect lay-offs! And that’s without noting the effect his lack of pace and risky positioning has on Partey: Thomas cannot play his natural game whilst continually having to… Read more »
Exactly what I saw last night.
Lacazette was immense. Thankfully we didn’t need his pen to win the match because that would have tarnished what should be truthfully considered one of his best performances for the club in quite some time. I can’t actually remember a better game from him, but I have a terrible memory, so…
I was thinking Laca will shine in January when Aubas gone. They always do for us when contracts up. But he started way early. I ll take it. Lets keep pushing this. Fans sounded great too on the tv, better to focus on than the commentary, as usual. Back the boys!
Also noticed that he’s quietly managing more and more minutes playing time… although he looked knackered from about 70 mins onwards.
I don’t think I have ever seen Lacazette play this well. Or with more effort. I don’t think the message could have been lost on the younger players: this is Aubameyang’s best friend in the club, and whatever happened has not lessened his commitment.
Agree. The spirit shown by everyone was really clear from kickoff – they mean serious business. So pleased they kept fighting for the second goal and didn’t sit back like the other times we’ve given away leads. I’m sure they wanted to give a strong performance on behalf of Auba too, who I’m sure is hurting a lot in what is a big shame of a situation for all involved. Plus, Laca can play more than 65 minutes these days, that’s a huge plus! He was MOTM for me, though I don’t think anyone had a poor game. Great team… Read more »
I’ve gotta hand it to Partey, he was much much better tonight
Luckily one of our midfield pair had a good game, the other wasn’t far from poor
Xhaka was decent. Bit of steel at times and physical ity
Steel is apt.
You notice that time a West Ham player simply ran around him like he was a rod stuck in the ground?
Still achingly ponderous on the ball – caught on his heels for that MO back pass… caught in possession late-on right in front of our D. Couldn’t sort his feet out for 2 snap-shot opportunities in their area…
He just ain’t a Top 4 mid-fielder – and top 4 is the very least we should be demanding from every player atm.
Decent, apart from when hesitating on the ball and losing possession, or taking forever to shoot when in good positions
GD 1. Yes!
First time all season that we have had a positive goal differential!
And our +1 is actually, I think, sixth in the league, only one behind Man United. The goal difference table shows the gap between the first three and all the rest. It is pretty ridiculous.
I don’t care who our striker is is Martinelli is running in behind him. Put gunnersaurus upfront for all I care.
Gunnersaurus could probably run faster than lacazette too
And with that tail his turn would be epic
Is Özil still paying him?
I thought Xhaka IS Gunnersaurus… without the costume.
A very, very good game against good opposition. Now we need to take the homeform to the awaygames.
Gabi is back baby😛.
First time we have a positive goal difference this season!
Definitely a positive
Also, in what way was that a “poor spot kick”? It was low and right in the corner at a decent pace. Fabianski just guessed right and made a decent save. I hate how shallow the analysis is here.
I mean to say a very good save
Yep, good pen, good save. Well done Fabianski let’s leave it at that.
Agree, it was a fairly good kick, but v good save. Penalty plus red felt a bit hatich for Hammers
No. Sorry. I cant agree. Everybody who has ever played football knows the pen rules… If you are not mentally above a keeper and not able to send him opposite side, you have to place a pen precisely – bottom corner, top corner, or top middle. Laca’s pen was placed at the worst possible height.
He was also off his line and it should have been re taken
The report comes out about 15 seconds after the match has been blown up, so that twats like us can leave comments on it. If the analysis isn’t Jonathan Wilsonesque, it might be an idea to just suck it up for a bit. Side note, fuck me the commentary on BT was horrendous.
Which is about 25 minutes after the penalty. Do you think he writes the whole thing in those 15 seconds?
Plus it shouldn’t really take more than 15 seconds to work out whether a penalty is a good one or a bad one.
If you think the analysis is shallow here you could always try other sites…. also if you disagree with any analysis it doesn’t make it wrong or ill-thought out….
BT commentators didn’t say anything when Ramsdale got a yellow card. Were they off having a pint?
I think a professional player has the technical ability to score every single time from the spot no matter what the keeper does. Any miss is, at least arguably, a poor spot kick.
That seems a bizarre way of thinking about it.
Interested to hear what made you think it was a good spot kick. I thought it was pretty poor – if you place it where he placed it, it has to be at a faster pace to have any chance of beating the keeper. If you hit it at the pace he hit it, it needs to be extremely precise and out of reach of the keeper’s leap, panenka or top corner or purposefully fooling the keeper a la Jorginho (incredibly unpleasant to watch so I’m glad none of our squad do it that way). The only thing that made… Read more »
Bergkamp said something similar to this in his autobiography when describing how he felt about that penalty miss in ’99 against United. Something along these lines: “A good penalty is one that goes in, if it’s saved or missed, it’s a bad penalty, because there is only one good outcome for the penalty taker [to score]” I’ve read countless times that some pundits considered it to be a well struck penalty, but that Schmeichel was “equal to it”, I’ve watched it back a few times since ’99 and since reading Dennis’ autobiography and I have to say I agree with… Read more »
A goalkeeper can play that game too. If the keeper can fool the penalty taker on which way they’re going, or read where the shot’s coming, that’s good goalkeeping.
Good win 👍🏻
Saka creates a chance for saka.
Oh. What I’d give to have 2 of that lad!
Thought I was the only one that saw that…
FIFA have been asked to rule on whether it’s legal to play with twelve men if two of them are the same player in two places at once.
Apparently this ruling depends on whether or not their cat is dead…
Great win and now we know the team can do it against better opposition.
I can’t believe Lacazette was hooked with 2 minutes to go. He could have actually made 90min and is looking much fitter.
Surprisingly good performance but I’m still concerned about our inability to create lots of good goalscoring chances.
The penalty/sending off was a joke but we’ll take it… nice to be the beneficiary of a pathetic refereeing decision for a change.
Laca MOTM for me, but a great defensive performance too.
Another game in which we didn’t miss Auba.
A very enjoyable night.
I don’t understand why people don’t think it’s a yellow, if you leave the ground to make a sliding challenge it’s a straight red, letter of the law. What’s more confusing is the general officiating.
Coufal played the ball and caught Laca with the follow-through: nothing wrong with that. Had Ben White been sent off for a challenge like that we’d all be going mad.
I agree it’s harsh, I agree we’d be fuming. But what I said is fact. If you leave the floor with both feet as you lunge for a challenge the rules say it’s a red card.
Even David Moyes admitted it was a penalty.
Credit to David Moyes for his post match comments. I posted he would moan about the penalty, but no. Said WH played bad and it was poor challenge. David, I apologise to you.
The yellow might be a legitimate argument, but it surely was a foul, and therefore a penalty. Yes, his foot touched the ball (barely) but for the hundred millionth time: you can play the ball and still commit a foul.
What neither Wrighty not Shearer picked up on (they both said no pen or card on Sky) was that Thomas got pinged for a similar challenge early on… won the ball but followed through and brought the player down.
If nothing else, Taylor was consistent with his application, irrespective of whether one feels that application was unduly harsh.
I agreed with you originally but just watched it again and it’s a penalty. It was a poor challenge. He went over the top of the ball and into lacazette shin.
Watching match of the day even moyes is admitting it’s a penalty
I thought it was harsh on West Ham but teams like Liverpool seem to get these decisions their way all the time (mostly thanks to refs falling for Salah’s leg sticking out antics) so I’ll take it.
Saka is awesome
..” but then Saka created a chance for Saka which was blocked“
Xhaka is awesome
..” but then Saka created a chance for Saka which was blocked“
…there. Fixed it
4th place. 3 points. 2 scorers. 1 happy fan.
0 goals conceded.
0 minutes where Mikel wasn’t jumping about and shouting like a fucking looney.
Never a penalty nor card, but wouldn’t have mattered. We were all over them. Well played gents.
Saka was a man on a mission tonight.
Good team performance.
We’ve got the points on the board, now let’s see what the teams below us do with their games in hand.
Martinelli, Lacazette and Saka were excellent. The most menacing attacking performance in a while. Martinelli is such a joy and so reliable in front of goal.
Broadly speaking we controlled the game throughout, though I thought we could have turned the screw in the latter stages. I can’t help but be nervous at 1-0 even with an extra man!
I always expect Gabi to score when in on goal, he’s that good. Gabriel was outstanding tonight.
Great win tonight. Now it’s time to go and pick up 3 points at a hopefully shell shocked (dirty) Leeds.
Fantastic goals. Did Arteta make Martinelli get back on the pitch so the game could be stopped? Shithousery!
Perhaps another sign that Arteta is continuing to learn his trade as a professional football manager.
Steeeeeve mcmanamamamaman “I can’t believeee he’s been sent off for that challenge, I meeen he’s left the floor and gone flying in, almost broken lacazettes leg, but it’s almost, he hasn’t actually caused greieeeevous harm to the player”
So glad we won, but next time I’m getting a stream in a language I don’t understand if mcmanaman is commentating
That is all the rage in the US when watching tv sport. Shut off tv sound and turn on radio. The commentary is so much better. In college bball I have gone to radio only.
I’ve been waiting a few years now for when we get the option: . Come on! It must be an easy fix, surely? I’m in Norway. But I can assure you that it’s just as bad here.
The option: commentator sound off..
You understand Mcmananman?
No idea why they didn’t ask John Hartson to do the co-commentary, he has actually played for both clubs. Presuming he still works for BT Sports.
They did well. They kept the intensity up.
Great derby win. Martinelli really must be undroppable now. Laca led from up top, defending from the front, I loved it especially on those times where it seemed he was ruffled off the ball or hard tackled but got nothing from the ref and immediately he hassles whomever it is with the ball and wins it cleanly. Happened on several occasions. Saka isn’t getting the goals but he surely is in one of the best form of his life. There’s nothing more to say about The Smith other than he just picked up from where he left of. Gabriel/White partnership… Read more »
If Gabriel is undropable.
If ESR is undropable
If Martin is undropable….
I am confused
Not sure Martin O is undroppable
wow what a team, very high level on Martin Odegard, Saka, Smith R, Martinelli an our keeper and vingbacks. But little bit to slow with the ball back there, not neceserry to wait with the ball like they do to often. Xhaka is not in his best shape. Both White and Gabriel is very good if they play faster and safer.
Fancy new feature blogs with that Grey and Green color for subbed and in players 😉
And above all, that was pleasant to watch💪
I love Martinelli
That is all
Great win! Need to build on this. Absolutely have to beat Leeds on Saturday
Even Danny Higenbottom is starting to get it. Play the youth. this isnt the rating area, but Xhaka didnt do much wrong except get caught on the ball once. Still do not understand why Arteta doesnt play someone more athletic. His lack of speed didnt hurt today, but it sure did at Everton.
Graphic I saw today is 10 of the 23 goals scored were scored by players under 21. Most in EPL. I expect that ratio will increase as the season progresses.
Very enjoyable game. WHU is a good team.
You know, as the season progresses it is becoming much easier to trust the process. Well done, everyone.
Saka was incredible tonight
Relentless, top-notch football for 90 minutes! Please do it again on Saturday.
We were fuxking good 👍
I thought that was OUR best performance even before we scored.
with a more athletic player in midfield next to partey we could have had three or four- xhaka is just too ponderous in possession
If we had a player like rice, partey and xhaka could both take a seat. I don’t remember partey ripping it up when xhaka was out injured.
Im happy the players were outraged by the arm to the face of Martinelli… I mean when Tommy took a boot to the face the other week, no one cared… Fighting for the shirt means fighting for one another… so yeah, enjoyed that a lot!
Agreed – still too nice though. Why was Gabriel picking Antonio up in the first half. Knock him over. Leave him there. Knock him over again. Repeat.
Thats the Wednesday chores taken care of, Ironing all done.
If anyone had said we’d be in Top 4 in December, we’d have bitten their hand off! Brilliant result, COYG!
Enjoyed the win after quite some time.
Good win lets keep improving
Agree – that was the one slight cloud on that very bright horizon last night… too many occasions from dead balls and throw-ins where we just don’t move around enough to create options.