It was far from a convincing performance but Arsenal showed real heart and guts to come out on top against West Ham as they responded to Tottenham’s win over Leicester
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For Arsenal it was all about the result.
It was far from a convincing performance, but they showed real heart and guts in dragging themselves to victory. Of course, that’s all that matters in the battle of wills at this stage of the season Tottenham to get the all-important fourth and final Champions League Location.
Tottenham kept their side of the bargain, struck leicester and do all the pressure arsenal who just got the job done. The fact that two middle halves scored demonstrated Arsenal’s threat from set pieces and west ham ‘s weakness on the back. Rob Holding scored his first ever goal First League Goal for Arsenal. Brazilian defender Gabriel took the winner of the second half and you could see how much it meant at the final whistle.
The Arsenal players went wild on the pitch, celebrating together before storming off to the away game while Mikel Arteta hugged his coaching staff. This was a big moment in their season. They sit two points clear of Tottenham with three straight wins, yet May 12 could finally see the north London derby at White Hart Lane.
The irony was that both Arsenal and West Ham are trying to get into the Champions League. West Ham through the Europa League and Arsenal in the top four for the first time in five years.
But based on that evidence, none really looked like they belonged to that company. Arsenal’s nerves, meanwhile, looked tattered with bad passes and sloppiness West Ham’s thoughts are clearly on the Europa League semi-finals on Thursday at Eintracht Frankfurt.
So much for David Moyes giving all his players a rest for Europe. They have injuries but apart from Mikhail Antonio they started out with the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Declan Rice but it was the makeshift injured defense that killed them.
They just couldn’t keep Arsenal away from set pieces. It was hardly surprising when Kurt Zouma backed Aaron Creswell down the middle given Craig Dawson was suspended and no chances were taken before Thursday.
That should have been an open invitation for Arsenal. West Ham is for take away. But it never was. It was a terrible first half. So bad that by the time Arsenal scored, many of the fans in the visiting area had already gone to the indoor bars and had to rush back.
Eddie Nketiah’s pace and enthusiasm caused problems all afternoon, but he just lacked the finishing touches. His low shot in the 38th minute was cornered by Lukasz Fabianski.
Saka’s corner caused chaos, Holding soared the highest – not difficult when he was eventually tagged by the tiny Manuel Lanzini – and his header just squeezed into the far post. Keeping is such a huge figure in the dressing room that there will be few goalscorers more popular.
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But Arsenal lacked the composure to last until half-time. Even before West Ham equalised, Aaron Ramsdale made a superb save to deny Declan Rice. Then Vladimir Coufal got a lot of space on the right, his low cross found Jarrod Bowen and his shot went wide of Gabriel.
There was a real heart-in-mouth moment for Arsenal as Bowen charged through, Ramsdale stormed out of his box and the West Ham forward went down, only for referee Mike Dean to book Bowen to dive. That looked tough and things got even worse for West Ham after 55 minutes. Saka forced a corner after a good save from Fabianski. Saka’s corner was not cleared, Gabriel Martinelli put the ball back in and Gabriel’s header was too powerful for Fabianski at the far post.
Nketiah had several chances to end it, but either shot straight at Fabianski or swerved his shot. Nerves were getting on everyone’s nerves and Nketiah had a real ding-dong with Rice, who completely lost his head.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/match-reports/arsenal-mikel-arteta-west-ham-26845765 Arsenal players rage full-time as Mikel Arteta's men issue Champions League warning