Talking points from West Ham 2-2 Arsenal (2022-23 season)

West Ham claimed a priceless point in their fight against the drop as they held league leaders Arsenal to a draw at the London Stadium. Here are our talking points from the game.

Hammers prevent Arsenal away clean sweep of London opposition

Arsenal had beaten every other London based Premier League club away from home this season (Brentford, Chelsea, Spurs and Fulham), but were prevented from making a clean sweep by the Hammers. And given the two teams’ recent league form, one wouldn’t have expected West Ham to be able to halt Mikel Arteta’s all-conquering side in their tracks.

Moyes makes eight changes

David Moyes made eight changes to the side that drew away at Gent in the first leg of their UECL QF tie on Thursday. Vladimir Coufal, Declan Rice and Jarrod Bowen were the only three players that kept their places.

West Ham starting XI vs Arsenal 2023

Shoddy defending allows Arsenal to go 2-0 up

West Ham had no answer to Arsenal’s passing and movement in the opening quarter of the game, and were 2-0 down within ten minutes. The Hammers were also their own worst enemies while defending, with players not tracking runners- Benrahma in particular, and the reaction of the defence after Odegaard’s goal told a lot.

Rice inspires comeback

As mentioned above, Arsenal were in complete command, and it looked like it would be a long afternoon for the Hammers. However skipper Declan Rice caught Thomas Partey in possession and a lapse in judgment from Gabriel saw West Ham being awarded a penalty kick, which Benrahma put away to make it 2-1.

West Ham midfield trio excellent

The Hammers chose to go with only one striker upfront and play the troika of Rice, Lucas Paqueta and Tomas Soucek in midfield. It worked a treat, especially in the second half. Rice created the first goal, and Paqueta’s touches and passing caused Arsenal plenty of headaches. On the balance of play, the West Ham midfield trio were as good as Arsenal’s, if not better!

Saka missed penalty proves crucial

The difference between the two sides was Bukayo Saka’s missed spot kick at 2-1. A successful penalty would’ve taken the wind out of West Ham’s sails, but the winger fluffed his lines, and the Hammers were instead able to complete their comeback at the other end through Jarrod Bowen’s excellent finish.

Arsenal starting XI v West Ham 2023

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