Smash & grab win for Gunners, Haller & Antonio squander chances & more- Talking Points from Arsenal 1-0 West Ham

Alexandre Lacazette’s second half goal, given after a lengthy VAR check, saw Arsenal edge West Ham 1-0 on Saturday afternoon in Game Week 29. With Watford and Bournemouth both losing and Brighton drawing, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone as high as 14th with a win against the Gunners, but their poor record at the Emirates continued as they slumped to defeat despite a strong performance.

Here are our talking points from the game.

Smash and grab win for Arsenal: Arsenal had nearly 70% of the ball, but they were very ordinary here. The quality of West Ham’s chances were far superior, and the visitors had six shots on target as opposed to the Gunners’ two.

The Arsenal goal also had an element of luck- Aubameyang’s pass took a wicked deflection off Declan Rice and it wrong-footed the Hammers defence before falling to Mesut Ozil, who chested the ball down to Lacazette to slot home from close range. It was also Ozil’s first open play assist in more than a year!

Hammers squander chances: As mentioned above, West Ham created several clear cut chances. They had a 2 on 1 in the 10th minute, with Michail Antonio and Sebastien Haller against David Luiz, but the French striker overran the ball. Another chance in the 18th minute saw Haller in a promising one on one with Bernd Leno, but the former’s first touch let him down. A third opportunity saw Diop’s header from a corner land at the feet of Antonio, but the striker inexplicably missed from point blank range. A fourth saw Antonio get a free header, but it was again squandered. [Read more…]

Arsenal vs West Ham Predictions- What do the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances?

David Moyes will be looking for his first away win against Arsenal as a Premier League manager when his charges square off against the Gunners on Saturday afternoon at the Emirates Stadium. The hosts are managed by Mikel Arteta, whom Moyes coached as a player during his stint at Goodison Park.

Arsenal come into this game on the back of a win in the FA Cup against Portsmouth, while West Ham also registered an important victory last weekend against Southampton.

Here is a look at what the pundits have predicted for this Round 29 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says it was “imperative” for West Ham to beat Southampton last weekend and that victory may have given them “something to build on”. Reckons that while West Ham have their issues, the Gunners are not entirely without problems either, and has predicted a 1-1 draw.

His celebrity opponent this weekend, singer Tom Grennan, expects this to be a goalless stalemate. [Read more…]

Rare come from behind Arsenal win, Masuaku disappointing & more- Talking Points from West Ham vs Arsenal

Arsenal secured their first win under caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg as they beat West Ham 3-1 in Round 16’s final game on Monday evening. The result sees the Gunners back in the top half while the Hammers are now just one point above the drop zone, with next week’s game against third from bottom Southampton shaping up as a massive one for both the Irons and the Saints.

Arsenal were woeful in the first half and when Angelo Ogbonna headed the Hammers into the lead at the interval, many Hammers fans would’ve felt their side could repeat last season’s feat- when Declan Rice’s first ever goal saw them edge the Gunners 1-0, but a three goal burst in the space of nine odd second half minutes from the visitors put paid to those hopes.

Here are our talking points from this GW16 clash.

A rare come from behind win for Arsenal: In the fifteen league games this season that Arsenal had played before this clash, they had come from behind to win in only one- against Villa.

The Gunners were absolutely woeful for the first hour or so, but found their groove once Gabriel Martinelli scored the equaliser, with Lucas Torreira pulling the strings from midfield. West Ham unfortunately capitulated instead of taking the fight back to a travelling Arsenal side that was low on confidence and there for the taking.

Sky pundit Charlie Nicholas got his prediction absolutely spot on, having predicted a 3-1 win for the Gunners.

Unai Emery’s tenure started with two losses, before victory against West Ham saw him embark on a six game winning streak. Will it be the same for Freddie Ljungberg?

Arthur Masuaku disappointing: Both sides lost their left backs to injury in this game- Kieran Tierney departed in the first half while Aaron Cresswell (playing three games in 10 days) had to be subbed off five minutes after the interval. West Ham were leading 1-0 when Cresswell left the pitch.

Nicolas Pepe was lively and energetic the whole game for Arsenal, but found a new gear once Masuaku came on the pitch. He scored an stunner to put the Gunners ahead and it was his delicate cross that was converted by Pierre Emerick Aubameyang for the visitors’ third. On both occasions, Masuaku didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with his defending.

Ljungberg rings in the changes: While West Ham made just one change (Antonio for Haller), Ljungberg effectively changed half his side. [Read more…]

West Ham v Arsenal predictions- What do the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances against the Gunners?

Game Week 16 concludes with West Ham host Arsenal at the London Stadium later this evening. It is a return to home comforts for Manuel Pellegrini’s side after two successive games on the road against Chelsea and Wolves respectively. The Chilean has often stressed on the importance of winning at home, and again did so after Wednesday’s disappointing loss to Wolves. Arsenal have a caretaker manager in charge in the form of Freddie Ljungberg after sacking Unai Emery and come into this game on the back of a shock loss to Brighton in midweek.

Here is what the pundits think of the Hammers’ chances in this GW16 clash.

Mark Lawrenson: Lawro says that both teams “have got problems”, but if West Ham turn up for this one, he thinks the Hammers will win. Has worries about both Arsenal’s defending and their away form, and has tipped Manuel Pellegrini’s men to win this 2-0.

Lawro’s celebrity opponent for this round, tennis star Andy Murray, has gone for a 1-1 draw.

Charlie Nicholas: Over at Sky, Charlie Nicholas says these are “two teams in a right mess”. Adds that while the Hammers have class upfront, they’re “not showing a lot” at this moment, and has gone for a 3-1 win for Freddie Ljungberg’s side. [Read more…]

Superb Declan, Fantastic Nasri and Was that a goodbye from Arnie?- 5 Talking Points from West Ham v Arsenal

West Ham claimed their first home victory over Arsenal since November 2006 as Declan Rice’s 48th minute goal, his first ever senior one for the club, helped them beat Unai Emery’s side 1-0. It was a fantastic achievement for the Hammers, who had won only one of their previous 23 games against the Gunners, and also made the 50th Premier League game at the London Stadium a memorable one.

Here are our talking points from the game

Superb Declan: Declan Rice gave another example of why he could become the next best defensive midfielder in the Premier League. Timely interceptions to thwart several Arsenal attacks, fantastic tackles, great strength on the ball, and a superb finish for the goal- it was a brilliant game for the teenager (only 2 days short of his 20th birthday!), and a very well deserved Man of the Match award for him. That shot of Rice hugging Mark Noble at the end is something that will remain etched in many a Hammers supporter’s mind for a long, long time.

Fantastic Nasri: Many fans, us included, were somewhat doubtful when Pellegrini signed Samir Nasri. On the evidence of this performance, it’s a fantastic one. The 31 year old was excellent for someone out of the game for 18 months- pressing hard, some nice interplay on the edge of the box between Anderson, Arnautovic and him, and providing an edge in attack that West Ham have sorely missed due to the absence of Manuel Lanzini. Despite his high work rate, Pellegri mentioned in the post match interview that Nasri could’ve played longer (he was subbed off), and that was a compliment to the Frenchman. Also provided the assist for Declan Rice’s winner. [Read more…]