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  • By Charlie Stong at Emirates Stadium

Hammers secure classic away day win at the Emirates


Arsenal 0

West Ham United 2 (Soucek 13, Mavropanos 55)


West Ham produced a classic away performance as goals from Tomas Soucek and former Gunner Constantinos Mavropanos saw them leave the Emirates with all three points this evening.


It could have been three at the end but Said Benrahma's penalty, conceded by Declan Rice, was saved by David Raya.


The Hammers defended heroically, in total contrast to two shocking defensive performances at Fulham and Liverpool in recent weeks which saw them ship a combined nine goals.


The Gunners started brightly, with some nice flicks from Saka and Jesus threatening to open up the Wet Ham defence.


Leandro Trossard's half-volley from the edge of the area was the first half chance but the effort flew over the bar.


But it was West Ham who took the early lead. Gabriel failed to deal with Emerson's cross from the left and it was hooked back across goal by Jarrod Bowen for Tomas Soucek to tap home. A lengthy VAR check ensued but it was adjudged that the ball had not gone out of play before Bowen crossed.


The Gunners will be left bemoaning the absence of aerial technology to adjudge line decisions - one of the easier pieces of kit for VAR to introduce, you would have thought.


Thereafter West Ham had 11 men behind the ball, trying to protect what they had. Indeed, it wasn't until the half hour that the Gunners fashioned a decent chance - Saka's header from Jesus's cross forcing Alphonse Areola into a fine tip over the bar.


Then a short corner routine freed Oleksandr Zinchenko to cross for Ben White, whose glancing header dropped just wide of the far post.


The Gunners were getting closer. West Ham got caught playing out from the back, and when Martin Odegaard found Saka free in the box it seemed 1-1 was inevitable. But Saka's shot canonned back off the post and there was nobody there to turn in the rebound for the Gunners.


The Hammers were defending superbly, and held on for their lead at the break.


Declan Rice's drive from the edge of the box 10 minutes into the second half had Areola scrambling, but it arrowed just over.


But West Ham immediately broke away, and White was forced to intercept Emerson's dangerous low cross from the left. Then from the resulting corner, the Hammers made it 2-0, Mavropanos rising highest and powering a header past David Raya via the crossbar.


Arsenal really should have pulled a goal back on 65 minutes but Jesus' header from Saka's cross was weak and straight at Areola.


A minute later another header - again from Jesus - flashed over the bar when the striker had to score, this time following a cross from the right.


Trossard then saw a shot saved by the goalkeeper, as did Saka - and Odegaard.


Then Rice gave away the penalty with a foul on Emerson deep into stoppage time and Benrahma had acance to complete the Gunners' embarrassment.


Raya saved, but it mattered not. The Hammers return to east London with the spoils.


Pictured top: The Emirates Stadium (Picture: Charlie Stong)


Teams:

Arsenal: Raya, Saliba, White, Gabriel, Saka, Odegaard, Jesus, Martinelli (Nketiah 65), Trossard (Smith Rowe 79), Zinchenko (Nelson 65), Rice

West Ham: Areola, Coufal, Ward-Prowse, Paqueta (Benrahma 33), Kudus, Mavropanos, Alvarez, Bowen, Ogbonna, Soucek, Emerson

Referee: Michael Oliver


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