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  • Julian Taylor at the London Stadium

Moyes concedes a 'really poor' day for West Ham as Arteta wants commanding Gunners to raise levels

The Gunners were in commanding form throughout - and their imperious nature keeps them in the Premier League title hunt. Arsenal have 52 points - and now two behind table toppers Liverpool.

It was quite an unexpected capitulation from a fallow Hammers who won 2-0 at the Emirates as recently as December.

Then again, it is now seven games without win - including an FA Cup exit to Championship Bristol City - for Moyes' side, since that fine afternoon in north London.

What a sheer, dismal, incredulous contrast to today.

From the Hammers' perspective, despite the slump of late, they must hope - as confident and sublime as Arsenal appeared - the manner of this shellacking is an afternoon in isolation.


The east Londoners remain in eighth place - not in any significant trouble, but that is scant consolation amid a derby scenario where thousands of home fans departed long before the end. Rather than a serious outpouring of anger, those Hammers diehards who remained had long accepted their team's fate. As did Moyes and his outclassed players.

For Arsenal, more importantly, with the pressure on to maintain a title charge, they stay third on level points with Manchester City, who have played a game less. The Gunners played with expression and ultra belief of a team who feel they will be very much in around the summit at the business end of the season.

Arsenal took control in the 32nd minute with a header by William Saliba, before Bukayo Saka scored the first of a brace, seven minutes later. Two more goals just before half time by Gabriel and Leandro Trossard had already sealed the day's events in the Gunners' favour.

Mikel Arteta's men extended their brutal dominance after the break when Saka rifled the ball past Hammers' keeper Alphonse Areola, who was cruelly exposed all afternoon by his lacklustre rear guard.

The coup de grace, inevitably, had to come from the boot of Declan Rice, who made it six in the 65th minute against his former club. Ex-Hammers captain Rice was central to Arsenal's attitude and will continue to do so amid the fascinating wrestle with both Liverpool and City.


"A really poor day for us - and a difficult one to explain," admitted Moyes.

"I must give credit to Arsenal who played exceptionally well. It's difficult to explain how poor we were today.

"We are normally stronger and were under pressure. It was disappointing how we fell apart but Arsenal started the game well and made it really difficult for us.

"Arsenal went up another level today, they had something to prove to get a result. I can only talk about us and we weren't at the races at all."

Moyes noted that West Ham's defensive frailties contributed to the embarrassing score line and shared his disappointment with the supporters.

He added: "Since I came back to the club my teams have not defended like that. We were weak and didn't do our jobs well enough. We didn't fight hard enough to contain them.


"Defensively it was not good enough. we all take shared responsibility and we always knew Arsenal would put us under pressure. Today we thought we could have had Arsenal's number but we were so, so, far off it today.

"There are always going to be bad times. The last three years have been so good, but I understand how fans feel."

Arteta, meanwhile, was extremely satisfied when discussing Arsenal's dominance - a team clearly desiring revenge from losing to the Hammers recently.

And the Gunners chief believes more of the same can be expected within the final third of the Premier League race.

He said: "I'm not surprised as I see the players in training every day. We can judge the players and see how good they are.


"We want to learn and still are not satisfied. After the Liverpool game we must show the capacity to raise our level.

"We wanted to play in the opponents' box as much as possible, and I manage a team which wants to be better and better each week. We went to another level today to beat West Ham."

Arteta singled out Rice for his all-round display at the London Stadium, his former home, and against the club he supported as as boy - while insisting Arsenal must look forward with genuine optimism, ahead of a game at Turf Moor against Burnley next Saturday.

"It was an emotional day for him as he is a West Ham fan," added the Spaniard. "But he had to focus on the job today. I was really pleased for him.

"We are building some momentum now - the other teams are doing that too and we must recognise that. So we know the standards we are facing and now we go on to Burnley."


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