Over the past few years West Ham have somehow been able to stop us from taking maximum points against them at Upton Park in fact it was seven years ago we last walked away with 3 points.
Last year saw Arsene Wenger and Allen Pardew have a touch line bust up in a game where we was beaten 1-0, also west ham was the first and only team to beat us at the Grove last season something their fans won’t let us forget.
So Arsenal went to Upton Park top of the league and unbeaten in all competitions, this was surely the game that everyone wanted Arsenal to lose just so they could all say that Arsenal still struggle against tough opposition, well we didn’t we proved that we are mature enough to take the kicks and respond in the best was possible, by taking all three points.
With important players still out injured this game was never going to be easy but we looked ready for the challenge as Toure lead us out before kick-off, within a minute of play starting Arsenal was on the attack with a Robin van Persie long pass across field to Diaby who was playing on the left side of midfield and out of position again, as the ball raced away from Diaby towards the by-line he managed to pass back to Adebayor in space who’s shoot from just inside the box went just wide of the post, this a clear intention that we came to collect all three points this time.
West Hams first chance on goal came when Aston received the ball just outside the box and was given time by Senderos to turn and shoot luckily putting the ball over the cross bar.
Arsenal’s goal came in the 13 minute when Toure dispossessed Ashton and passed to Adebayor up field, Adebayor then took the ball into West Hams Area and held of Anton Ferdinand he sees Hleb making a run on the outside of him and passes to Hleb’s feet, Hleb’s cross beat West Hams defenders and Van Persie was waiting to score with his head. It was a great header by Van Persie who got in front of Neil and headed the ball with pace the Goal keeper Green got his hand to the ball but it was to powerful for him to stop.
With 30 minutes gone Hleb was caught up in a bad challenge from Noble, the challenge was high and late and Noble, received a yellow card for it, he was lucky not to be sent off. Hleb who looked in some pain was carried off on a stretcher being replaced by Eboue who has also just recovered from injury.
After the challenge the game went quite Flamini had a long range effort saved, this was the only chance either side had before half time.
Arsenal came out in the second half and once again looked like the team going to score. Van Persie hit a great right footed shoot at goal from the edge of the box only for Green to touch it on to the post, West Hams best chance of the whole afternoon came when Boyer crossed for Ashton to header the ball fortunately it was strait at Almunia and wasn’t the best of headers by Ashton, either side of the keeper and it may well have been 1-1.
West Ham had a spell where they had a few chances but nothing that troubled Almunia, Ex Gooner Freddie Ljungberg was disallowed a goal for off side the goal should off stood because as the ball was played through to Ljungberg, Toure got a touch.
After that Arsenal woke up and started to move out there own half again when Van Persie put through Adebayor it looked like it was going to be 2-0 and on another day would have been but Green managed to save the placed shoot and touch it round the post. Late on Clichy had a shoot on goal from outside the box that was turned out for a corner by Green and a Ljungberg corner which meet the head of Ashton was cleared by Van Persie of line, Ashton really shouldn’t of been given the free header but was being marked by Senderos so it wasn’t a surprise to see him just staring at Ashton as he headed the ball towards goal.
So the game finished 1-0 and was a well earned victory and three more points in the bag for Arsenal, this by far wasn’t our best performance but I don’t think many teams will go Upton park and play great football and come away with three points, once again we showed that we are a stronger side now and have grown up in the last year. Man of the match goes to Flamini who dominated midfield even though Cesc was playing Flamini seemed the dominant midfielder and did a great job of it too.
Arsenal go into October unbeaten with a trip to Steaua Bucharest on Tuesday we should pick up another win as long as we keep our feet on the ground we can continue this great run.
“What a great day for football, all we need is some green grass and a ball.”