Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Postby Gunner Down Under » Sat Jan 15, 2011 7:54 pm

After losing to Championship outfit Ipswich Town and drawing with Leeds in the Carling and FA Cup Arsenal looked to get back to winning ways against bottom placed West Ham. The last time the two teams had met Alex Song got a goal in the final seconds for the game to end 1-0, Arsenal fans hoped that this game would not be as close; we needed a win for confidence with the Ipswich and Leeds cup games ahead.

Szczesny lined up as keeper with Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou and Clichy in defense, Wilshere, Song, Nasri making up our midfield and Cesc, Van Persie and Walcott up front, on paper it seemed to completely outplay West Ham’s long ball football tactics that deservedly entrenched them bottom of the table and with most goals conceded in the Premier League. Meanwhile for West Ham they played Wayne Bridge on his debut, coming days earlier from Manchester City where defensive transfers in the summer put him out of favour. They had a notable missing man- Scott Parker- and this absence would be crucial in today’s match, as it looked to be Grant’s last match in charge, with Martin O’Neill, former Aston Villa manager looking the most likely candidate to fill his spot.

The game started as we would expect- Arsenal holding West Ham under pressure. Van Persie took a free kick that slammed into the wall, not that we would expect much else. Nasri also had a chance but it was held by Green (that had a spectacular performance at the Emirates last year in the corresponding fixture) hinting perhaps that this would be another game to remember?

Arsenal held their defensive shape well to repel West Ham attacks that for the most part didn’t really threaten, and it looked to be goalless for a few minutes more.

Not that Van Persie could help it though, with Walcott sending in a low cross that Nasri leaves for Van Persie to hit it first time, with his right foot into the corner of the goal, out of Green’s reach and into the back of the net. Arsenal 1 West Ham 0 and we hadn’t even hit second gear yet.

Arsenal continue to pile on the pressure, but after Boa Morte goes on for Noble West Ham looked to equalise, and a defensive blunder by Djourou put Cole onto Szczesny, but his effort is parried away.

Minutes later Van Persie’s back to his normal self and hits the post, but Arsenal still look too good for West Ham, dominating possession, controlling West Ham’s long ball football and creating chances. Fabregas and Nasri meanwhile weave more midfield magic into the game, and as the game entered the 40th minute a break occurs and Van Persie squared it to Walcott who smashes his first times shot high into the back of the net. Debutant Bridge at fault for that goal, and at 90 000 a week a fair bit to be paying for him playing like that.

Arsenal after the half earn chance after chance, but the West Ham defence holds strong...... for now.

Nasri, Van Persie, Fabregas, Jack and Theo were simply too good for the cellar dwellers, who make chance after chance going into the half, West Ham barely able to get a sniff. At half time Arsenal had more than doubled their share of passes! Everything was working for Arsenal, nothing for West Ham. Almost a given, you might feel, with Arsenal 3rd and United last. But Green was playing well, basically the only good thing about West Ham tonight.

However it was now the period when Arsenal fell asleep and began to ship goals. With us being 2-0 up it has happened before, but the defence is watertight for now as Arsenal attack with wave after wave.

It all went wrong for the Hammers again in the 77th minute, where Bridge again pulls Walcott down for a penalty, this time no dive by the Englishman. Van Persie took it, looking for his second, and found it. It could have been his third if the shot that hit the post went in.

The stadium falls silent, Upton Park proceeds to empty. If the score stayed that way West Ham would be bottom, bottom, bottom of the Premier League, with Grant to leave.

Arsenal played really good fluid football today, the team completely banishing the devils haunting Leeds and Ipswich games. On the 87th minute Gibbs and Arshavin went on, perhaps they should have gone on earlier, as Arsenal camp in West Ham’s half, not letting go, until the final whistle ended with West Ham bottom, and Arsenal keeping third place.

Fabregas and Nasri playing a really good game today, with a 3-0 scoreline that always should have been more, with Arsenal’s dominance increasing in the Premier League, only 2 points away from United, and with a clean sheet too, back to winning ways for Arsenal.
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Re: Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Postby Massa » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:30 pm

Nice stuff GDU!
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Re: Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Postby singaporegooner » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:18 am

Cheers
In Arsene We Trust!!
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Re: Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Postby Gunner Down Under » Sun Jan 16, 2011 1:25 am

Oops Grant hasn't left yet, bad assumption, but we were all expecting him to leave
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