Even with Arsenal playing at home and in good form and confidence, this game always had the potential to be a banana skin for the Gunners, especially with Arsene Wenger having to rotate in the middle of a heavy run of fixtures.
Arsenal started well. We nearly got Theo Walcot in on goal for the first minute and it seemed that the Gunners were fully focused for this game. Koscielny snuffed out a half chance while Coquelin and Ramsey were bossing midfield. We should have been ahead after five minutes but Walcott just hesitated before pulling the trigger. He might have won a penalty for Collins’ tackle but the move that he started with Ozil and Giroud was very encouraging.
Another good chance came and went as Alexis also dithered a bit but it seemed like it was just a matter of time before Arsenal did score. But although we kept creating chances and dominating the game, West Ham were very well organised and wrked hard to frustrate us. They had a few chances of their own as well, with Chambers being exposed a couple of times and Ospina having to make a good save and Koscielny needing to be alert.
Walcott had just missed a third good chance, although Ozil should have scored and the rebound was tough for Theo and it looked like we would be all square at the break until Giroud showed what a goood finisher he is by lashing in a fearsome strike into the top corner in stoppage time. That eased the pressure.
But we failed to push on after the restart while West Ham gave it a good go, making our defence work a lot more. Koscielny was excellent though and Chambers was better after a shaky first 45. Jarvis was a real threat and one great cross nearly caught Ospina out.
Welbeck for Alexis and Cazorla for Walcott gave us fresh legs and impetus and the excellent Ramsey was rewarded for his great play with the killer goal helped by Giroud with 10 minutes to play. It soon became three as Giroud and Cazorla combined and Flamini was on hand to tap home and make it 3-0.
The score did not flatter Arsenal. Now can we do the same on Tuesday?