Arsenal clinch fourth with win over West Ham

Arsenal earned their way into fourth place in the table by beating West Ham this evening.

The Gunners earned a much-deserved three points this evening, beating a resilient West Ham side to climb inside the top four of the division.

It was another solid performance at home from our side, controlling the majority of the possession whilst most-importantly keeping our opponents trying to force thing to get their chance in front of goal.

We stuck to the task, but it wasn’t until the second-half before our game-plan come to the fore and we finally scored the opener, with Gabriel Martinelli showing great composure to beat the goalkeeper after Alexandre Lacazette’s intelligent pass.

Shortly after, Jarrod Bowen had a fine effort to equalise for the visitors, only to be denied by Aaron Ramdsale, before Lukasz Fabianski also made a fine save at the other end as we threatened from Martin Odegaard’s free kick.

Things got a little easier 15 minutes later when Vladimir Coufal picked up a second yellow in the match, therefore graniting our side a penalty kick, but we failed to make that chance pay.

We did finally get the all-important second after substitute Emile Smith Rowe combined with Bukayo Saka to place his effort in the corner.

This was an important performance from our side, especially with the controversy going on behind the scenes, and we will hopefully be abl to carry on in this positive manner as we endure the tough Christmas period, but the bug question in the coming weeks will be whether to involve Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has recently been dropped from the side.

Are we better off without Auba?

Patrick

Tags West Ham

55 Comments

  1. at home that was the difference. Games are so often decided on individual pieces of brilliance or defender errors. Red card helped but again you get that with home ground advantage. 7mill Martinelli scores. Arteta’s patience with Martinelli is paying dividends. Home talent ESR top scorer. Who needs 50/60/70 mill pound players any more? I predicted 6/7 by Xmas and think I will be right. 5/6 by May would be a good result alf way through the process.
    Trust the Owner.
    Trust the Manager.
    Trust the players
    Trust the process.
    Get behind the team.
    COYG

  2. A seriously good performance, sustained throughout the 90 minutes and never looked in trouble. We kept our shape, pressed well, especially from the front, and stayed positive and assured.
    MOTM for me was Laca – a real captain’s performance full of energy, skill, guile and determination, his night tarnished only by that penalty miss, but even so it was still a masterclass. The guy was awesome.
    Very closely followed by GM with that infectious enthusiasm and a superb goal. His confidence reached even higher levels after his goal and he at last looks like the real deal. Linked up better and better with Tierney as the match went on.
    Then Saka who just oozed class, even when double-teamed. They were petrified of him.
    Well done to all of our forwards (and I’ve not said that for a while)!
    Much better showing from Partey – despite a couple of misplaced passes he won the midfield battle – looking more assertive than even Declan Rice.
    Xhaka made his usual sluggish, lazy mistakes and for me was the only negative, although 10 good performances elsewhere meant it didn’t cost us. What does Lokonga have to do to replace him?
    Defensively as sound and well organised as we have now come to expect if rather dodgy at times with our clearances and headers.
    Ode was sound if not as influential as in previous games, and kudos to Arteta for the substitution.
    Hammers weren’t great but are tough to beat, organised and physical. They are (were!) after all, the fourth placed team…
    Perhaps our most complete all round performance this season and I’m seriously happy tonight!

    1. As much as I love Laca the way he rolls around is absolutely pathetic, not what the game needs!

      Seconds from death then up and running perfectly fine 30 seconds later.

  3. Are we better off without Auba? Seems so for now, but then, for the long run, time will tell.
    Keeping a clean sheet today was good for the team. I’m so delighted with this win after our previous performances.
    Upward!

    1. John Legend
      You are right. At the moment it looks like it, especially for two reasons. His form has been so bad, and the rest of the team, especially Laca seem to have upped their game. Whether it is a tactical/system effect or a psychologic effect is hard to tell. Maybe both.

  4. That’s the best 90 minutes performance we’ve had this season.
    No single moment of lapses.
    Everybody put in a good shift.
    The Trio of Saka Ødegaard and Tomiyasu seems to be cooking something on that right hand side.
    This competition is good for personal improvement and for the team.
    The competition of ESR & Ode, but that’s good.
    We’re in the busy period now, they’ll both contribute immensely.
    Another clean sheet, I can’t be any more happier for the defense and Ramsdale.
    Martinelli MOTM.
    Saka’s BT sport’s MOTM, can’t argue against that too
    Laca, great game overall, should’ve scored that penalty, but great gameplay band spirit.
    Tomiyasu every week constantly dropping nothing less than a 7.
    Important three points.
    Onwards

  5. ESR reminds me of Gascoigne….hype aide this team is very promising but still a bit toothless going forward…

      1. I am realiste dear friend not negative….We should’v killed Man U and Everton If we had that Killer Instinct but instead we threw away six points…..That being said we have the youngest team in the league and a brand new defense(Tomiyasu BW Ramsdale Lokonga….even Gabriel and Partey have bareley a year at the club) needing time to gel so these bumps are always going to happen…So it’s not a matter of positivity but a LEARNING curve….The bad lessons must be remembred in ordrer to avoid them in the futur.

  6. I bloody love ESR, our top scorer ❤
    We now have a positive gd and are top 4!!!
    Great win against the cockney boys!

    Ooh to be…

    1. Great win we didn’t sit back after the lead! That’s what I want to see. Keep going … Those 3 youngsters though 👏👏

    2. As a cockney boy, I resent that Sue.

      You cannot come from West Ham and be a Cockney. since they do not live within the sound of Bow Bells, the definition of a cockney!!!!

      The Bow bells in question are located in the City of London!!!

      PS I think ESR is our best player, much better than Odegaard!!!

  7. Arteta on Martinelli: “His overall understanding of the game is getting much better. He is able to put some gears into his play instead of doing everything at 100mph. The energy and the quality he shows, it’s top.”

    And that’s so true, Martinelli doesnt burn his energy anyhow anymore, over the last three games, he’s directed his energy into pressing the opponent or working with his teammates.
    Rather than see it his delay as a waste of time, I’d rather see the time spent on working with the manager a positive.
    We all knew Nellie’s time will come, the manager, and Nellie’s father said it.
    Glad to see him doing it impressively.
    I can’t stress how much I love this young squad.
    If only we can add #41 from West Ham, then I don’t even know what we’ll become. A menace, he’s so good, but there’s no touching him.

    BTW, if we don’t win on Saturday, this win against WH would be useless. So the boys better pick off on Saturday from where they left it tonight

  8. Great win, well deserved…..
    Bit random but only 6 clubs in the premier league have a positive goal difference and we’re one of them ( finally )

  9. Very good performance today.
    Now let’s do same in the remaining games of the calendar year. Against Leeds and Norwich away and Wolves at home. Without trying to count the chicks before they hatch, I dare say these are games we should win.
    If we do, we’d be firmly planted on 4th position by the turn of the year

  10. Really really good win for many reasons and a very dominant performance to boot. We were at home and our home form is very decent but (and i don’t get why we cant play this type of football all the time) we chose to press again and try to control the game. The catalyst for this type of football is Lacca, who had a storming game and played the full 90 for once. Martinelli, Saka, Partey, Gabriel and Tierney along with Lacca were the star performers for me. They gave the same in attack as they did in defence. We are ahead on games played but it is now upto us to stay where we are and not let our performances and style of play drop. We have a lot of games before the end of the year and the squad will have to be managed but we have players to do that.

      1. Its about consistency Sue and more importantly playing away from home!!!!!. We dont sort our away for out, we drop.

    1. You and me both Reggie. Worst thing about the United result was that we were the better team once they equalised. As such most correctly to a degree glossed over the unlucky factor there and wondered why that wasn’t the case for the previous minutes. Think Tavares keeping his place after liverpool was a big moment. Arteta said yes he made a bunch of mistakes that cost us but at least he was willing to risk it. To this game Martinelli is doing what I’d hoped Pepe would of start of season, take on board the same coaching from the same man that helped sterling (in Southgate’s own words for playing him at the euros) make runs others don’t (the specific thing Arteta was repeatedly credited with working on Sterling with.) That 1st goal was about the run, after no doubt…. Martinelli was ice when he arrived (why his ceiling will always be high.)

      1. If you want to go deeper with Martinelli specifically it’s also all about the fact he was in that area of the pitch in the 1st place to make the run and had his full sprint on.

  11. A very positive night for Arsenal as they move into the top four. A composed and disciplined performance from the lads especially saka,laca and martineli. Westham fullbacks had a torrid game.

    But what has happened to Pepe?
    And is Leno injured?( he didn’t make the match day squad)

  12. Easy to see the kind of drive Tierney brings to the team. Unfortunately he is fragile, but fortunately there is a very capable backup. Also, the team needs ESR to start. Many fans know the Answer. Give Odegaard the role that is currently owned by,” He who cannot be replaced,” or the son in law if you will.

    1. Sorry but we’re much more solid with Xhaka in there. Brought the best out of Party and let’s be honest dominated against what has been 2 of the best minds this year and last. Before the game I saw it was like for like again rice and soucek and feared the worst but there’s a reason every manager picks Xhakaboom.

  13. I think Balogun should be choose ahed of Nketiah in subs, since Nketiah will be his last year in Arsenal shirt, while we can analyse how much can Balogun done if coming from bench. It will be useful in long term because Balogun had it, just a matter of time.

  14. At last a dominating, intense performance. That’s the marker for every game. The best teams do that in most games. Martinelli, Saka and ESR are just top players. Keep it up guys and you will make us happy.

  15. We dominated the game from start to finish.best performance this season so far. We need to take our form form to away games…

    I like the pressing game I saw..

    Emile Smith Rowe! His finishing has improved so much. Such an intelligent shot to pull it into the near post, particularly on his weaker foot. Fantastic performance today which makes the overreaction in response to the Everton game even more clear.

  16. very good performance today. Better from Partey today as well who was starting to drop in his performances. Xhaka was solid all-around which is always a pleasant surprise (but sticking with him every game will lead to our downfall yet again). The attacking players ALL showed their talents today. lacazette worked his socks off this game and the results showed. And our defense looked back to its reliable self. our home form can carry us a long long way. now onto saturday. Another BIG 3 points. these are the games we also need to win!

    1. I thought xhaka was pretty slow today, gave us nothing and gave the ball away far too clumsily. But then i dont like him and i think he is holding this team back from moving forwards.

        1. No Simon, i dont like him because he is a poor footballer, who has bad game after bad game. I dont get how or why he keeps playing.

  17. I missed the game tonight but judging by the report we completely dominated the game! Very important win and we finally move into 4th with a plus goal difference 👌 hopefully Liverpool beat Spurs and we heap more misery on Leeds this weekend 🙏 COYG 🔴

  18. So, we beat a good team, albeit, just like Spurs and Leicester, we caught them during a down time, when they were on a bad streak.

    Still, it was a good win, and again, without Auba, Lacazette played great leading the line!!

    Strangely, this game gives Arteta a conundrum.

    When Odegaard is playing, both Nellie and ESR vie for the same position, on the left of the attacking three.

    They both scored great goals, but under the current line-up, Arteta can’t play them together, so what does he do?

    1. @JW
      Not really a problem. Play Martinelli up top. He has a better engine than ESR and is ready to lead the line…

  19. good win, considering the pre-game table position of our opponent’s today, but certainly not praise-worthy, as West Ham were fairly listless in attack and tactically inept, much like in their previous fixture…with this in mind, it’s nice to see the shoe on the other foot once in awhile

    of course, there was some notable positives besides the obvious League table boost…Gabs is well on his way to becoming a top-flight CB, Saka appeared far more engaged, as was evident by his movement without the ball, Marts was clinical when it mattered most and Arteta finally went off-script from his oft-times tardy substitutions, as ESR was the breath of fresh air that we needed, especially in those crucial moments following Laca’s missed penalty kick

    it’s so obvious, once ESR is occupying more centrally-located positions, that we can’t afford to rollout a starting 11 with both Ode and Xhaka if we want to compete offensively with those vying for European positions…likewise, we can’t count on Laca to lead the line on a regular basis, as even though he put in a shift today, he doesn’t have the juice to do that game in and game out, he’s totally inefficient with his chances in and around the box and his flopping is frankly embarrassing

    finally, and in reaction to those who still can’t seem to fully grasp the big picture, although beating a team above us in the standings is certainly nothing to sneeze at, it’s important to make the distinction between those times when we impose our will on an in form team who’s tactics are sound, than when we beat a team missing functionally 3/4ths of their backline, who clearly came to town hoping to secure a point and who likewise went down to 10 men with more than 20 minutes left in a one goal affair…thankfully ESR showed the killer instinct this team rarely displays and functionally put the game to bed with his decisive run and well-placed shot

    1. Funny.
      I see it completely different.
      West Ham was toothless in attack, because we pressed them all around all the time. Best we have done in that respect so far.
      Our midfield looks very well balanced with the starting eleven used in the last 2 games.
      Finally, Laca was probably man of the match for me, despite not scoring and missing a penalty. Not only did he have a wonderfiúl assist and was involved in two 50/50 penalty calls, of which one was awarded. On top of that he made himself available many times for passes from defence to midfield/attack. Something we have sorely missed.

      1. hardly funny, but clearly wrong…make sure you don’t operate heavy machinery with those blinders on…not the ones you wore while watching the match in question, but the ones you wore when reading my commentary

  20. A great win and a statement victory. We are surely now in the running for the top 4, without any doubt. Hope we maintain this consistency. Martinelli, Saka and Tierney were exceptional. I only wish Laca had scored his penalty, but all in all a great win, one that is very important for the confidence, belief and morale of the team. Arteta is finally getting his act together and the team are playing to a plan.Another thing, Lacas pressing game was outstanding. I have maintained all along Laca brings so much to the tame and is a leader on the pitch both by his performances and his actions. ESRs goal was too good and I for one feel he should start. Let ESR take Odegards place and let Odegard take the place of Xhaka and things will be sorted out.

  21. Finally played with 11 men. It’s clear that Auba has been ghosting and I wish the games against Man utd and Everton he should have been dropped or come in as a sub. They were very winnable.

  22. Lacazette and Aubameyang were deadly with penalties prior to joining Arsenal. Pepe was also, but has had limited chances. What has happened, as Arsenal can’t continue to miss penalties, now three in a row?

  23. We pressed well and limited WHU’s ability to play 100%, we looked relatively solid but I think most fans will agree until that second goal went in we weren’t feeling that comfortable.

    At the same time the Hammers only have 1 win in their last 6 games so they are in terrible form currently which you could see. I think the European games have taken their toll, WHU are also currently the least changed team in the EPL so Moyes obviously doesn’t trust his reserves which was a great benefit to us as they looked very tired.

    Not sure what the plan is once Laca leaves, we’ll be very short in the front line then. Flo not trusted at a ll and Eddie leaving too. Auba hopefully will only be bench and Pepe has been ousted(for whatever reason now) so that leaves us with ESR, Martinelli, Saka and Ode. Any injuries once Laca leaves and we are screwed completely.

    Need a DM and a striker/wing desperately.

    1. Yes European football as well as injuries; Ogbonna (massive loss) Zouma and Cresswell…
      They can’t complain though, they’ve had a fantastic season so far…

      1. European football is catching up with Wet Spam, that is obvious but on the flip side, we should be taking advantage from now on in.

  24. Everyone likes Tomi and rates him but I don’t think we quite grasp what he has brought to the team….without him I think we would be in a much worse position.

    So good to have Bellerin out of the team, that guy just milked Arsenal and gave nothing back for years and years and the managers allowed it!

    1. Im not a Tomi fan, i dont think he is that good but i also think he isn’t so bad either. He is a tryer, he is a 6.5 every game and for me he could go one of two ways. I am not a lover and i am not a disliker, just Mmmmmmm.

  25. I thought the first 35-40 mins was pretty poor and of the same standards we have witness all season ,then something clicked and turned round into our best performance nod the season IMO .

  26. Apart from Xhaka, I thought all our players did well.The fact that we kept another clean sheet reflects well on the defensive efforts of the team as a whole, and I would like to highlight the impact made yet again by Tomi who has brought real stability to the back four.We have lacked a quality defensive RB for some time, but Tomi just loves to win the battles against his direct opponent and with the voiciforous Ramsdale urging them from behind, our back four is beginning to look the real deal.

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