Arsenal have earned a difficult three points at the London Stadium to beat West Ham 2-1 this afternoon.
The Gunners made two changes in defender with both Rob Holding and Takehiro Tomiyasu making the starting line-up, with Ben White missing the trip with a hamstring injury.
The changes didn’t seem to bring an issue at the back though, with both players seeming calm and up to the task from early on, and neither side looked like being beaten during the early exchanges.
We took our first big chance of the half when Rob Holding shrugged off his marker to get the clean header away from the corner, and he placed it perfectly inside the post into the side netting.
That lead was short-lived however after Jarrod Bowen was found in the box by Coufal, who had managed to beat the offside trap down the right to get into space, with the forward somehow managing to guide his effort past the goalkeeper from the tight angle.
The late setback didn’t seem to shake our side as they came out in the second-half with a positive energy, and it paid off. We re-took the lead thanks to another corner, with the initial ball bouncing away before Martinelli spotted Gabriel Magalhaes at the far post, looping the ball neatly over the packed area for the defender to head home.
The Hammers did begin to build back into the game however, and we begun to focus on counter-attacking, and when Mo Elneny collected the ball in the box to run upfield, his ball through to Eddie Nketiah looked certain to be a goal, only for the English striker to put his effort narrowly wide of the far post.
The striker done extremely well up top with little support due to the way in which we were playing, and forced two fine saves from the goalkeeper also, but we did have to look on with frustration when seeing Tomiyasu have to be replaced by Cedric with him seeming to claim he had aggravated something. He played over 75% of the tie which may well have been too much, and we will have to hope for some good news on him in the coming days, while Saka also pulled up even later on also.
There was some late nonsense after Eddie Nketiah ruffled some feathers by obstructing their attempts to take a 90th minute free kick quickly, with Fredericks and Rice both getting in the face of our young striker, but it was a clever move by Eddie to give his side extra time to organise ourselves at a crucial point in the match.
Most importantly, we did hold out for the all-important three points to return to the Champions League places, whilst also closing the gap to third down to just three points also.
Could our growing injury list be our biggest obstacle to overcome in the last few matches?
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