What was perceived as a tough game before kickoff saw Arsenal eventually run off with all three points in Saturday’s 3-1 win against West Ham. The only surprise of the starting lineup for us was Ramsey over Coquelin which on foresight may have been the weaker decision.
As expected Arsenal started off on the attack however, this partly due to the Hammers’ who invited and encouraged the Gunners to surge forward. Uncharacteristically, West Ham looked subdued, not tackling or trying to break down play as I had anticipated. This of course worked in our favor as Arsenal pushed up taking control over territory and possession.
West Ham looked compact and worked deep but won’t completely threatening. Carroll was a menace and Mertesacker only just managed to throw him off his game which was enough to keep him off the score sheets. Obviously West Ham’s tactics were to feed Carroll the ball all night which in fairness played to the disillusion that West Ham couldn’t play the ball on the ground. Ironically a good play on the ground for the Hammers’ saw Diame finding space between Ramsey and Mertesacker. Ramsey wrongly attacked the ball but Diame, through some clever skill, got past the Welshman into acres of space and time and thundered past Mannone.
Arsenal however, responded well and the equalizer started with Arteta stealing the ball and feeding it to Giroud who received it deep and spread it to Podolski who crossed low in the box. Giroud also made the return run into the box and guided the ball home to break his Premier League duck.
Second half started bad for us. We looked deflated for some reason. For 15 minutes or so, West Ham got a surge of power as they started to play better. Wenger then brought in Walcott for the ineffective Gervinho on the hour mark and the game then switched back into Arsenal’s favor. Walcott proved to be more effective on the right and with a quick break, Wlcott recovered the loose ball and charged forward. Some interlinking play between Cazorla and Giroud saw the striker pop the ball into space for Walcott to finish. At 2-1 up we never looked back.
We kept pushing in the third which created an opening for Cazorla who thumped our 3rd from distance. Arsenal were clean winners on the night. An impressive display from us showed that we could raise the bar and kick into gear from behind.
Mightily proud of the boys!
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