Arsenal got back to winning ways with a comprehensive battering of West Ham at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger made a couple of enforced of changes to his side with Aaron Ramsey replacing the injured Francis Coquelin, while Lukas Podolski took the place of the rested Abou Diaby as the Arsenal manager rejigged the shape of his team.
The Gunners suffered an early scare when Jack Wilshere required treatment, having turned his ankle in a challenge, but the England man played on. After a slow start Arsenal almost fashioned an opening when Giroud and Podolski combined in the box but West Ham defended well to prevent a tap in.
A few moments later a delicious Wilshere pass set Walcott free. He got into the box, on his right foot, but the defender got a touch to poke it out for a corner just before he could shoot. Well, it should have been a corner but a goal kick was given.
And when West Ham won a corner a few minutes later, Arsneal thought they’d defended it, only for referee Mariner to give another one. From that, Giroud’s header fell to Collison on the edge of the box and his shot flew past Wojciech Szczesny to put the hammers 1-0 up.
Just a minute or two later Arsenal were level. Lukas Podolski took on a Jack Wilshere pass, and from 25 yards unleashed an unstoppable rocket past Jaaskelainen. 1-1. A brilliant strike from the German to take his tally to the season to 11.
Ricardo vaz Te then headed over the bar from a corner before drawing the ire of Mertesacker for an unnecessary challenge as the German saw a ball out for a goal kick. The game had a bit of edge to it with tackles flying in, as you’d expect from a team managed by that fat Walrus cunt.
Arsenal weren’t helped by Marriner giving lots to West Ham and ignoring things like Wilshere being fouled on the edge of their box, but plus ça change. Lukas Podolski then failed to round off a flowing, intricate move involving Gibbs when his off-balance right footed shot in front of goal was blocked when he probably should have scored.
West Ham could have gone ahead in the 40th minute when a Guy Demel cross rebounded to Carlton Cole. He chipped the ball over the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny but before the ball could cross the line Aaron Ramsey got back to bash the ball out for a corner, great defending from the Welshman.
Santi Cazorla came close to putting Arsenal back in front when his left-footed free kick – one of the only times Marriner gave us anything – curled towards the top corner but Jaaskelainen got across to make a very good save. It’s worth pointing out that Cazorla is right-footed.
Arsenal came out flying in the second half, Theo Walcott almost forcing an own goal from Tomkins. And after more pressure Arsenal won a corner, Walcott took the it, it looked like a typically poor near post scrubber, but in came Giroud with a perfectly timed run and he toe-poked it in at the near post to make it 2-1.
Theo Walcott might have put Arsenal further ahead after a great Cazorla pass but delayed his shot, but a few moments later Arsenal were further ahead after bsolutely beautiful build up. Giroud flicked it to Podolski, he played it back to Cazorla who flicked it home from close range. 3-1.
And less than 2 minutes later Theo Walcott scored to leave the Hammers reeling. Podolski got down the left, fizzed in a great ball across goal, Walcott arrived and his finish at the near post was fantastic in its simplicity. 4-1.
Amazingly, Arsenal scored again just 90 seconds later, again Podolski was the architect, Olivier Giroud flicking home from close range to make it 5-1 to Arsenal. Incredible stuff.
The game, unsurprisingly, took a bit of a lull after the goal flurry but the Gunners could have been even further ahead when a quick break left them 3 on 1 but Theo Walcott’s final pass was poor when he had Giroud and Cazorla waiting for a tap in.
Arsene Wenger brought on Santos and Oxlade-Chamberlain for Podolski and Giroud, and there was a lengthy stoppage to West Ham sub Daniel Potts. He was taken off on a stretcher, having received oxygen on the pitch after a seemingly innoccous challenge with Bacary Sagna. Having used all their subs the Hammers played the rest of the game with 10 men.
There were 12 minutes of injury time but not much worth talking about happened, bar some Arsenal shots. In the end the second half flurry destroyed West Ham and gave us three lovely points.
If only we could play like this more often.