Report: West Ham 1-3 Arsenal

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Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Walcott, Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Monreal, Flamini, Gnabry, Bendtner, Podolski

Arsenal went back to the top of the Premier League after a 3-1 win over West Ham at Upton Park today.

Arsene Wenger made just one change from the team that drew with Chelsea, recalling Santi Cazorla in place of Tomas Rosicky.

The game began in fairly even fashion, with both teams sounding each other out, and in the 6th minute Cazorla had the first Arsenal effort but his shot was blocked. Moments later a fantastic Bacary Sagna cross almost found Olivier Giroud but the Frenchman was well marshalled by the home defence.

In the 10th minute Wojciech Szczesny had to be alert to push away a Mark Noble free kick, while at the other end Adrian had to stretch to keep out a Cazorla header after the Hammers failed to clear a short corner.

Joey O’Brien picked up a 19th minute yellow card for pulling back Kieran Gibbs as the left back drove into the West Ham box, but the free kick from just outside the area came to nothing.

A stinging shot from Diame almost caught Szczesny out but the Pole found his touch, and from the resulting spell of possession Arsenal should have been ahead. Aaron Ramsey’s pass over the top of the defence found Theo Walcott but the winger volley wide with the goal at his mercy.

Arsenal dominated possession for the most part but struggled to create anything clear cut. Per Mertesacker had to be strong to fend off some amorous advances from Carlton Cole, before Cazorla fizzed an effort just over the bar. Mesut Ozil then played Giroud down the left hand channel but the striker screwed his shot wide. It was the strike of a man short of confidence.

Aaron Ramsey saw a right footed shot deflect into the arms of the keeper as the Gunners looked to up the pressure, and the Welshman made Adrian work with a cross from well inside the area.

Fantastic combination play saw Ozil pull a ball back across goal but it was just in front of Giroud who probably should have been more on his toes. As the half drew to a close a Cazorla free kick was blocked to Mikel Arteta just outside the box, but the Spaniard’s volley whizzed just wide of the post.

Kevin Nolan threatened from a West Ham free kick before more good Arsenal play almost created a chance for Giroud. Gibbs low cross from the left rolled two yards in front of the goal but once more the Frenchman’s timing was just off and he failed to get a touch, meaning the game remained scoreless at the break.

The second half began in exhilarating style. After making a great run through midfield, Theo Walcott had two options for a final pass but instead chose to give it to a West Ham defender. They broke upfield, Szczesny failed to hold a Kevin Nolan shot and Carlton Cole was on hand to poke home the rebound. The half was just 46 seconds old when they scored.

Arsenal had shouts for a penalty when Tomkins blocked a Mertesacker shot with his arm, but it was very much ball to hand and Phil Dowd waved away the appeal. And the confident home side almost had a second when Joey O’Brien, unmarked in the box, headed wide from about 8 yards out.

O’Brien was lucky to escape a second yellow for a foul on Giroud, before Cole almost put West Ham further ahead but he poked it wide with Szczesny advancing on him and in no position to cover.

Arsenal looked press for the equaliser. There were a succession of corners and some goalmouth scrambles but West Ham defended resolutely. Adrian made a good save from a Cazorla shot, and was back on his feet quickly to save the rebound from Ozil. It looked like it was going to be one of those days.

Matters weren’t helped when Aaron Ramsey picked up what looked like a thigh strain, replaced by Lukas Podolski. The German was quickly involved, but it was only to pick up an ankle knock when a shot inside the West Ham area was blocked.

But in the 67th minute Arsenal were level. Arteta made a good tackle on the edge of the Arsenal area, the ball was moved forward and played out wide to Theo Walcott. The England man cut inside on his left foot and got a shot on target, but the keeper really should have saved it easily. Adrian somehow let it run through his hands and into the net.

Less than 4 minutes later, Arsenal were ahead, and it was Walcott again who got on the scoresheet. A Podolski cross flicked off the head of Tomkins and Walcott rose high to plant a header downwards into the net.

It was almost three when Cazorla found Podolski in the box, but Adrian came out quickly to smother. The momentum had changed completely and Arsenal looked hungry for more goals. And the third duly came when Giroud laid the ball off for Podolski on the edge of the box and the German’s left footed shot meant he got a goal on his first appearance since the end of August. He celebrated like it meant the world to him.

The manager took the opportunity to rest some legs then, bringing on Flamini for Ozil and Bendtner for Giroud. Arsenal had lots more possession to try and see out the game, and almost got a 4th when Bendtner’s shot from the right hand side went just wide of the far post.

In the end it was a win which showed some real character and put the Arsenal back on top of the table.

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119 Comments on "Report: West Ham 1-3 Arsenal"

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Silent Stan's Content Mustache
Silent Stan's Content Mustache

#aha

PP

#LANS

Runcorn Gooner

Never in doubt even at 0-1.this is a team that knows it can beat lower opposition.
PS Thought Thinny Dowd had a reasonable game by his usual AFC standards and
of course he won’t be reffing the Newcastle away game for which he is famous

arsefanaticul

Tanx Theo, welcome back Poldi…

Szczesny's left thumb
Szczesny's left thumb

GIR-who???

texasgooner

Needs competition

goonies

Needs to score too…

Don Cazorleone

needs a rest

garyfootscrayaustralia
garyfootscrayaustralia

Podolski’s sub appearance was quite brilliant. Focus, determination, and end product. Welcome back indeed.

goonies

Ramsey injury was a blessing in disguise. poldi coming on gave everyone a massive lift, gibbs became psyched up, ozil lit up and poldi grabbed an assist and a goal for himself. He’s brilliant isn’t he?

Ólafur

Good win. Fantastic to see our forwards on the wings put the ball in. Now for pool to drop some points~

Benis

They’re not a threat. The Mancs are a threat.

ANDR

It is wrong not to consider them a threat. They have been performing well and with suarez in the form of his life, they could be in it till the very end.
Great comeback today. The first one this season too, so hopefully we can push on and leave our rivals trailing.
Hopefully the injury to rambo is not serious though.

Alebelly

Suarez is quiet for one game like he was against Hull Liverpool lose. So I don’t take them seriously as contenders. A win for them today would be good for us. Even though we lose top spot.

Der Springer

I think we would all like to see a draw. I can’t decide who I would prefer to win. Man City so we can stay top or Liverpool because I think, in the big picture, City are a bigger threat.

Ólafur

Fair point, I just really want us to have #1 for ourselves. A draw would be ideal non?

Eminence

Liverpool are essentially a one man team at least until Sturridge is back. I honestly can’t see Liverpool maintaining this form till the end of The season. Man city however have quality all over and more importantly squad depth. I would prefer Liverpool to win today and give us a 4 point cushion on the mancs. That margin could be vital later in d season.

Don Cazorleone

I would love to be logical about this but I hate Brendan Rodgers so much that I would be happy to see his stupid face lose as many games as possible, even this one

Heroldgoon

Podolski is the word for clinical. Glad he’s back.

C

Yep. Great seeing him score. Ditto Walcott. In fact, our standout players from last season all had good games – Poldi, Theo, Giroud, and Santi.

muchadoaboutnot

Yes, Podolski was the breath of fresh air that Arsenal needed at that moment. Sad to see an injury to Ramsey forced that substitution.

k

poldi LANS

Manchester Gooner

Polanski

Mooro

Not much peace and goodwill after 46mins in my gaff.

Fuck knows how we didn’t have 3 or 4 in that 1st half alone, but job done in the end, 3pts, top of the league and not much to moan about really.

Oh, hang on. Nearly forgot. Phil Dowd – what a fat useless cunt that bloke is.

Let’s their bloke off who was on a yellow, with two further challenges that were yellows on their own.

And first half, ball hits Vermaelen’s hand from no distance – free kick. Second half, ball hits their cunt in the area from no distance – play on.

Still, forgive and forget and all that. Fat cunt.

Temi

Whisper it quietly… Poldi and Walcot are back. We’ll played boys!

dink arnold

Wenger’s forced substitution was the real game changer there. Podolski looked fantastic, really turned his #Aha into #AHammer. Loved the depth of our bench today and great to see Cazorla back on form!

To of the fucking League

dink arnold

*Top

Cele

Cazorla back to form!?
We watch the same game?

AFCEdwards

Clearly not. Was your TV on?

C

Yeah, I thought Santi played very well. Inventive, energetic, willing to shoot, fantastic ball control. Definitely the best creative player today.

Temi

*Walcott*

D

FEEEO FEEEO!

Heroldgoon

Arteta what a player! He was my man of the match today. He showed a side we knew he had but suppresed it due to his DM role.

dgaj

Fuck Robeson. “Artea can’t defend”. Piss off!

with the left and the right
with the left and the right

i think it was a case of hair envy from that bald headed cunt

mastaofthegoonaverse

Less of the baldist comments please, i am easily offended.

Swedegunner

yeah that was wierd, especially since he made a bunch of hard tackles after that remark, yet he said it one more time in the second half

Heroldgoon

Here’s Artetas Answer:

95% pass completion, 5 tackles & 1 interception

rozterlists

Wish Bendtner had gotten himself a goal. Yet another good sub appearance. Wouldn’t mind him starting against Cardiff.

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs
Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

It’s funny how that doesn’t seem so unthinkable right now, compared to when he’d just come back into the team. Tells you how shit Giroud has been lately.

_

You mean that’s how impossible is to play 5 games in 13 days for a such hardworking CF, right?

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs
Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

Why do you feel the constant need to defend him? Let him defend himself with his performances! Through a pile of fixtures, Henry’s quality shined through, so did RvP’s when he was with us. They played almost EVERY game and it was almost a drought when they went 2-3 games without a goal. Have you not learned that a striker with his back goal, trying silly flicks just won’t cut it at Arsenal? He’s a backup to a main striker at best. Plan B-ish

FourMinuteSmiler

I don’t remember Henry or RVP busting a gut trying to win the ball in midfield or winning header after header in defence though.

There are better finishers out there than HFB, but his overall contribution has been excellent.

If he’s tired, I would guess that it’s mentally rather than physically – he’s playing in three different positions every game.

Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs
Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

Perhaps it’s news to you that hard work in itself can be doing your absolute utmost to make sure the ball is in the net. Those two were quite good at it….and, yes, RVP and Henry did track back at times but I guess when you spend most of your time giving the ball away when trying silly flicks instead of doing what you’re paid to do – score goals – then, yeah, you must like to defend so much. We can make our lives easier by putting away those chances. I don’t hate him because I know he’s decent but I maintain he’s back-up/Plan B material at best.

ozinal

Santi is back

Mark

Best I can remember him playing all year. At least since the Özil signing.

dgaj

Next!

GooneRon

That sure feels good.

Richeee

Great performance by Podolski. New dynamic to the team in this game.
Back on the title hunt. Now to watch a 2-2 draw at Manchester.

mikie

3-1 job done, walcott impressive as was cazorla and poldi, poldi got a very feel good goal. no goals for giroud and he had some chances but as always can’t fault his effort.

Goon

Good to see Cazorla in the middle. A good second half of the season please, boys.

DrabWilly

Another boring Arsenal performance.

David

Hope Rambo is ok! Maybe he would have had a rest if Wilshere had not been banned.

Bring on Newcastle!!! COYG!!!!!!

leppardz

On form, TSGTEL > Giroud!

FlotDiller

On form, Giroud>on form, TGSTEL>Giroud
There, fixed.

Don Cazorleone

I couldn’t disagree more

Rad Carrot

Poldi munched up the walrus’ team easily, once he was on. Good victory, top of the league at the moment, and hopefully the scunts will drop some points at the shitihad.

We need to see Theo and Poldi more often over the next few games, give Giroud, Ramsey and Ozil a bit of a rest. Good stuff though. Happy Boxing day ya goons, we’re still top and we’re almost half-way through!

deji

Santi is really back now. Does gibbs love podolski or what? He brings out the best in him.

We still need a striker coz I love podolski on the wings. This is the stuff of champions.

Stone

Gibbsy was fantastic today, both before and after Poldi came on, I’m loving the guy more with every game.

gooner odst

Giroud was really struggling there, he normally gets at least 1 goal from those wide crosses/ 6 yard box melee thingys. Walcott nailed it again, 4 in 2 games when we needed it. The spirit of champions is within us i.e. crush the weaklings and embiggen the goal difference.

Merry Xmas folks 🙂

Warm

I hope giroud is replace by poldi next game or even bendtner..giroud is either so tired or hes not good enough at the moment and others deserve their chance now

Erwandy

You are forgetting that it was Giroud who assisted Poldi for that lovely goal. Typical excellent hold up play by HFB – utterly selfless and Poldi knew just how to convert that into a goal. Just last season both pairing of AHA and HFB has always been fruitful and devastating

Doctor Satan

Anyhow, we have very good midfielders who can keep the ball and play great one-touch football. We need a clinical striker.

g00fy

if poldi had come on for the last 10/15min against chelski, who knows what might’ve happened. stoked he got a goal on his return, and its good to get the momentum going again.

Swedegunner

I think Cazorla made one of his best games of the season. Especially after Ramsey went out and he was moved into the middle. Let’s keep this up! Top of the table!!

Fatgooner

An excellent performance against a piss-poor West Ham side – but why did we make it so hard for ourselves?

We should have been 3 or 4 nil up at half time, but unfortunately we have a main striker who is hopelessly out of form, and not world class when is is playing well. And even Walcott got into the act by missing a sitter.

After they scored courtesy of that ridiculous error by Szczesny, we really turned it on and finally got what we deserved. Great to see Podolski get one.

We absolutely bossed the midfield, and were solid at the back, bar a couple of lapses, but the big worry is the lack of goals: ten years ago Henry and co would have put six pass this woeful Hammers side.

Giroud has an excuse: he has been run into the ground, playing in almost every game this season. He needs a rest. That’s why we must, must, bring in a striker in this transfer window. If we don’t then we can kiss the title goodbye.

C

Giroud wasn’t bad today. The third goal was entirely because of him – before that, his link-up play was quite good (though it never quite came off).

He can definitely be criticized for the past 3 or 4 performances, but today was good from him.

Stephen

^This guy. Jeebus.

Nikhil Agarwal

Worreid for the Welsh Jesus. BTW, Happy birthday RAMBO! Recover soon! We need you! COYG!

Filip

After West Ham goal we attacked with purpose and weren’t afraid to shoot. Santi was really up to it, especially later in a game. You could tell that he enjoys being the focal point of the team. Top of the league!

Aamir

Özil created 8 chances today. More than the entire West Ham team. Too bad we couldn’t finish them off.

Glad that Cazorla Podolski and Walcott are back on form now. We are only going to get better and better.

Steve

Crumbs it didn’t feel that good reading the match updates on the bbc website lol thought we’d get a draw at best!!! Lesson always log into the arseblog live updates, although in my defence there was not any today!!!

Ben

Yeahhhhhh!!!

Come on you guns!!!

Duddy

With Podolski back and Cazorla playing more like himself from last season I think we can afford to rest Ozil at last! Always loved the front 4 combo with Podolski, Walcott, Giroud and Santi as no.10! Newcastle here we come!

RC Motors

everytime the camera cut to sam allardyce looking glum, i chuckled to myself remembering his “Allardici comment”. Tactical genius my arse. Glad arsenal ruined his boxing day!

ron1niro

Cazorla was fantastic. Giroud struggled but I think he held the ball well. Arleta was very good too. Gibbs was great!

Ricardo

It was a good win, showed true character, but the defense was worrying. The defense should be focused when we are winning and losing. Last season it was terrible on both, this season we seemed to have corrected both, but now it looks as if we are back to being defending well when we are winning. Someone needs to take control.

Forfuckssake

Censorship bring back the wall

VegasGunner

Giroud is secretly British: hard working, big, lumbering, but with a nice little touch here and there that makes you think, irrationally, WE’RE GONNA TAKE THE WORLD CUP!

Parisian Weetabix

Giroud is French. And Handsome. And a Bloke. Though not necessarily in that order.

NotaGreedyGunner

Thought carzorla played well after he was shifted to a more central role. And wow, what an impact poldi made on his return. Let the goals flow!!

DC

We looked much more balanced after Podolski came on. This is not meant to be disrespectful of the players on the pitch beforehand, but there was a time after Rambo and Özil came off and Santi was in the centre of midfield when we looked at our most fluent – and he looked really good again. I thought he had an excellent second half.

Just the win we needed. COYGs

Bakarr

I wonder whether Arsene would’ve made the change so early had it not been for an injury to Ramsey, now the lad is out due to too many games, hope not for long.

Giroud needs a rest as well because some the chances he is missing are becoming ridiculous,
Some of the strikers Arsene has brought to this club for him to make do with Giroud is beyond uunderstanding.

Mr.T

Oh, Wenger read my mind when put Poldi on. AHA! His left foot is a rocket.

heihaci

Podolski and Walcott showing Giroud how to fininsh

John

Great to have Walcott, Podolski and Cazorla all back, they make a real difference and our play becomes more direct and less complicated. It’s a real bonus having these players back and along with the Ox we should have a fresh forward line for the second half of the season, which should give us a real advantage over our rivals.

In a perverse way I’m glad Ramsey’s out for a while as it looks like he’s running on empty as is Giroud. The worrying thing is Wenger doesn’t seam to like taking either out of the starting line up as it appears he views it as some kind of punishment.

Bakarr

Everyone here has in the past made a cuntish remark or gave an opinion including Arsblog, why is Robson not allowed to have on opinion? I FOR ONE, SOME OF HIS COMMENTS MAKES SENSE TO ME.

DrabWilly

Your comment makes no sense to me.

deano

Dominated the match wasted some great chances then went behind. Thankfully the goals then arrived great header from Theo and then along pops Poldi with his strike. 3 points top of the table very nice. Blogs you forgot O’briens rugby tackle on TV5 after he had already been booked. Getting Pissed off with these officials lately.

garyfootscrayaustralia
garyfootscrayaustralia

Once the match was killed off and the result secured, I have no problem with declaring that I spent the last five minutes shouting at the screen “GET THE BALL TO BENDTNAAARRR”….if his run and shot at the end had gone in, I fear I would have simultaneously pissed and creamed me keks

vbk

Booooooom I’m back – podolski

vigoshu

First match of the season I had to miss seeing live due to my job and no live blog today

Had to search other options but found something in the end

A N Other

Cazorla was back to his best. If he keeps this form then we will be up for a treat. I think except Kos this was our best team played today and we played really well despite that west ham goal scare.

I am beginning to worry about Giroud. He is missing some simple chances. We definitely need another striker to play centrally.

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