Arsenal: Martinez, Bellerin, Mustafi, Gabriel, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny, Ozil, Walcott, Alexis, Giroud
Subs: Macey, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Iwobi, Giroud
Arsenal eased the pressure after an excellent second half performance and goals from Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud saw them run out 3-0 winners over West Ham at the Emirates this evening.
Arsene Wenger made a number of changes to the team that drew 2-2 with Man City on Sunday. Emi Martinez started in goal ahead of the injured David Ospina, while Mohamed Elneny replaced Coquelin midfield. Gabriel came in for Laurent Koscielny, and Theo Walcott captained the side.
Alexis Sanchez had the first effort on goal in the 4th minute, firing a shot wide from outside the box, before Lanzini curled a free kick right on the edge of our box not far over the bar in the 8th minute.
Mark Noble pulled a shot wide after Gabriel hesitated when the ball broke loose in front of him, and after combining well with Bellerin down the right Walcott saw a shot go straight into the arms of Randolph.
The Arsenal captain was denied a penalty by Martin Atkinson moments later when he appeared to be barged over in the box, but the referee waved play on. As the Hammers broke upfield, Hector Bellerin hauled back Antonio and was shown a yellow card.
Danny Welbeck had a great sight of goal when Alexis clipped a free kick over the wall, but just in front of the keeper he couldn’t make any contact with the ball.
Slaven Bilic’s side were very well organised but when Collins gave the ball away, Walcott should have done better with a clear sight of goal than lash the ball wide of the near post.
Lanzini followed Bellerin into the book for a foul on Walcott, and West Ham’s defence threw bodies at the ball to block goalbound efforts from Bellerin and then Elneny. From the resulting corner, Welbeck got a header on target at the near post, but Randolph was equal to it.
Ozil hit the post from an offside position as the Gunners looked to try and find a goal before half-time, but the teams went in level at the break.
West Ham made a change before the second period, Robert Snodgrass coming on for Antonio, but the Gunners began the half strongly.
There was lovely pass Alexis to Ozil in the box, but his first touch was heavy and that allowed Collins to get back and make a tackle before he shot.
Noble blocked an Alexis effort, Elneny had one blocked, but in the 58th minute we went ahead.
The ball was bouncing around the West Ham box, it came to Ozil outside the area, Ozil took a shot, firing it towards the far corner, and somehow it went through the keeper and into the net. More a goalkeeping error than a great finish but still 1-0.
The lead could have been doubled just two minutes later, Welbeck couldn’t find the finish after great work from Walcott gave him a sight of goal from close range, only to be denied by Randolph.
Mustafi picked up a yellow card for a lunging challenge which saw him get the ball but it was a bit reckless. Welbeck shot wide from a right angle after being set-up by Ozil, and the German was creator again when he crossed for Elneny, but the midfielder’s header was tame and easy for the keeper.
Arsenal were well on top and in the 68th minute got the second goal their dominance deserved. It came from brilliant approach play, a Sanchez backheel set Ozil free down the left, he pulled it back and Walcott was there to finish calmly at the near post. 2-0.
Seconds later it should have been 3-0 when Alexis found a great Bellerin run with a superb pass into the area, but the Spaniard’s finish on the slide trickled just wide.
Martinez made a smart stop from Lanzini as West Ham looked for a response, and Arsenal made their first change when Olivier Giroud came on to replace Danny Welbeck.
Xhaka smashed a shot from 30 yards which the keeper parried away, and as the ball rebounded Monreal looked to be fouled but of course Martin Atkinson played on.
Arsene Wenger made his final changes, Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain coming on for Walcott and Elneny in the 81st minute, and the England man made a big impact within minutes.
He burst through midfield, played it to Giroud who cut inside the defender in the area, and curled a magnificent shot over the keeper and into the far corner. 3-0.
Martinez was called into action again, saving well from substitute Fernandes, and we were denied another penalty when Atkinson ignored a clear foul on Monreal because he’s terrible at his job.
In the end though, a comfortable and much needed win for this Arsenal side.