Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Wilshere, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette
Subs: Macey, Mertesacker, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Nelson, Aubameyang
Arsenal began the send off for Arsene Wenger with a comprehensive, although not always convincing, 4-1 win over West Ham at the Emirates this afternoon.
Arsene Wenger picked a strong side, obviously looking to create some fluency ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final, but was without Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil, Sead Kolasinac and Jack Wilshere due to injuries and illness.
Laurent Koscielny had the first real sight of goal, heading not far wide from a 9th minute corner, and Jaoa Mario had a shot on target and a last gasp tackle from Mustafi denied Arnautovic when the former Stoke man found himself in behind as the Arsenal defence was exposed by a long pass.
Moments later, the West Ham forward found himself in behind again, this time with a better chance to shoot and he forced Ospina into a good save. From a corner a Kouyate header bounced off the top of the bar, and it was apparent that the Hammers need for points was firing them up.
Bellerin ought to have done better than shooting over when set up by Welbeck, and the England international was next to have a go, fizzing a shot not far wide of Joe Hart’s post in the 25th minute. The West Ham keeper made a good save from a Xhaka free kick, Welbeck headed a Bellerin cross over, and late in the first period there was a lengthy stoppage when Elneny picked up an injury.
The Egyptian international was caught in a clash with Noble, and was stretchered off with his leg in a protective book, replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Ramsey cracked a shot wide and that was that for the first period.
There were no changes at the break and the Gunners began the second half with a bit more intensity. Monreal shot straight at Hart with his right foot, and Zabaleta picked up a yellow for taking down Welbeck as Arsenal looked to break.
There was some justice though as from the resulting free kick we won a corner. Xhaka took the set-piece, Monreal caught it first time on the volley and shinned it into the bottom corner. 1-0.
David Moyes made a couple of changes and they paid dividends with a West Ham equaliser a couple of moments later. Ospina had punched away a cross, a couple of shots got blocked, the Arsenal defence was stretched, it came to Arnautovic and he cracked a shot across the keeper and into the net. 1-1.
Aubameyang replaced Iwobi on 70 minutes, and the club’s record signing was again stationed out on the left hand side. Hart made a save with is his fingertips from Xhaka, and made an even better one to tip a goalbound Welbeck curler around the post as Arsenal sought a winner.
A second goal came in the 82 minute, with a touch of good fortune. Ramsey picked the ball up out on the right, he curled in a cross, for some reason West Ham defender Declan Rice left it for his keeper and the ball went straight in. 2-1.
It got even better two minutes later. Arsenal worked it from left to right, Welbeck involved, as was Aubameyang who played it outside him to Lacazette. The French striker took a touch, and his shot deflected with real pace beyond Hart. 3-1.
Welbeck was replaced by Calum Chambers in the 87th minute, and the win was made even more emphatic with a fourth goal in the 89th minute. Ramsey did brilliantly in the box, played it Lacazette who turned, made space and drilled a low shot into the net for his second. 4-1.
It was a much better second half than first, and a nice way to begin the final few games of Arsene Wenger’s reign.