Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United: Premier League leaders extend advantage to seven points

27 December 2022 0 By Total Football News
Arsene Wenger watches Arsenal beat West Ham in the Premier LeagueArsene Wenger won three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups in his 22-year reign at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says club great Arsene Wenger "picked the right moment" to go back to Emirates Stadium as he saw them underline their title credentials.

Arteta's young team produced a second-half fightback to beat West Ham and move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League, which was resuming after the World Cup.

Wenger, who was the last Arsenal manager to win the title, made his first return since stepping down in 2018.

"His presence is something that has to be very, very attached to this football club so thanks [to him] for doing that because it means a lot for everybody at the club," said Arteta.

"Hopefully he is willing to spend more time with us and be around us because he is such an influence."

West Ham took the lead against the run of play when Jarrod Bowen was judged to have been clipped in the box by William Saliba, allowing Said Benrahma to smash a confident penalty down the middle.

There was a mood of frustration among the home fans until Bukayo Saka converted from close range after collecting Martin Odegaard's mis-hit shot.

The equaliser gave added impetus to the Gunners and another home goal looked increasingly likely.

Five minutes later, it duly arrived. Gabriel Martinelli put the hosts ahead, catching out West Ham's former Gunners keeper Lukasz Fabianski by tucking inside the near post from a tight angle when he seemed more likely to cross.

The points were sealed when Eddie Nketiah - starting in place of the injured Gabriel Jesus - spun sharply in the box before firing into the opposite bottom corner.

Arsenal extended their lead at the top over Newcastle, who moved second by beating Leicester earlier on Monday.

Reigning champions Manchester City - who go to Leeds United on Wednesday - are now eight points behind the Gunners.

West Ham are 16th and just a point above the relegation zone after their fourth league defeat in a row.

Arsenal show progression on Arteta anniversary

Arsenal fans are starting to believe Arteta's side can genuinely maintain their push for the club's first title since Wenger's Invincibles in 2004.

And as Wenger watched and heard his name lovingly sang by the home crowd, Arteta's young team added further encouragement to those dreaming of a long-awaited triumph.

"It is a really special day because Boxing Day is a beautiful day to play football and I thought the performance was at the level today that we deserve," said Arteta.

"Hopefully he [Wenger] will like it."

Gabriel Martinelli scores Arsenal's second goal against West HamGabriel Martinelli is Arsenal's joint top scorer in the Premier League this season - alongside Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard - after scoring his sixth goal

The match came on the third anniversary of Arteta's first game as Arsenal manager, and significant progress has been made since then.

When the former Gunners midfielder took over, they were closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

Their current position - and mood around the club - is a measure of how they have come.

The Spaniard has built a new team in the past three years which bears little resemblance - in style and substance - to the one picked for his first game at Bournemouth in 2019.

Arteta will not be getting carried after this win over West Ham, especially with several significant fixtures - not least against Manchester City on 15 February - on the horizon.

But the Gunners sent a message with a clinical second-half performance and the omens are also in their favour.

The team who topped the Premier League table on Christmas Day have gone on to be champions in 10 of the past 13 seasons.

Nketiah takes chance as West Ham struggle in front of goal

One of the key questions as the Premier League returned was how the Gunners would cope without key striker Jesus.

The Brazil international had knee surgery after being injured in Qatar and is expected to be out until late February, fuelling talk the Gunners might need to sign some cover.

But against West Ham, a first Premier League start of the season was handed to Nketiah - and the 23-year-old delivered.

After stretching the Hammers defence and creating space with his sharp movement, he capped an impressive all-round performance with a fierce finish and staked his claim to be Jesus' replacement.

"Gabby will be a big miss but we all believe in Eddie," Saka told Amazon Prime. "That's all he needs, us to keep supporting him and we will keep encouraging him.

"Everyone in the team is chipping in [with goals] and everyone will be important."

Eddie Nketiah scores Arsenal's third goal against West HamArsenal striker Eddie Nketiah has scored 11 goals in his last 11 starts at Emirates Stadium

In contrast to the leaders, West Ham are struggling in front of goal.

They have been better than their league position suggests, according to their expected goals statistics, with converting chances being their main problem.

Few opportunities came against Arsenal, although the game might have panned out differently had Michail Antonio not been denied by Aaron Ramsdale shortly after the restart at 1-0.

Hammers manager David Moyes said before the match he has not been feeling pressure because of results, instead urging for perspective and togetherness across the club.

But a fourth straight league defeat leaves West Ham as one of the cluster of teams packed tightly together in the bottom half.

"I don't think we're in a relegation fight. Every team has a blip when it isn't plain sailing and results don't go your way," said midfielder Declan Rice.

"It's down to me as captain to keep everyone going and pushing. We still believe we are a top team. But we need to start showing that. It's down to us."

Player of the match

ØdegaardMartin Ødegaard

with an average of 8.54


  1. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating


  2. Squad number7Player nameSaka
    Average rating


  3. Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli
    Average rating


  4. Squad number5Player namePartey
    Average rating


  5. Squad number14Player nameNketiah
    Average rating


  6. Squad number4Player nameWhite
    Average rating


  7. Squad number34Player nameXhaka
    Average rating


  8. Squad number3Player nameTierney
    Average rating


  9. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating


  10. Squad number1Player nameRamsdale
    Average rating


  11. Squad number12Player nameSaliba
    Average rating


  12. Squad number35Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating


  13. Squad number21Player nameFábio Vieira
    Average rating


  14. Squad number25Player nameMohamed Elneny
    Average rating


West Ham United

  1. Squad number20Player nameBowen

    Average rating


  2. Squad number22Player nameBenrahma

    Average rating


  3. Squad number41Player nameRice

    Average rating


  4. Squad number9Player nameAntonio

    Average rating


  5. Squad number15Player nameDawson

    Average rating


  6. Squad number11Player nameLucas Paquetá

    Average rating


  7. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

    Average rating


  8. Squad number3Player nameCresswell

    Average rating


  9. Squad number24Player nameKehrer

    Average rating


  10. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

    Average rating


  11. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

    Average rating


  12. Squad number72Player nameMubama

    Average rating


  13. Squad number8Player nameFornals

    Average rating




Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 4White
  • 12Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 3TierneySubstituted forZinchenkoat 73'minutes
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 5ParteySubstituted forElnenyat 90+5'minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 7Saka
  • 14Nketiah
  • 11MartinelliSubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 88'minutes


  • 16Holding
  • 17Cédric Soares
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 23Sambi Lokonga
  • 25Elneny
  • 27Marquinhos
  • 30Turner
  • 35Zinchenko
  • 85Cozier-Duberry

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5CoufalBooked at 44mins
  • 15Dawson
  • 24Kehrer
  • 3Cresswell
  • 28SoucekSubstituted forFornalsat 78'minutes
  • 41Rice
  • 20BowenBooked at 8mins
  • 11Lucas Paquetá
  • 22Benrahma
  • 9AntonioSubstituted forMubamaat 87'minutes


  • 2Johnson
  • 8Fornals
  • 10Lanzini
  • 12Downes
  • 13Aréola
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 32Coventry
  • 33Emerson
  • 72Mubama
Michael Oliver

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 3, West Ham United 1.

Second Half ends, Arsenal 3, West Ham United 1.

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: