Arsenal reiterated their title credentials on Boxing Day after coming back from behind to beat West Ham United by 3 goals to one, thanks to a stunning second half comeback at the Emirates. West Ham take the lead Said Benrahma’s penalty in the 27th minute had given the visitors an unlikely lead but an explosive […]
Arsenal reiterated their title credentials on Boxing Day after coming back from behind to beat West Ham United by 3 goals to one, thanks to a stunning second half comeback at the Emirates.
West Ham take the lead
Said Benrahma’s penalty in the 27th minute had given the visitors an unlikely lead but an explosive second half which saw the Gunners score three goals in 16 minutes gave the home side three points.
The result meant Mikel Arteta’s side have gone 7 points clear over second placed Newcastle at the top of the table.
David Moyes’ side came into the game with a clever game plan to play long balls in the heart of the Arsenal defense which Mikel Antonio could exploit with Jarrod Bowen and Benrahma’s runs in behind.
This clearly worked as Bowen was caught by William Saliba following a long ball that Antonio held up and laid off; and despite Arsenal’s complaints the penalty had been given. Benrahma stepped up to score to give the visitors a vital lead which they held on going into the interval.
Saka transforms the game
The Gunners however looked transformed after the break with Bukayo Saka restoring parity in the 53rd minute.
The English youngster who had a fine World Cup, picked up the ball in the penalty box and calmly slotted past Lukasz Fabianski after Martin Odegaard’s left footed effort was heading wide.
Five minutes later, Granit Xhaka found Gabriel Martinelli in the left flank and the Brazilian took a quick first touch before lashing it past Fabianski in the near post to give the table toppers a 2-1 lead.
Chants of ‘One Arsene Wenger’ rounded across the Emirates with the legendary former manager in attendance.
Eddie Nketiah completed the rout in the 16th minute with a brilliant turn and shot past the helpless Fabianski in the Hammers goal.
Arsenal had turned the game on its head and the result squashed any claims that this young Arsenal side might crumble under pressure as they chase the Premier League title.
The results sees Arteta’s side go 8 points clear of reigning Champions Manchester City who are in third, having played an extra game. For West Ham, its back to the drawing board for Moyes who is now under pressure and time running out with his team in 16th having now lost 4 games on the trot.
Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire