Arsenal 4-1 West Ham: Wenger's swansong begins with emphatic win

Arsenal 4-1 West Ham: Wenger's swansong begins with emphatic win

Arsenal left it late to win, but ultimately sealed a comfortable victory

mattddawson
Matt Dawson
ArsenalOspina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Elneny (Maitland-Niles, min. 45), Ramsey, Iwobi (Aubameyang, min. 70), Welbeck (Chambers, min. 88), Lacazette.
West HamHart, Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Noble, Kouyate, Masuaku (Carroll, min. 86), Fernandes (Lanzini, min. 60), Mario (Hernandez, min. 60), Arnautovic.
SCORE1-0, min. 51, Monreal, 1-1, min. 64, Arnautovic, 2-1, min. 82, Ramsey, 3-1, min. 85, Lacazette, 4-1, min. 89, Lacazette.
REFEREELee Mason. Yellow Cards: Zabaleta (min. 50), Arnautovic, min. 87.
INCIDENTSPremier League match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene Wenger's penultimate home league game in charge of Arsenal ended in a 4-1 victory over West Ham, as the Frenchman's side left it late to seal what in the end was a comfortable victory. 

The Gunners struggled in the first half but came to life in the second. Nacho Monreal opened the scoring, but Marko Arnautovic hit back for the visitors. 

However two late goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey saw West Ham undone in the final ten minutes as Arsenal bounced back from defeat against Newcastle last weekend. 

Early defensive issues for Wenger's men

Wenger's announcement of a departure from Arsenal at the end of the season should have prompted a quick start from the Gunners, but the opposite was the case as they almost fell behind early through Hammers top scorer Arnautovic.

Twice the Austrian got in behind in the opening quarter, but on both occasions, he was denied. Shkodran Mustafi got back quickly to stop him from getting a shot away before David Ospina got down well to save from another shot moments later.

Arsenal have had defensive issues for large parts of the season, and their start rather summed up Wenger's last decade with the club. 

Gunners lack penetration in first half

Although ultimately leaving it late to score three of their four goals, the home side lacked a penetration in front of goal early on, as Mesut Ozil missed out through illness and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang had to settle for a place on the bench. 

Their first chance fell to Laurent Koscielny who headed wide from a corner in the opening ten minutes, whilst Hector Bellerin and Danny Welbeck were also off target in the first half. 

The Gunners' best chance of the opening 45 minutes came from a free-kick, as Granit Xhaka lined up an effort after Welbeck had been fouled but Joe Hart was able to beat the shot away. 

With a Europa League semi-final in mind on Thursday night, Arsenal's half ended with a concerning injury. Mohamed Elneny went into a tackle with Mark Noble, and unfortunately for the Egyptian he had to replaced - leaving the field on a stretcher and being substituted for Ainsley Maitland-Niles

Game comes to life after the restart

After half time the Gunners finally got going in forward areas and it was just six minutes into the second period that they took the lead. 

Xhaka curled in a cross and waiting was Monreal, who volleyed home with the assuring confidence of a striker to make it 1-0. The left back had been able to peel off his marker and was left with an unchallenged shot as he scored his sixth goal of the campaign. 

Just over ten minutes later West Ham responded in perfect fashion, forcing in an equaliser through their top marksman. Arsenal struggled to clear, and then Manuel Lanzini was able to slide the ball into the path of Arnautovic who slammed the ball into the back of the net for 1-1. 

Arsenal make late charge

West Ham keeper Hart had been at fault in their recent meeting with Stoke, but he was doing all he could to make up for it against Arsenal - producing two top draw saves to keep the scores level. He sprawled to his left to deny Xhaka, before making a brilliant stop to keep out a curling shot from Welbeck as the game approached the final ten minutes. 

However it was a mix up between Hart and Declan Rice that led to a late Gunners goal that would see the game taken away from West Ham. Ramsey looked to curl a ball into the box towards Aubameyang but Rice ducked underneath it, allowing the ball to evade everyone and fly into the far corner. 

Mintues later Arsenal sealed the win with a goal that typified everything that Wenger has brought to the football club. The Gunners moved the ball quickly around the edge of the penalty area in typical Arsenal fashion, before the ball ended up at the feet of Lacazette. He was able to take a touch and then drove the ball home via a deflection. 

Lacazette wasn't done there though, and shortly made it four with his second of the game. Ramsey did excellently inside the area, before laying the ball to Lacazette who rounded off an emphatic late performance from Arsenal. 

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