West Ham United 2-4 Arsenal: Gunners blast into new year
Credit: Kunjan Malde

West Ham United 2-4 Arsenal: Gunners blast into new year

Daniëlle van de Donk and Beth Mead were instrumental as Arsenal saw off West Ham for the third time this season 

Sophie Lawson

Goals from Leah Williamson, Janni Arnth and a brace from Daniëlle van de Donk helped Arsenal come from behind and overcome West Ham United after Jane Ross's brace.

Goals galore

Following a bitty start, the Hammers pounced on a piece of loose possession from the visitors, Alisha Lehmann mounting the charge before crossing in for Jane Ross to tap home. With West Ham defending in numbers whenever the Gunners got forward, it was an unlikely header from Leah Williamson that brought about parity just before the half hour.

The goal enough to give the visitors an extra touch of zip, allowing them to find more space in behind, diligent work from Kim Little bringing about a corner 30 minutes in. Five minutes after picking the ball out of her net the first time this year, Becky Spencer was forced to repeat the action as Janni Arnth rose to nod the ball into the far side of the goal from Beth Mead’s corner.

Looking suspect on the counter at set pieces, Arsenal were undone in the aftermath as Spencer sprung a long ball that found Ross by way of Brianna Visalli’s head. The Scottish international able to peel off of Katie McCabe’s shoulder and roll the ball between Pauline Peyraud-Magnin’s outstretched glove and the far post.

Dominating possession but being repelled well by the stubborn home defence, the Gunners retook the lead just before the hour when Daniëlle van de Donk knocked McCabe’s cross beyond Spencer from a yard out.

Pushing the Irons further and further back, Arsenal continued to look for a fifth goal, weary after a 4-3 win over the same opposition earlier in the season. With Kim Little and Vivianne Miedema a little off of the pace and the home defence back to blocking in numbers, the visitors couldn’t better their tally.

Attack, attack, attack

As has been the constant story of Arsenal this season, they were at their best when the team massed forward in attack, van de Donk, Mead and McCabe influential in the wide areas, Lia Wälti dictating from midfield. Mead with her pin-point passing and accumulation of assists the stand-out in Romford.

The win gets Arsenal back on track after a stumble against City last time out that looked to open up the title race. Still a little questionable with long balls over the top, the attack enough to keep the ball rolling for the table toppers. For the Irons, whose defence is equally a cause for concern, did well to acquit themselves in attack, the team still hugely transitional, still settling and finding out who they are.