The Warm Down: West Ham 3-3 Arsenal
West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 21: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal collects the ball after their second goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on March 21, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Justin Tallis - Pool/Getty Images)

Arsenal's inconsistent form continued at the London Stadium as they provided a Jekyll and Hyde performance against high-flying West Ham.

Looking slow from the off, they were 3-0 down after half an hour thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen, and Tomas Soucek. The Gunners rallied at this point, pulling one back before the interval thanks to a smart finish from Alexandre Lacazette

The second half was unrecognisable from the first; Arsenal came close with their first attack, Lacazette's clever chip being cleared off the line, and the pressure continued.

Calum Chambers, a regular threat from right-back, provided the second goal as his wicked cross one which Craig Dawson could only turn into his own net. 

The Gunners were the better side for most of the second half, and got their equaliser eight minutes from time, Lacazette turning in a Nicolas Pepe cross. On the balance of play, they may even consider themselves unlucky not to have walked away with all three points despite an awful start. 

A European Hangover?

Following their disappointing defeat in midweek to Olympiacos, Arsenal started the London derby in the same manner that they finished their tie against the Greek Champions.

Hardly touching the ball in the first ten minutes, they deservedly went a goal down to a Jesse Lingard strike, before quick thinking from the Manchester United loanee slipped Jarrod Bowen in for the second just two minutes later.

On the ropes, Tomas Soucek added to Arsenal's misery, tapping in after Michael Antonio met a Vladamir Coufal cross. 

A poor first half looked to continue Arsenal's dreadful run of results after playing in Europe, who had lost seven of their nine Premier League fixtures after playing in the Europa League coming into today.

Their significant improvement in the second half meant that they avoided adding further to this unwanted record, but it will certainly be something that Mikel Arteta will want to keep an eye on going forwards.  

A Tale of Two Attacking Midfielders

For the first half an hour, it was the Jesse Lingard show. With six goal contributions in eight Premier League games against Arsenal, and six goal involvements in his last seven games for West Ham, he was always going to have an influence on the game.

Following a sublime first goal, it was his quick free-kick that caught The Gunners' defence cold, allowing Bowen to rifle in the second goal. 

His influence on the game waned as Arsenal got stronger, and was overshadowed by the performance of his opposite number, Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard.

Signed in January, the 22-year-old Norweigan has started Arsenal's last three games, and was instrumental in the Gunners firing back in this one. 

Whilst not directly finding himself on the scoresheet, his creativity provided the space for Calum Chambers to cross in for the second goal, as well as chances for Nicolas Pepe and Lacazette.

His value, both to Arsenal and, unfortunately for Arsenal fans, Real Madrid, is only going up. 

The Race for Europe

A point apiece does little for either side's European dreams. The result takes Arsenal up to ninth ahead of Aston Villa's evening kick-off against Tottenham Hotspur.

However, they remain four points behind sixth-placed Liverpool, and nine points behind today's opponents, who lie in fifth.

With a two-week international break to come, Arteta will have plenty of time to work with those that stay behind on ensuring a strong end to the Arsenal domestic and European season.          

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