West Ham 1-2 Arsenal: Arsenal weather the storm to claim all three points at the London Stadium
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 01: Gabriel, Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding and Martin Odegaard of Arsenal celebrate their side's win after the final whistle of the Premier League match between West Ham United and Arsenal at London Stadium on May 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

The race for top four is well and truly on as Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal took three points from West Ham on Sunday evening.

Story of the Game

This game began in a cagey fashion as both sides struggled for control in this London derby. West Ham began to grab a foothold onto the game but against the run of play, the Gunners found the back of the net through Rob Holding, who headed home from a Bukayo Saka corner.

Arsenal have struggled to hold on to leads at moments this campaign, often conceding soon after scoring and today in this moment this was no different. Jared Bowen equalised for the home side just seven minutes after, superbly brining the ball under control and volleying into the back of the net after taking a small deflection off Gabriel Magalhaes.

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The teams went into the break with the scores level and early on in the second half, Arsenal enjoyed some possession in the West Ham half, highlighted with a Bukayo Saka chance where he weaved through some of the West Ham defence and shot low to Lukasz Fabianski’s left, forcing a corner out of the Polish keeper.

The resulting corner was then cleared, falling at the feet of Gabriel Martinelli who caressed the ball to the far post, finding an unmarked Gabriel Magalhaes who powered a header into the back of the net, off the body of Fabianski in the 54th minute.

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With Arsenal now two- one up West Ham piled on the pressure, dominating the possession and trying to break down the Arsenal defence which didn’t include Ben White who missed the tie due to a tight hamstring.

As West Ham’s onslaught continued, Arsenal sat back and tried to hit their London rivals on the counter attack, they had lots of joy using Eddie Nketiah as an outlet up front, finding him in the West Ham half and having multiple shots, forcing Lukasz Fabianski into some brilliant saves.

One worrying moment for Arsenal was when Takehiro Tomiyasu put the ball out of play to request a substitution, holding his calf, an area where he suffered an injury that he has struggled with recently. Cedric replaced the Japanese international and ensured the Gunners didn’t concede through the rest of the tie as his side took all three points at the London Stadium.  

Man of the Match.

Arsenal’s English defender Rob Holding picked up the man of the match performance, scoring a goal and making many key blocks and clearances. Holding was drafted into the side after Ben White missed this tie due to a tight hamstring. The man Arsenal signed from Bolton didn’t look out of place, earing BT Sport’s man of the match. 

Mikel Arteta’s take

In his post match press conference, Mikel Arteta expressed how he felt his side weren’t good enough with the ball in today’s tie.

"Today we were really poor with the ball, we are finding a way though and we found a way through set pieces today”

Arsenal are back in action a week today when they welcome Leeds to Emirates Stadium. Arsenal then make the short trip to Tottenham for a huge north London Derby before heading to an in form Newcastle and then welcoming Everton for the final game of the season.

West Ham have eyes elsewhere

Despite it being a disappointing loss for West Ham today, they have a huge European Semi-final second leg to focus on Thursday when they travel to Frankfurt to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League. David Moyes’ side played well today, but switched on in crucial moments and will be disappointed to concede through two set pieces. West Ham are currently 2-1 down on aggregate and will be confident they can put in a performance Thursday in their quest for Europa League Glory.

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