Fans endured an afternoon of fantastic drama as the Gunners drew 3-3 against the Hammers at the London ground.
On the last occasion when both the clubs faced each other, Arsenal came back from a goal deficit in the first half to win 3-1. Arsenal in London have preeminently been the bigger club historically. But on this occasion, the tables have turned as West Ham have been punching above their weight this season and finds themselves in surprise contention for Top 4. Meanwhile, Arsenal finds themselves trodding at 10th in the midtable and the fans are beginning to lose patience with Arteta.
The match started with Arsenal dominating much of the possession and retaining the ball for most parts of it. The breakthrough came at 15 mins when Lingard scored a spectacular goal and gave the West Londoners a lead. He thumped the ball on the right top corner from just outside the box and Bernd Leno had no chance whatsoever. Two minutes later, Arsenal’s defense crumbled again as Jared Bowen struck home another goal. Arsenal’s defense was caught napping as Lingard found Bowen inside the box from a quick freekick. It was an ideal start for West Ham as they had a two-goal cushion and were comfortable playing defensively in their own half.
Arsenal mounted the charge and relentlessly tried to break West Ham but to no avail. The Hammers struck another blow at the 32nd minute from a lovely crafted move. A cross from the right-wing was headed towards the net by Antonio which stuck Souchek’s foot and went into the net. From a position of neutrality, it would have been daring to call West Ham favorites but the Hammers found themselves leading by 3 goals at the half-hour mark.
Arsenal kept on trying to break West Ham’s defense and finally found luck at the 42nd-minute mark. Lacazette gave the Gunners a glimmer of hope as he shot towards the goal and the shot hit Souchek and went in. The goal turned out to be crucial as Arsenal now had something to build upon in the second half. At the end of the first half, Arsenal found themselves 2 goals behind though having controlled two-thirds of the possession.
The second half began with West Ham having to dig deep and sit on the defensive. Arsenal shifted up a gear and were more relentless in their pursuit of the second goal and kept on creating chances. The Gunners broke again at 61st minute as Craig Dawson lashed the ball into his and resulted in a 2nd own goal for the Hammers on the night.
Since the beginning of the second half, the Hammers started to crumble and Arsenal players started to swarm West ham’s box. The 2nd goal gave Arsenal some wind in their sail and Moyes men barely had a sniff of the ball in the last quarter. Hammers endured frantic moments in the latter half of the quarter as they desperately tried rescuing their lead. But the omens would prove otherwise as Arsenal managed to stage an incredible turnaround as their relentlessness paid off in the 82-minute mark. After being wasteful on the night, Lacazette managed to score one from a header and successfully stage a comeback for the Gunners.
Odegaard was the only player in the red shit on the night that looked capable of creating chances. His precise through balls were a joy to behold and helped the Gunners immensely rescuing a draw.
The match finished as a 3-3 draw and both teams looked content with a point. As expected, Arsenal were the more dominant side throughout the game in possession (63%) yet they had a similar number of chances on goal as West Ham (7). Arsenal’s lack of final edge cutting in recent games is a concern for Arteta. Arsenal’s defense also accounts for the liability for failing to achieve a clean sheet for the 6th game in a row.
Meanwhile, West Ham have conceded 3 Own goals in their last 2 games. Although the West London faithful’s would be cheerful of the current state of affairs’ at the club, they cant get carried away and make sure complacency doesn’t become an issue for Moyes men.
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