Hammers nailed by Gunners
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 07 Oct 2012 13:57:00
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After looking so comfortable in the 2-1 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Monday night, West Ham United faced a tough test at home to Arsenal on Saturday and it proved to be so, as the Gunners came from behind to win 3-1.

Sam Allardyce made two changes from the team that played at Loftus road; George McCartney replaced the injured Joey O'Brien, while Andy Carroll was preferred to Carlton Cole upfront.

Before the game, there was a minutes applause for former Hammer John Bond who passed away last week. After this was well recieved, the action got underway.

The visitors started the game on the front foot and forced goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen to tip Olivier Giroud's low shot around the post and out for a corner. The resulting  corner was easily cleared by Carroll.

Both sides had chances but Arsenal had more of the possession. However, it was West Ham that went ahead on 21 minutes, when a good move involving Guy Demel, captain Kevin Nolan and George McCartney set up Mohamed Diame who beat Arsenal defender Aaron Ramsey to fire past Vito Mannone in the visitors goal. That may have been the midfielder's first goal for the club but he was booked for celebrating as he jumped in with the delighted Hammers fans.

The hosts held the lead for 20 minutes until normal service was resumed when Lukaz Podolski crossed for Giroud to volley past Jaaskelainen.

West Ham had a great chance to regain the lead just before the break, when a freekick was given for a tackle by Giroud on Mark Noble. Carroll lifted the ball in, Nolan got his boot on it, but the ball drifted wide of the post, which meant the scores were still level when the half-time whistle was blown.

The second half started with both teams again having chances but neither were able to grab the advantage. West Ham suffered a real blow on the hour mark; Ricardo Vaz Te tried to latch on to Noble's cross and, as he stretched, dislocated his shoulder which will keep him out for a period of months.

When the Portuguese frontman had to come off, Big Sam sent on Matthew Taylor to replace him.

On 72 minutes, the manager was forced into a second change as Demel picked up an injury and was replaced by James Tomkins.

Minutes later, West Ham set up a counter-attack after Arsenal had taken a corner. However, Jarvis's cross to Diame was cut out, Arsenal broke clear and Theo Wolcott, who had earlier come on as a substitute, raced past McCartney and calmly slotted the ball past Jaaskelainen.

West Ham should have equalised two minutes later, when Jarvis crossed the ball for Diame, but it deflected to Nolan who shot high and over the bar.

With 82 minutes on the clock, Allardyce made his final change as Diame was replaced by Cole.

Just after the Hammers had changed personnel, Arsenal clinched the points, as Santiago Cazorla rifled an unstoppable shot into the net and the East Londoners were minutes away from suffering their first home league defeat of the season.

The home side could have reduced the deficit soon after, but, unfortunately Taylor's fierce drive was well dealt with by Manonne.

Five minutes of stoppage time were signalled, due to the amount of time taken to attend to Vaz Te's injury. The final whistle blew and West Ham's unbeaten home league record had gone. The Premier League now takes a fortnight's break before Southampton visit Upton Park on 20 October.

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