Losing Streak Continues For Hammers
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 06 Apr 2017 13:51:00
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West Ham United slipped down to 15th in the Premier League table following the weekend's results and they remain there after a 3-0 defeat in the London derby against Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.

Slaven Bilic made three changes from Saturday's defeat at Hull City, as club captain Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and Arthur Masuaku all came into the side in place of Aaron Cresswell, who was missing due to injury, while Sofiane Feghouli and Robert Snodgrass dropped to the bench.

Diafra Sakho was named in the matchday squad for the first time since the 1-1 draw at Manchester United back in November.

Both teams had been on a dreadful run of form going into this game, but Arsenal had at least picked up a draw against Manchester City on Sunday.

Looking to atone for their defeat at the KCOM Stadium on Saturday, the visitors started well, as they were awarded an early freekick.

Although Manuel Lanzini sent the effort over the bar, it still worried Gunners' goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez.

The pressure was on Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to deliver a result but it was the Hammers who continued to create the best chances.

Just five minutes later, Noble got the better of Mohamed Elneny and headed for goal but unfortunately his effort went inches wide of the far post.

West Ham were lucky not to give away a penalty minutes later, as Masuaku brought down Theo Walcott in the area but thankfully, referee Martin Atkinson gave nothing.

The hosts then started to turn the screw. Both Walcott and Danny Welbeck went close before the former Southampton youngster wasted a golden opportunity to put his side ahead by firing wide.

On 41 minutes, Arsenal were really piling on the pressure and both James Collins and José Fonte managed to get their bodies in the way and block everything that their opponents were throwing at them.

As Atkinson blew the half-time whistle, it was a familiar feeling for the majority inside the stadium, while the Irons were just hoping that their luck would change.

During the break Bilic made his first substitution, as Snodgrass replaced Antonio.

Having started to apply pressure at the end of the first 45 minutes, the home side continued to raise the tempo at the start of the second-half, as they looked to deepen the gloom for their opponents.

Mesut Özil had an effort blocked, while they missed another great chance, as Elneny saw his volley go inches wide.

Having held out for so long, West Ham's resistance was finally broken on 58 minutes when Özil picked up possession and made his way towards goal before curling an effort past Darren Randolph.

The Irishman should have done a lot better to prevent the goal but he made amends minutes later, when he produced a superb block to deny Welbeck a way through on goal from close range.

Things weren't going to plan for the visitors, who needed to halt a run of four straight defeats. In an effort to try and change matters, on 63 minutes Bilic brought on Diafra Sakho in place of Andy Carroll, meaning the manager was once again going with one upfront.

Instead of making a difference, the evening was just getting worse for West Ham, who soon went further behind.

After scoring the first, Özil made a big contribution to the second as he combined well with Alexis Sanchez to set up stand-in skipper Walcott who finished well, giving Randolph no chance.

The East Londoners went close to grabbing a consolation on 75 minutes, when Lanzini stung the palms of Martínez, but the keeper held on well.

Arsenal made sure of their first three points since February with a third goal. Substitute Oliver Giroud sent another curler past Randolph.

With ten minutes of normal time remaining, West Ham made their final change, as the skipper was replaced by Edimilson Fernandes.

The hosts had further chances to widen the margin of victory but in the end, what mattered most was they picked up maximum points.

The Hammers don't have to wait too long to try and end this awful run, as Swansea City come to Stratford on Saturday afternoon for a now crucial encounter, given that the Swans dropped into the relegation zone last night after throwing away a one goal advantage to eventually lose 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.

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