Hammers Draw as Gunners fire blanks
By Tom Dowsett
Thursday 14 Dec 2017 14:28:00
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After beating Chelsea on Saturday, West Ham United secured a point as their double-header of home London derbies concluded on Wednesday night with a goalless draw against Arsenal.

David Moyes decided to go with the same side that he named against the Blues to see if they could also get the better of the Gunners. 

There was a welcome sight on the bench however, as James Collins made the squad for the first time since suffering a serious injury against West Bromwich Albion in September.

Although the Hammers were desperate to build on the result against Antonio Conte's side, the visitors always looked likely to pose a considerable threat.

Arsene Wenger's men had the chance to go ahead with only nine minutes gone but a weak effort from Alexis Sánchez was easily gathered by Adrián.

Both teams were trying hard to make the breakthrough and Marko Arnautovic actually headed the ball into the net but his effort was ruled out by referee Jonathan Moss as he was marginally offside.

Just after the half-hour, a great move from the visitors involving Jack Wilshere and Sánchez set up Alex Iwobi who released a shot but thankfully, it hit the post.

Arsenal went close to breaking the deadlock on 38 minutes as Olivier Giroud attempted an overhead kick but Aaron Cresswell excellently blocked his effort.

One minute of stoppage time was added and when the whistle blew for half-time, the hosts once again would have been pleased to prevent their visitors from scoring.

The usual refrain of bubbles that welcomed the teams back onto the pitch after the break had barely finished before the hosts had the chance to get the second-half off to the perfect start but unfortunately, Arnautovic headed over.

From then on, it was mainly all Arsenal, as they were desperate to end a run of two games without a victory and they went close on 56 minutes when an effort from Sánchez was well blocked, only for the ball to drop invitingly for Mesut Özil but the German knocked the ball wide.

On 70 minutes, the Gunners had a great chance to go in front when Giroud played in Wilshere but the midfielder was unable to produce the desired finish and instead blazed well over.

Three minutes later, Sánchez again tested Adrián, with a 30-yard freekick but the effort failed to trouble him.

When eight minutes of normal time left to play, West Ham made their one and only change, as Moyes replaced Michail Antonio with Javier Hernández.

Deep into two minutes of stoppage time, the Hammers nearly made it a week to remember when captain Mark Noble took advantage of an error from Laurent Kosceilny and the found the striker, whose effort beat goalkeeper Petr Cech but smashed the crossbar.

The two sides meet again for a Carabao Cup quarter-final tie next Tuesday but before then, West Ham face the trip to the bet 365 Stadium to take on Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

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