Gunners Blow Hammers Away
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 23 Apr 2018 13:37:00
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Last Monday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City in Stratford lifted West Ham United back up to fourteenth in the Premier League Table but they are now down to fifteenth after a 4-1 defeat to Arsenal in their London derby at The Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Despite Angelo Ogbonna suffering with tendinitis in the week, the defender had recovered in time to retain his place in the starting line-up, while Joe Hart remained in goal after there had been suggestions that Adrián may replace him but David Moyes was able to name an unchanged side for the second consecutive match.

The Gunners were keen to win this game, as it was the first since it was made public that manager Arsene Wenger would be stepping down at the end of the season. However the visitors had the better of the opening stages. They created an opening inside the first eleven minutes but unfortunately, Edimilson Fernandes couldn't quite reach João Mário's pass.

Marko Arnautovic was a constant threat again and three minutes later, he was unlucky to have his shot blocked by Shkodran Mustafi after going through on goal before having another effort saved by goalkeeper David Ospina shortly after.

With Arsenal struggling to get into their rhythm, the Irons kept the pressure on and went very close to edging ahead moments later when Mário's corner was met by Cheikhou Kouyaté but the Senegalese international hit the crossbar with his header.

The game was then held up for five minutes after Mohamed Elneny went down injured after a tackle from Mark Noble and was replaced by Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

The home side then went close on a number of occasions, first, Danny Welbeck headed over following great play from Héctor Bellerín before Aaron Ramsey shot wide seconds before referee Lee Mason blew the half-time whistle.

With the game still goalless, the Hammers knew that Arsenal would pile on the pressure after the break.

The hosts came out all guns blazing at the start of the second-half and almost went in front seconds after the restart but West Ham remained resilient.

It wasn't long before Wenger's men eventually grabbed the advantage when a slick passing move was finished off by Nacho Monreal on 51 minutes.

Having suffered that setback, Moyes thought he would have to change things before the home side really got into second gear. With an hour gone, he made a double change as Javier Hernández and Manuel Lanzini replaced Fernandes and Mário.

It took just four minutes for the changes to make an impact, as they both combined to set up Arnautovic who confidently beat Ospina, bringing loud cheers from the travelling support.

The hosts were desperate to keep their excellent run of home form going but the visitors were keen to see if they could pick up another valuable result.

On 72 minutes Hart made an excellent save to prevent Granit Xhaka from putting the hosts back in front however, Arsenal weren't to be denied and they made sure of the points on 82 minutes when Ramsey's cross went straight in, following an uncharacteristic mistake from defender Declan Rice.

That put an end to West Ham's challenge as Wenger's men really gave him something to smile about when Alexandre Lacazette weighed in with two more goals within four minutes to send West Ham back to the East End heartbroken. 

Firstly, the Frenchman increased their advantage with a goal on 85 minutes before the Hammers made their final change, as Andy Carroll replaced Arthur Masuaku. 

Carroll's introduction didn't make a great deal of difference, as Lacazette rounded things off by adding his second.

Having come away with nothing to show for their valiant efforts the visitors can hold their heads up high after this one but another tough test awaits next Sunday when Manchester City visit East London.
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