Hammers Hit Bullseye Against Gunners
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 13 Jan 2019 12:42:00
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Given West Ham United's record against Arsenal over the years, few of the home fans would have thought that their side would come away from Stratford with any sort of result but the Irons were resilient and rewrote the record books, as they achieved a 1-0 victory in Saturday's early kick-off.

Manuel Pellegrini made three changes to the side that drew with Brighton and Hove Albion in their last league outing with captain Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and Samir Nasri coming in for Pedro Obiang, Robert Snodgrass and Andy Carroll who all dropped to the bench.

The hosts started the game on the front foot as Antonio found Noble, Nasri then got involved but when he played the skipper back in, his effort was easy for goalkeeper Bernd Leno to claim.

West Ham kept applying pressure and Felipe Anderson sent a curling effort over the bar after he had collected possession from Aaron Cresswell.

Nasri wasn't the only former Gunner on show in this game, as West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski regained his place from Adrián and he made a great save from Alexandre Lacazette to keep the scores level.

Nasri and Arnautovic then set about causing problems for Unai Emery's side but when the Frenchman found himself in the clear he unfortunately hit the side netting. However, the pair weren't finished there, as they then set Anderson away. His 20-yard effort was a good one but unfortunately it grazed the woodwork.

The home side were clearly on top and they had a golden chance to go into the break in front but Declan Rice headed wide from a corner.

Having dropped four points in their last two league games, the Irons were desperate to keep the tempo up and take advantage of their superiority.

Pellegrini's men did exactly that when they emerged from their dressing room after the break and they finally made the breakthrough just two minutes into the second period. Two days before his 20th birthday, Rice gave himself the perfect present as Anderson's corner fell to Nasri; he played the ball to Rice, who gave Leno no chance with a curling effort.

The goal sent the majority inside the stadium into raptures and the atmosphere had really been cranked up a notch.

Angelo Ogbonna headed just over the crossbar as West Ham were keen to widen the margin between them and their opponents. Moments later Aaron Cresswell brilliantly dealt with the threat of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he forced the striker wide before he attempted an effort on Fabianski's goal.

On 71 minutes, the hosts made a double change, as Snodgrass and Carroll were introduced in place of Nasri and Arnautovic. When the Austrians number was up, he appeared to wave goodbye to the crowd amid speculation of a move to China.

Arsenal had a great chance to equalise when Alex Iwobi was played through by Aaron Ramsey. However, the home fans were relieved to see the Nigerian waste the chance as the ball was sent just wide.

West Ham's final substitution saw Obiang replace Antonio with eight minutes of normal time to play. In the three minutes of stoppage time that were added, there was a huge let off. Emery's team found the net but referee Jonathan Moss ruled the effort out for offside.

You wouldn't believe the noise from the home faithful, as Moss then blew the final whistle and a first win in thirteen years over their London rivals was secured. The East Londoners now make the trip to The Vitality Stadium to face AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon in the hope of following up this success.

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