GUNPOWDER MATCH REVIEW: GUNNERS GET RUTHLESS WITH HAPLESS WESTHAM IN EAST LONDON
West Ham fans would have woken up this morning wondering what they ever did to deserve yesterday. A 5-1 thrashing right at their backyard from an Arsenal team definitely not in the christmas mood of extending glad tidings. The preceding results from Mancity vs Chelsea and Tottenham vs Swansea earlier in the day put the onus on the Gunners to grab a win in this fixture. And boy did they grab it emphatically.
At West ham’s former home Upton Park last season, we suffered. In at that small stadium they used to play in they pegged us back and peppered us with Andy Carrol. But that was never going to be on the cards this time around as Arsene Wengers’ Boys are playing like a gang of men on a mission.
Arsene Wenger’s Midfield this season has changed more times than the famous London weather and in every fixture you find fans and pundits alike grabbing their pens and rubbing their chins on just which pairing Arsene will shoehorn with Mesut Ozil who is the regular starter. Coquelin and Xhaka got the nod this time and shined.
full line up was:
Cech, Monreal, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny,Xhaka,Coquelin,Mesut ozil, Theo Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain, Alexis.
Gabriel was the somewhat surprise inclusion in the line up following the dropping of Jenkinson from the team after his string of unimpressive displays that culminated in the horror show we saw on Wednesday against Southampton in the EFL cup. The Brazilian had endured a difficult week in the wake of the unfortunate Capoecenese plane crash. He lost 2 close friends in that mishap and had been an emotional wreck but Arsene Wenger still picked him and he did alright.
Arsenal began brightly and set about putting the home team under pressure, as an attacking force Wenger’s team were looking irresistible.
They have eased into second behind Chelsea, unbeaten in the Premier League away from home since February and Sanchez, who has 13 goals in 19 games in all competitions this season, is lethal in his new role as a centre-forward.
‘He has all the ingredients to be a top class striker and he shows that,’ said Wenger. ‘He is quick, can dribble, he has a short back-lift and a killer instinct. It shows the South Americans are the leading strikers in world football” Summarized Wenger..
But it was the chilean who was provider for the first goal which he served on a plate to Mesut Ozil. Angelo Ogbonna lingered on the ball until he was closed down and dispossessed by Francis Coquelin and when it spilled his way, Sanchez pounced.
The Chilean skipped around Winston Reid and pulled a square pass to take ‘keeper Darren Randolph out of the picture and present Ozil with the simple task of tapping into an open goal for his eighth of the season. With the Goal the gunners had found the breakthrough they wanted and pushed to close the game with more forays but gunners were being profligate. Westham had been below par all season and only just picked up some confidence from recent results. But they were making the evening Easy for the gunners as they were leaving gaps everywhere. Gaps that Theo Walcott and Oxlade Chamberlain were only too happy to exploit.
Sanchez drove in the second from a TIGHT angle, low into the far corner after muscling his way past Arthur Masuaku. Another low finish from the edge of the penalty box and a third flashed into Randolph’s net.
Carroll came off the bench and scored, turning in the rebound after a Payet free-kick rattled the woodwork, but it was lost by this point.
Oxlade-Chamberlain deserved his goal, whipped in from distance. The stadium was largely emptied by the time Sanchez completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute, bursting clear and dinking a cheeky finish over Randolph.
‘West Ham have two handicaps,’ said Wenger after consoling Bilic. ‘They play in a new ground. We have gone through that ourselves in the past and we know it is not completely comfortable, especially at a time when they lack confidence. And they missed important players in their squad. Wow what a nice man that Wenger is, you might say. He comes to your stadium, beats you in a match then helps you come up with an excuse for losing…
‘Overall we had a strong team performances with very few weaker periods, The Frenchman said. The only regret was that we didn’t take chances in the first-half. It plays on your mind because you could pay for the missed chances, but we maintained the pressure and finished in a strong way.
‘We were always dangerous. When we were on the break we looked pacey to make the difference and stayed patient when we were dominant to keep the ball well.’ Wenger said
West Ham have conceded nine in four days, injuries are piling up and they go to Liverpool next. If Hull win at Middlesbrough on Monday, the Hammers will slide into the bottom three. Real danger of facing brelegation.
The second half began with Arsenal looking deadlier even. Chances still went wasted but up-stepped Alexis Sanchez to deliver a quick fire hatrick to effectively end the game as a contest. The first goal for the Chilean came from a strong run in to the Westham box, where he evaded 2 defenders to fire a shot across the keeper from a difficult angle. 2-0. The third goal from the striker was him at his instinctive best. Collecting a pass from midfield and firing a low shot across the box from 15 yards leaving the Westham keeper with no chance.
West ham at this point knew they were well beaten but could be forgiven if they felt a bit of hope after their regular Arsenal Tormentor Andy Carrol scored a consolation goal after a Dimitri Payet Freekick cannoned off the cross bar.
Arsenal have allowed such events affect them in the past but not this time. 2 more goals from Chamberlain who delivered yet more jekyll & hyde performances scored a beauty from outside the box while Alexis Sanchez showed his ruthless side completing his hatrick after bamboozling the poor West ham Goalkeeper. 5-1.
By the time the last goal had gone in most of the Westham fans had long left the stadium in disgust at the result. Arsenal sat temporarily in 2nd place pending the lIVERPOOL result in Bournemouth Sunday. So not much to say in conclusion, The scoreline was emphatic enough and tells its own story. Its all eyes to the Emirates Stadium Next week as Stoke come calling in the Premiership. But with this result it appears it’ll be Stoke quaking in their boots