Arsenal come from behind to beat West Ham
Sub Welbeck scores as Gunners seal first win of the season
Saturday, 25th August 2018
FA Premier League
ARSENAL 3 (Monreal 30, Diop og 70, Welbeck 90+2)
WEST HAM UNITED 1 (Arnautovic 25)
IT was not a dazzling performance, the scoreline was slightly flattering but a win is a win, and when you’ve lost the first two matches of the season it doesn’t matter how you get there.
After all this London derby had already been billed as a match that Arsenal ‘needed’ to win – by new manager Unai Emery’s own assessment – so alarm bells will have ring when another dose of confusing defending allowed West Ham to go ahead in the first half. The Irons had two players around the edge of the box and Arsenal had four, and yet the ball still ended up in the back of the home net courtesy of Marco Arnautovic’s low strike.
West Ham to be fair had been going toe-to-toe with Emery’s team and it was not completely unexpected. The crucial thing was how Arsenal responded. Heads did not drop and within five minutes the scores were level again. Hector Bellerin may leave plenty of room for attackers to get at him on the defensive side, but he acts like a flying winger in attack. His cross eventually came to Nacho Monreal who fired in the equaliser.
Emery again showed a contrasting style to Arsene Wenger by acting at the break, substituting Alex Iwobi for Alexandre Lacazette. The French striker brought some new energy to the frontline and with 20 minutes left, his battling in the box paid dividends. He won him some space in a crowded box before trying to find Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It didn’t need a touch from his fellow forward, because the ball was instead steered into the West Ham goal by the visitors’ debutant centre back Issa Diop.
In a ferocious ten minutes, Arsenal peppered the West Ham goal with more efforts, a spell which seemingly came to an end when Aubameyang was swapped for Danny Welbeck. Welbeck, however, was to be the man who clinched all three points when in the dying seconds he was left free to convert another Bellerin cross.
ARSENAL: Cech, Bellerin, Monreal, Mustafi, Sokratis, Xhaka, Guendouzi (Torreira 56), Ramsey, Mkhitaryan, Iwobi (Lacazette HT), Aubameyang (Welbeck 75)
SUBS NOT USED: Leno, Elneny, Lichtsteiner, Holding
WEST HAM UNITED: Fabianski, Fredericksburg, Masuaku, Diop, Balbuena, Sanchez, Wilshere, Anderson, Snodgrass (Yarmolenko 75), Antonio (Lucas Perez 63), Arnautovic (Hernandez 59)
SUBS NOT USED: Adrian, Zabaleta, Obiang, Rice