Sunday, April 22

Hammers collapse in last ten minutes

Arsenal 4 West Ham 1

It's in to the East Stand at the Emirates where I'm sitting among the Gooners with Aubrey, a former pro footballer in the Cyprus second division who is a mate of Alfie's dad David. Despite the Wenger finale there are are still a surprising number of empty seats in the upper tiers. Nigel's also among the Gooners where he's shaken Bob Wilson's hand and says the level of moaning is impressive.

It's a fairly decent performance in the first half. Arsenal, without Ozil, look distracted by the Europa League with Iwobi getting a lot of stick from the home fans. Their only real effort is a Xhaka free kick that Hart fists away. Arnautovic and Mario cause problems at the back for the Gunners. Arnie has one effort beaten away by Ospina and is denied by a fine Mustafa tackle. "Arsene Wenger, he left 'cos you're shit!" chant the Hammers fans.

It's a slower start to the second half for the Hammers and Arsenal break the deadlock with a strike from the edge of the box from Monreal. Had Masuaku been alert on his post he might have stopped it. Moyes actually gives Lanzini and Hernandez half an hour and after Kouyate heads over a spell of West Ham pressure results in Lanzini feeding Arnie, who fires a memorable equaliser into the corner before running to the away section. He's had a good game alone up front and deserves it.

Bubbles reverberates around the sunny Emirates. Hart makes two brilliant saves and it looks like the Hammers might hold on for a point or even win it with ten minutes to go. The Irons win two corners, only for a poor delivery to see a break from Arsenal and Zabaleta booked for an agricultural challenge. Aubameyang comes on and seems to raise the home side. 

The game hinges on the second as Rice ducks below Ramsey's cross and the ball drifts on past Hart. Has the keeper shouted for him to leave it? It's a comedy goal, though Rice has done well for the rest of the game. Looking at it on Match of the Day Hart is shouting, "I said 'away'!"

The Hammers then collapse. Lacazette gets past Cresswell to fire home past Joe Hart's near post with the aid of a deflection and then scores a fourth after selling Carollr a dummy and calmly stroking home. 

We've blown a good chance for a point here against a depleted Arsenal side. The only good news is that Stoke have only drawn and it's nice to have a cup of tea with Nigel and Gooner Carolyn at my gaff afterwards. It's not the despair I can't take…

PLAYER RATINGS: Hart 7; Zabaleta 5, Ogbonna 6, Rice 5. Cresswell 5, Masuaku 6 (Carroll n/a); Fernandes 6 (Lanzini 6), Kouyate 6, Noble 5, Mario 6 (Hernandez 5); Arnautovic 8.


Anonymous said...

Ospina was in goal for Arsenal

mj said...

It's the goal difference that's getting to be a worry, if we get wiped by city next week. Southampton, palace have better goal differences now...

Pete May said...

Changed Ospina now. We certainly need to avoid heavy defeats to City and United for goal difference, though I feel more optimistic about getting maybe a point from two home games. Just hope it doesn't go down to the Everton game against Big Sam. Good news is that Swansea have to pay Stoke and Saints so they can't all get points.