West Ham United (1) 2 Arsenal (2) 2
London Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park London E20 2ST
Sunday, 16th April 2023. Kick-off time: 2.00pm
(4-3-3) Aaron Ramsdale; Ben White, Rob Holding, Gabriel Magalhães, Kieran Tierney; Martin Ødegaard (c), Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka; Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli.
Substitutes: Emile Smith-Rowe, Eddie Nketiah, Jakob Kiwior, Leandro Trossard, (Jorge Luiz Frello Filho) Jorginho, Fabio Vieira, Reiss Nelson, Matt Turner, Reuell Walters.
Scorers: Gabriel Jesus (7 mins), Martin Ødegaard (10 mins)
Yellow Cards: Thomas Partey
Arsenal Possession Percentage: 72%
Referee: David Coote
Assistant Referees: Lee Betts, Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Stuart Attwell
VAR Team at Stockley Park: VAR Andy Madley; AVAR Nick Hopto
Attendance: circa 66,000
As every match is these days, today’s game is important on so many levels; firstly to get some distance between ourselves and Manchester City (obviously), and secondly, the opportunity to be victorious in a London derby. We are at full strength this afternoon, although it has to be said that it is good to see Emile Smith-Rowe back on the substitute’s bench today, following a period of injury.
A fast start from both teams, and as early as the fourth minute, when there was huge appeals for hand ball as Said Benrahma’s shot was charged down inside the penalty area. VAR has had a look but it clearly hit Rob Holding on his elbow, which was tight into his body, but thankfully no penalty was awarded. Three minutes later we took the lead when Martin Ødegaard slipped a neat pass through the West Ham back line to Ben White on the right and he squared it across the face of goal for Gabriel Jesus to tap in. Three minutes later, we grabbed a second when Gabriel Martinelli spotted Martin Ødegaard running around the back of the West Ham defence and floated the perfect ball for the him to volley past the goalkeeper for a classy goal. Two up in ten minutes! We immediately went hunting for the third goal, and we pressurised the home team constantly. Although they did have a free kick awarded to them on the dge of our penalty area shortly afterwards, Declan Rice’s shot hit our defensive wall and bounced off and into the crowd. Shortly afterwards, we had two good chances to score a third, but they both came to nothing. After all our pressure, just after the half hour mark, West Ham were awarded a penalty when Gabriel slid in late on Lucas Paquetá inside the penalty area after Thomas Partey gifted possession to Declan Rice, unfortunately. Saïd Benrahma madeno mistake from the penalty spot to get a goal back for the home team. Thomas Partey was awarded a yellow card after a silly tackle, and suddenly the game started to swing back in favour of the home team, whose turn it was to put us under pressure now. Aaron Cresswell nearly got a second goal for West Ham just before half time, but thankfully he was adjuged to be offside. In injury time, Gabriel Jesus received our second yellow card of the game when he tripped Michail Antonio; minutes later, somehow we managed to get to the half time break a goal ahead as referee David Coote blew to bring proceedings to a close.
West Ham got the second half underway and almost immediately they started to pile the pressure on us, with Michail Antonio getting mighty close to scoring, and five minutes after the restart, a Martin Ødegaard free-kick found Bukayo Saka, whose volley bounced off a West Ham defender for a corner; then Michail Antonio clearly handled the ball inside the box and as such we were awarded a penalty. Bukayo Saka took it, and his shot went wide of the post. As if that was not bad enough, Jarrod Bowen grabbed the equalising goal shortly afterwards. The goal certainly fired up the home team, as the ball barely got out of our half for a while after the goal. Somehow, we managed to break out and Kieran Tierney played a good ball across the face of the West Ham goal, However, Gabriel Jesus could not reach it but Bukayo Saka picked up the loose ball before his cross to the far post was headed behind by Jarrod Bowen. We did have a few chances here and there, but the home side started to look quite dominant at times. With eleven minutes of the game remaining, Leandro Trossard played a great ball into the penalty area, looking for the run of Gabriel Martinelli but the ball went all the way to goalie Lukasz Fabianski. We lost concentration at the back, only for Michail Antonio to hit the top of our bar with a header, which was a massive let-off. With five minutes of the game remaining, Mikel Arteta made a double change as Reiss Nelson and Fábio Vieira replaced Gabriel Martinelli and Kieran Tierney, just as Bukayo Saka sent a header wide of the mark. The inspiration of the substitutes saw us pressurise the West Ham defence, but after a Martin Ødegaard free-kick went nowhere, he was replaced by Eddie Nketuah in the last minute of normal time. In injury time, both sides had their chances to score, but a draw was the order of the day.
Unfortunately, we have let slip a two-goal lead again to draw two-all. Just how damaging will that be for the us in our title battle with Manchester City as we dropped points from a winning position for the second match in a row. There are now just four points between us, and City have a game in hand as well. Although we are now unbeaten in nine Premier League matches since a three-one home loss to Manchester City, in reality this is two points dropped and we have to wonder how we did not gain a victory this afternoon ast the London Stadium. We have seven matches left to play, and we host Southampton at home on Friday, before Manchester City entertain us at the Etihad Stadium on 26th April. Keep going, chaps.
Remember everyone, keep the faith, get behind the team and the manager, as this season is going to be crucial for our future success in all competitions. Stick with the winners. Our next match: Southampton at the Emirates on Friday, 21st April at 8.00pm(Premier League). Be there, if you can. Victoria Concordia Crescit.
First time this season that I`ve been really disappointed in the players. That result had nothing to do with nerves or losing our bottle, it was actually the opposite. The game was so easy that we became way too casual. That`s unforgiveable at this stage of the season when the title is on the line. Couldn`t actually believe what I was watching and once you switch off like that, it`s very hard to switch back on.
I suppose Southampton away was similar but that day, we never got the 2nd goal and we got cheated by the officials and VAR. Yesterday, we only have ourselves to blame. Absolutely shocking.
Oh well, got to wipe our mouth and take it on the chin. 7 games left and we can`t afford to see that kind of complacency again. We`re still in a good position and there`s not a Gooner out there who wouldn`t have took it at the start of the season.
Up The Arse.
Are you still trusting the process, absolutely garbage today, two games in a row arteta has not been able to manage the game .terrible subs and hehow the he’ll did saka stay on fir 90 mins.soon as they scored their second goal we never did a thing. The title has definitely gone now ,that’s one trophy in four years, not good enough in my book
Are you fucking serious or a daft yid on the wind-up? We`ve got 7 games left and we`re top of the league. Whatever happens from here, this is the first year since 2008 that we`ve laid down a proper title challenge.
“still trusting the process”? Too fucking right I am.