Thanks to the intervention of VAR, Arsenal are recognized goals to overcome West Ham with a score of 1-0 in the 29 Premier League round on March 7 evening.
Arsenal and West Ham entered the London derby with different backgrounds, but the overall goal was to get all three points. This week, all Arsenal rivals have a disadvantage about the schedule. Man Utd must plunge into the Manchester derby against Man City, while Chelsea clash with difficult opponents Everton. Therefore, this can be seen as an opportunity for “Gunners” to close the gap with the top 4.
Similar to the Portsmouth victory in the FA Cup midweek, coach Mikel Arteta continued to use Sokratis Papastathopoulos as a right-back, and rookie Pablo Mari joined David Luiz in the heart of the defense. In attack, young talent Eddie Nketiah works alongside his brothers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil and Nicolas Pepe.
But West Ham show they are not easily bullied. Coach David Moyes’s team is only a sub-group relegation, so bring the desire of a fellow roadster into this match.
In the first 20 minutes, the East London guests even dominated the match and had twice put the ball to hit Arsenal wooden frame. Granit Xhaka lost the ball, enabling Bowen to launch a decisive shot from outside the penalty area. Goalkeeper Bernd Leno dropped his hand but the ball still hit the post. In the 11th minute, Arsenal’s goal opened wide in front of the West Ham players after the disastrous slip of midfielder Mari. But in a two-on-one position, Antonio stretched back and forth in the direction of teammate Haller. On the sidelines coach David Moyes hugged his head regretfully, and his students scolded each other.
In the remaining minutes, although controlling the ball less, West Ham still created many other dangerous opportunities. Haller did not finish when faced with goalkeeper Leno, while Mark Noble’s corner kick licked the edge of the crossbar.
Besides the loopholes in the defense, the first 45 minutes of Arsenal’s attack organization was also incoherent. In addition to the shot from Ozil’s failed goal in the 13th minute, the home team only had one more regret. That’s when Sokratis hit the crossbar and hit the crossbar with a cross from Aubameyang.
After the break, Arsenal did not show much sign of improving the game. West Ham still played defensively. If goalkeeper Leno could not have reached the ball, the home team’s net could have trembled after Antonio’s close-range shot from the 55th minute.
By this time, Coach Arteta was forced to adjust personnel in attack, by putting Lacazette in place of Nketiah. With mischievousness, overwhelming ability and good dispute, Lacazette quickly brought a new breath for Arsenal’s attacks. Nearly 20 minutes after his appearance, he put the ball into the net of West Ham with a shot in the near corner after a header from Ozil’s pass. At first the assistant referee raised Ozil’s offside flag when he received Aubameyang’s pass, and Arsenal seemed to be stripped of the goal. But after a few minutes of analysis, the VAR team determined that Ozil was still a few centimeters above West Ham’s last player.
Receiving a goal, West Ham tried to attack with all their strength. But one day both Antonio, Haller and the away players were ungainly, they were unable to find an equalizer. Meanwhile, the narrow victory helped Arsenal close the gap with the fourth position that Chelsea is holding down to five points.