Arsenal wins West Ham to move back into fourth place above Tottenham
Daily Courier – Mikel Arteta praised his Arsenal side for “winning ugly” as they battled to a 2-1 win over West Ham to climb back above Tottenham and boost their prospects of a top-four finish.
The Gunners went into the game having dropped to fifth following Spurs’ 3-1 win over Leicester earlier on Sunday, but Gabriel Magalhaes’ second-half header (55) from Gabriel Martinelli’s cross proved decisive in a hard-fought encounter at the London Stadium.
Earlier, Gabriel’s centre-back partner Rob Holding, standing in for the injured Ben White, had put the Gunners in front when he nodded in a Bukayo Saka corner (39), only for Jarrod Bowen to bring the hosts level with a low finish just before the break (45).
West Ham deserved that goal, having been the better side in an often-subdued first period, but Thursday’s Europa League exertions left them heavy-legged in the closing stages and they rarely threatened after Gabriel restored Arsenal’s lead.
Mikel Arteta’s side had chances to kill the game, with Eddie Nketiah spurning several opportunities on the break, but their slender lead proved sufficient as they moved two points above their north London rivals – and within three of third-placed Chelsea – guaranteeing a top-six finish in the process.
West Ham, meanwhile, remain seventh in the Premier League, three points behind sixth-placed Manchester United, putting even more emphasis on their Europa League semi-final second leg away to Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.
The Hammers, though, were guilty of sloppiness themselves, perhaps understandably given their Europa League exertions here three days earlier, making for a low-quality opening half-hour.
West Ham did, however, manage to create openings, with Pablo Fornals blazing over and Declan Rice firing straight at Aaron Ramsdale either side of a heroic block by Holding to deny Manuel Lanzini.
West Ham looked likeliest to break the deadlock at that point, but Arsenal suddenly sprang to life when an errant pass by Bowen allowed Martin Odegaard to feed Nketiah, who drove past a crowd of West Ham defenders and unleashed a low, curling effort which had to be pushed around the post by Lukasz Fabianski.
Source: Sky Sports