Eddie Nketiah’s late goal ensured Arsenal maintained their 100% Premier League start.
Arsenal – Lacazette (25) Nketiah (86) 2-1 West Ham United – Antonio (45)
What a tight affair it was at the Emirates stadium but at the end, Arsenal got their deserved victory in this London derby, thanks to a last gasp goal from Eddie Nketiah.
Bad news hit the Gunners before kickoff as Kieran Tierney sustained an injury during the warm-up, which forced Arsenal into making some changes to the starting Line up as Sead Kolasinac was brought on as a replacement. The game started brightly in an end-to-end affair but it was West Ham who settled into the game first with Michel Antonio troubling the Arsenal defence with his strength and power, forcing a number of corners from the Arsenal defence. Though it didn’t take long for Arsenal to open the scoring through Alexandre Lacazette, who scored his 50th goal for Arsenal in all competitions by directing a bullet header into the net from a deeping Aubameyang cross into the West Ham box from the left side of the attack.
The Gunners controlled proceedings from then onwards but they let the gas off the pedals in the 45th minute as Michel Antonio converted a cross into an empty Arsenal net to take the scores level going into the half-time break.
The second half began with the same intensity as the first, but it was West Ham United who came close to scoring again in the 68th minute through Antonio again but this time, his header came off the crossbar. This forced Mikel Arteta into making some tactical changes, taking off Willian and Lacazette and bringing on Pepe and Nketiah respectively as their replacements. It was the latter who finally put Arsenal ahead in the 85th minute after tapping into the empty net of the Hammers from a net square play from Dani Ceballos. The Gunners then held firm to see out the victory in what would be the second victory of the season and a much needed 3 points to put them further up the table.
Indeed it was a hard-fought victory, one that will go a long way to determine the position of the Gunners at the end of the season. The morale of the players would be boosted by this victory and going into the next game, the Gunners will need to put up this same spirit in forthcoming games in order to keep competing at the top level. Hopefully, Mikel Arteta is here to guide us through it.
Match Review by Patrick Alexander