Arsenal had done badly in previous years against West Ham United- last season they lost both games despite having dozens of chances to win them and in years before have generally not done well.
They will be ecstatic for the win today- although it was not the usual blitzing the Gunners have dished out this season, playing well and winning is as they say the mark of champions. Arsenal fans will continue to hope that the team can finally do it this season after three years without England’s ultimate domestic trophy; the side continues to benefit from the departure of Thierry Henry, with both first choice strikers in fine form.
The game started out with excitement in the very first minute- a ball over the top was controlled by Diaby; Adebayor could not put away the midfielder’s cut back. Dean Ashton then got the better of Phillipe Senderos in the air; his volleyed shot was over the bar. Adebayor made up for his earlier miss by being instrumental in Arsenal’s goal. The ball was played to the striker when he was alone up front- he showed good calmness to wait and stall with the ball until Hleb arrived. Hleb’s pinpoint cross was met by Dutch striker Robin Van Persie, who stole in front of Lucas Neill to put the ball into the net. Although Robert Green got a hand to it, he could not keep it out and that eventually turned out to be the winning goal.
This match saw Fredrik Ljungberg line up against his old team- the Swede winger was one of the best players on the pitch as West Ham increased the pressure after half time. The first half saw a horrific challenge on Aliaksandr Hleb by Marc Noble; one that few would have disputed had a red card been shown- the Englishman got away scot-free though. Hleb had to be substituted for Eboue, however reports suggest that he should be back soon.
After Van Persie’s excellent second half strike that thundered off the post, Ljungberg almost made a name for himself by scoring against his former club. The goal however was ruled out -television replays suggest perhaps wrongly- and although West Ham peppered the Arsenal goal afterwards they were unable to score- with Van Persie clearing an Ashton header off the line. A good result for Arsenal, whose title credentials increase every game they play; West Ham will hope to fight back in their next game away to Aston Villa.