Thursday 23 November 2017

Gunners back in top four race with derby win

Arsenal 3 West Ham 0

Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their third goal with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
Arsenal's Olivier Giroud celebrates scoring their third goal with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal returned to winning ways with a solid victory over West Ham as a fifth straight defeat plunged Slaven Bilic's visitors deeper into the fight for Premier League survival.

Both sides went into this London derby in dire form but it was the Gunners who addressed that and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 victors, marking their first league win since February 11.

After a dull first half, Mesut Ozil marked his 150th Arsenal appearance with a tame opening goal before laying on the second for Theo Walcott. Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score the goal of the night.

With pockets of home fans staying away until the 13th minute in their latest protest against manager Arsene Wenger - 13 signifying the number of years since they last won the league - it was West Ham who started brighter.

As the 13th minute arrived and a number of fans took their seats, Hammers skipper Mark Noble angled a low shot wide, with Bilic's men still just about on top.

Ireland goalkeeper Darren Randolph was at fault for Arsenal's opener just before the hour mark as Jose Fonte's poor clearance fell to Ozil, whose strike from the edge of the box squirmed through the grasp of the West Ham goalkeeper.

Randolph was back to his best moments later as Walcott slid in Welbeck, bursting off his line to close down the former Manchester United man.

Arsenal struck next as Walcott tucked away Ozil's low cross, with Bellerin missing a sitter shortly after.

Martinez made his first true save with 15 minutes remaining as he kept out Lanzini's drive, before Giroud rounded off the night with a well-struck third.

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