Match Report: West Ham United 0-2 Arsenal
Arsenal took on West Ham knowing that their title rivals Manchester United and Chelsea had earlier dropped vital Premier League points.
The surprise team news was that Emmanuel Adebayor rested to the bench following his midweek Champions League exploits while Nicklas Bendtner, Alex Song, and Mikael Silvestre were all handed starts.
Faubert – Collins – Upson – Ilunga
Mullins – Parker – Bowyer – Di Michele
Bellamy – Cole
Arsenal Starting XI:
Eboue – Gallas – Silvestre – Clichy
Walcott – Fabregas – Song Billong – Nasri
Bendtner – Van Persie
For West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola, who presided over two wins in his first two league games in charge, the honeymoon is over but his sides attacking threat certainly didn’t fizzle out during the 90 minutes in east London.
In the 20th minute, Theo Walcott showed the Upton Parkfaithful what he’s all about with a pulsating run.
The England forward set off near the half-way line and beat two defenders only for the crossbar to thwart what would have been a magnificent goal, although some would argue he should have passed to his team-mates waiting in the box.
Walcott had another chance five minutes later when a delightful Cesc Fabregas chip found Van Persie, who put Walcott through only for the teenager to be denied by Green’s instinctive save.
But the best chance of the half arguably fell to West Ham striker Craig Bellamy who would have scored with a low strike into the corner had it not been for Manuel Almunia’s protruding left foot.
Arsenal were susceptible to the West Ham counter-attack, with Bellamy’s pace in particular posing problems, but it was the Gunners who were the more threatening as the first half came to a close.
In the second half, Van Persie’s 25-yard strike tested Green and the striker rattled the post with a venomous free-kick before Faubert’s error gave Arsenal the advantage.Goal: Julien Faubert (75, o.g) – West Ham United 0-1 Arsenal
Dutchman van Persie drifted in and out of the game but made a massive impression during the second half with some fine goalward efforts.
Adebayor got the goal his cameo deserved when the visitors broke free with Bendtner putting his strike-partner through with a pass from deep inside his own half.Goal: Emmanuel Adebayor (90) – West Ham United 0-2 Arsenal
A throughly deserved goal for the Gunners, and a goal worthy of winning any game.
West Ham’s woe was then compounded when striker Cole was harshly shown a straight red in the dying seconds for a sliding tackle on Song.
The result sends Arsenal to one point behind Hull in the Premier League table while the Hammers have now lost three on the bounce in the league.
Next up, the north London derby against Sp*rs.
With thanks to BBC Football.