West Ham United 0-6 Arsenal. Arsenal secured their biggest Premier League away win with a ruthless dismantling of West Ham to move back to within two points of leaders Liverpool.
Mikel Arteta’s side stay third but are now behind second-placed Manchester City only on goals scored after wiping out a six-goal deficit on a stunning afternoon at the London Stadium.
It is West Ham’s heaviest home Premier League defeat and joint-heaviest of all time, along with a 8-2 loss against Blackburn in 1963-64.
An extraordinary first half saw the Gunners race into a 4-0 lead, thanks to goals from William Saliba, Gabriel, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard, leaving the home side stunned.
Saka waltzed through a static Hammers defence to score his second after the break, before Declan Rice made it 6-0 with a rocket of a shot from distance against his former club.
After the jubilation of last weekend’s win over Liverpool, Arsenal produced another statement performance to restate their title credentials.
It is their joint-biggest margin of victory in an away league match and their first since a 7-1 win over Aston Villa in December 1935.
They had to wait 32 minutes to break the deadlock, when Saliba rose highest at the far post from Rice’s corner to nod home from close range.
West Ham had been defensively disciplined up to that stage, but completely lost their shape as Arsenal ran in three more goals before the break.
The second came from the penalty spot when Saka ran on to a ball over the top and was fouled by goalkeeper Alphonse Areola. The England international, who missed from the spot against West Ham last season, converted this time for his 50th Arsenal goal.
Gabriel made it 3-0 with another close-range header from Rice’s free-kick, before Trossard curled superbly into the top corner in first-half stoppage time.
The pace of the game dropped after the break but Arsenal’s dominance remained, with Saka collecting Martin Odegaard’s pass inside the area before rifling into the near post.
Rice then fired in a superb sixth from distance, though the England midfielder refused to celebrate on what was his second appearance back at his old club since his £100m summer move.
West Ham slump continues
West Ham fans streaming out of the London Stadium before half-time will be a worrying sight for David Moyes, who has come under pressure from some sections of the fanbase this season.
The Hammers were looking to beat Arsenal three times in the same season for the first time in 99 years, after winning 3-1 at home in the EFL Cup in November and then 2-0 at the Emirates the following month.
But the Hammers have yet to win since that December night in north London, meaning they have begun a calendar year winless in their first seven games for the first time since 1997.
This game was lost in a disastrous 15-minute spell before half-time as West Ham’s previously stubborn defence disintegrated, with the half-time break failing to inspire any sort of response.
With Moyes’ contract expiring at the end of the season, a result from a limp performance like this will only add to the uncertainty about his future.
The Scot will be hoping West Ham’s next four games, all against sides currently in the bottom seven, offer an opportunity to kick-start their faltering season.
source – BBC