Arsenal v West Ham
Barclays Premier League
Kick off: April 15, 2014 7.45 PM BST
A sluggish start, but going a goal down seemed to kick us into gear. An instant reply and a brace from Lukas Podolski, and a fantastic take and a nice finish from Olivier Giroud. A vital confidence and momentum boost heading into the tail end of the season. Here are the player ratings:
Wojciech Szczesny | 7.0: Was protected well by his defenders for the most part, but was out quickly when he needed to, and made the required saves.
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Bacary Sagna | 7.25: More responsible for stretching the play than usual as the only fullback on the pitch, was always a reliable out ball and defended well.
Per Mertesacker | 7.75: Dealt well with Andy Carroll, and came out of defence to intercept well. Looks so much more assured with Koscielny by his side.
Laurent Koscielny | 7.5: Great to see him back in the side, his athleticism is something we’ve sorely missed. He could have done better for the first goal we conceded, but was solid throughout.
Thomas Vermaelen | 7.25: Didn’t offer the width of our usual left backs, but his aerial prowess was much appreciated. He was nowhere to be found for the first goal and definitely could have done better, but his ball forward to pick out Giroud for the goal was fantastic.
Mikel Arteta | 8.0: Another great performance from Arteta in midfield, dictating play and barking orders at his team mates. He was constantly on the ball, picking the right passes, and disrupting West Ham in midfield superbly.
Kim Källström | 7.25: A very mixed performance from the Swede in his debut. He was constantly on the ball, and picked out some delightful passes. On the other hand, some of his passes were horrendous, and his decision making was poor at times.
Santi Cazorla | 8.5: (MotM) A brilliant performance from the Spaniard, unlike any we’ve seen of late from him. His passing was spot on, he was battling constantly, and was involved in both Podolski’s goals; an assist for the first.
Tomas Rosicky | 7.5: His pace and forward drive was vital for us today as we lacked in it any other areas. His passing wasn’t quite spot on, but he was fantastic in attack for us before being replaced by the returning Aaron Ramsey.
Lukas Podolski | 8.5: Uninvolved a lot in the first half, but seemed to take a massive confidence boost from his first goal. In the second half he really put himself around, offering a lot more support and making runs in behind. He took both his goals fantastically, showing once again that he’s definitely the best finisher in the squad.
Olivier Giroud | 7.75: A poor first half in front of goal, but his link up and hold up play was great. He was far better in the second half too, contributing to Podolski’s second and producing a purely world class first touch in the box, to set up his goal.
Aaron Ramsey | 7.5: We always looking a better team with him on the field, and today was no different. He was getting into great positions, and assisted Podolski with a superb cushioned header for his second.
Carl Jenkinson | N/A: Only on the pitch for a short time, but looked lively. His first contribution was a brilliant run down the right. A shame he couldn’t produce a better cross for Giroud.