Arsenal pulled off a vital 2-1 victory over West Ham United, but certainly made a meal of it with a nail biting end.
Alex Song’s early stunning volley was chalked offside thankfully with Arsene Wenger’s men handed a lifeline. Respect to the ex-Gunner for not celebrating.
Santi Cazorla opened the scoring late into the first half however after winning and converting a penalty, before Danny Welbeck doubled the lead after some superb work from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who was in flying form.
The Hammers pulled one back through Kouyate which made for a tense ending which Arsenal can thank Szczesny and a resilient defensive display for.
Here are the player ratings:
An excellent performance from Szczesny who was strong in the air and made some very good saves. Was fortunate with Song’s disallowed volley however as he was caught flat footed.
Had a few dicey moments and failed to deal with Kouyate in the air for West Ham’s one and only goal. Not the Frenchman’s finest game in an Arsenal shirt.
A poor pass to Debuchy put Arsenal in a spot of bother and was thoroughly out jumped by Andy Carroll on occasions. Put in a superb header to deny Carroll a clear goal however and made some vital tackles and interceptions.
Dealt well with several crosses and overall a good return for the Frenchman. Great to have him back.
Absolutely cut apart for most of the first half and exposed when he conceded a yellow card. But felt he really put himself on the line on several occasions in the second half and put in a passionate performance.
A quiet outing from the Frenchman which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some good covering and positioning.
Bar a few wayward passes early on Le Coq put in a solid shift and justified his inclusion. Some call Wenger tactically-retarded, his decision to play Coquelin to bolster the physicality of the midfield paid off. Some good chasing back, jockeying and tackles.
A brilliant run through on goal to win the penalty, and a superbly taken spot kick to hand Arsenal the lead. Had some excellent shots well saved from Adrian and was a constant menace. He certainly upped the tempo in what was a much improved attacking performance.
Most attacks ran through the Chilean and was absolutely brilliant. Was unlucky not to score after a superb save from Adrian. Ran 50 yards to chase Alex Song down when two goals up and was tireless until the final whistle. What a player.
Could and should have teed up Alexis for the opener on a promising attack early on in the first half, but set up Welbeck’s tap in with a superb cross. Was a constant threat, a really promising performance from the Englishman. Cruelly denied a goal after his header was saved emphatically by Adrian.
Very good driving runs from the Englishman and was rewarded with a simple tap in after a perfect cross from The Ox. Will do wonders for his confidence.
84′ Gibbs 6.5:
Came on for Welbeck to help secure the defence. Worked hard and put Demel under plenty of pressure. Will easily be restored for New Years Day.
89′ Chambers 6.0: N/A – Came on to aid the defence for six minutes.