Arsenal 1-0 West Ham United: 3 reasons why the Gunners secured a narrow victory | Premier League 2019-20
- Arsenal scraped through the 90 minutes to beat West Ham United by a scoreline of 1-0. Here are 3 reasons that led to the result.
For the first time since August 2019, Arsenal have won three consecutive Premier League matches. Their victory over West Ham United extends the club's unbeaten league run to eight games and leaves the club just three points behind Wolverhampton Wanderers who are in fifth place. At the same time, this significantly increases the Gunners' chances of qualifying for next season's UEFA Champions League.
Inside the opening 25 minutes, both teams had a fair share of chances but their attempts were denied by the woodwork. The Hammers came closest to scoring with two shots on target while Mikel Arteta's side had none by the end of the first half.
After the break, Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty following a possible foul on Alexandre Lacazette when the Frenchman was manhandled in the area by Angelo Ogbonna but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) disappointed the home crowd.
In the 78th minute, VAR was called into action again when Lacazette's effort was ruled offside by the official running along the touchline. To the delight of the Arsenal faithful, VAR overturned the offside call and decided that the Frenchman's goal should stand. Here are three reasons why the Gunners secured all three points.
#3 West Ham United were too wasteful with their chances
Against a resilient and structured West Ham team, the Gunners found it hard to get a breakthrough even with 70% possession. Michail Antonio had a couple of big chances to put his team in front but his finishing in the final third was lacking. If not for the wasted opportunities, the Irons should have been leading after the first 45 minutes.
In the second-half, Arsenal were equally dominant but the visitors continued to have more shots on target. They were absolutely unlucky not to get a goal this game but West Ham only have themselves to blame for not making the best out of the chances they have had.
At the moment, the Hammers have lost 16 matches in 29 games and they are at risk of dropping into the relegation zone.
#2 Bernd Leno saves the Gunners yet again
Arsenal's starting eleven featured new January signing, Pablo Mari, who replaced Shkodran Mustafi in the backline. The German defender has improved massively since the appointment of Arteta but missed the clash after a minor thigh issue. Partnering David Luiz, the two centre-backs looked uncertain at times and they could have certainly done better.
As always, Bernd Leno emerged as the home team's saviour between the sticks. The goalkeeper pulled off numerous good saves to keep his team in the game. Without him, Arsenal might have conceded a few goals before Lacazette scored the winning goal.
The 28-year-old has now kept seven clean sheets in 28 Premier League matches and he will continue to be a key player in Arsenal's fight for a strong finish this season.
#1 Alexandre Lacazette got the vital breakthrough for Arsenal
Eddie Nketiah was named in the starting lineup ahead of Lacazette but the former appeared to be the wrong choice for this match. The youngster failed to impress and eventually, Arteta brought on the former Lyon striker in the 59th minute.
Less than 20 minutes after the substitution, Mesut Ozil found Lacazette in his opponent's box to claim his second assist of the season. The 28-year-old forward would definitely count himself lucky but the whole team will be thanking him for keeping their hopes of finishing in the top five alive.
Throughout the match, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe seemed out of sorts and were not performing to their usual best. Thankfully, Arsenal had more attacking options on the bench and Lacazette's goal will give the player a much-needed confidence booster ahead of the vital clash against Manchester City next Wednesday.
Published 07 Mar 2020, 22:48 IST