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Arsenal 2-1 West Ham United: 5 talking points as super-sub Eddie Nketiah scores late winner for the Gunners | Premier League 2020-21

Arsenal secured a win against West Ham United on Saturday
Arsenal secured a win against West Ham United on Saturday
ANALYST
Modified 20 Sep 2020, 07:03 IST
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Arsenal played host to West Ham United in the first match held at the Emirates Stadium in the new season. Last Saturday, Mikel Arteta's men secured all three points thanks to a convincing win against newly-promoted side Fulham. On the other hand, David Moyes' side fell to two-nil defeat at the hands of Newcastle United before emerging victorious against Charlton Athletic in the second round of the EFL Cup.

Prior to kickoff, the Gunners' home record against the Hammers is near perfect, having won 10 out of the 11 home games against their opponent. Following the game, Arsenal added another victory to the list despite a slow start and poor performance. The deadlock was broken in the 25th minute when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set up the opening goal for Alexandre Lacazette to head home from close range.

However, the host's advantage did not last long as Michail Antonio equalised in the 45th minute, to ensure that West Ham were still in contention for some positives from the game. After the restart, the visitors were stronger and more aggressive on and off the ball. Yet, things failed to work in Moyes' favour as Eddie Nketiah came on to score the winning goal in the 85th minute. Here are five talking points from the narrow victory at the Emirates stadium.


#5 Michail Antonio is West Ham's player to watch

Antonio constantly troubled Arsenal
Antonio constantly troubled Arsenal's backline

Sitting deep when Arsenal have the ball and quick to pounce once possession changes, West Ham's counter-attacking plans had gotten them a goal just before the half-time whistle. The visitors fully deserved to score and punish the Gunners who have been lacklustre in their passing and were seen to be treating the game too lightly.

In contrast to Fulham, the Irons managed to create all sorts of trouble for Arsenal's back-line and Bernd Leno. Antonio, in particular, read the situation extremely well and exploited the chances whenever he had them. The 30-year-old Englishman was a goal threat throughout the full 90 minutes and almost scored his second of the night in the 53rd minute.

As one of the main sources of goals for the Hammers, Antonio will need the support for the rest of his team-mates and could be a vital player if West Ham were to survive in the Premier League this season.


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#4 Willian's home Arsenal debut is a night to forget

Willian was close to being anonymous on the field for Arsenal
Willian was close to being anonymous on the field for Arsenal

While Willian performed superbly in his Arsenal debut last week, he looked like a completely different figure today. Apart from some bright sparks in the opening minutes, the Brazilian was poor in his touches and his presence on the pitch seemed to diminish over time.

This is what Chelsea fans have been talking about ever since the 32-year-old signed for the North London club; Willian's lack of consistency. Against the Hammers, Arteta once again opted for Willian ahead of Nicolas Pepe and that was proven to be the wrong decision. Although Pepe may not be as astute as Willian in terms of passing, the Ivory Coast forward has got more pace and offers more threat in set-pieces.

It was an unconvincing performance for the winger who needs to step up his game ahead of the next battle against Liverpool.

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Published 20 Sep 2020, 07:03 IST
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