Saturday evening provided us with a London derby between Arsenal and West Ham United. Having won their opening fixture 3-0 at Craven Cottage, the Gunners came into this encounter with a lot of confidence and were looking to sustain momentum. As for the Hammers, things have been disappointing on and off the pitch and fans were expecting a huge response at the Emirates.
The match started in a dull manner with West Ham standing firm against a rhythm-less Arsenal side. Against the run of play, the Gunners would take the lead through an Alexandre Lacazette header in the 25th minute. The visitors would deservedly level up the game through a Michail Antonio tap-in just before the half time.
West Ham would dominate the rest of the match but would rue their missed chances as a late Eddie Nketiah winner gave all 3 points to Arsenal.
Here are the player ratings from the Premier League encounter between Arsenal and West Ham.
Arsenal player ratings against West Ham United
GK: Bernd Leno (6.5/10)
Now firmly established as the club’s number 1 keeper, Bernd Leno put in an assured performance despite being under much pressure. West Ham bombarded his box with long ball after long ball but the German stood firm regardless.
RWB: Hector Bellerín (6/10)
It felt like we’ve been seeing the best of Hector Bellerín in recent weeks but tonight he, like most of his teammates, was sloppy in possession. The Spaniard gave the ball away 12 times and lost out on 6 duels in a performance he’ll be happy to forget.
RCB: Rob Holding (6.5/10)
It was confirmed by Mikel Arteta that Rob Holding was set to move to Newcastle United on loan this season. However, the Spaniard made a U-turn on the deal and decided instead to give Holding a run in the first team. The 24-year-old continued that run against West Ham with 3 interceptions, 2 tackles and 5 duels in a solid performance.
CB: Gabriel Magalhaes (7/10)
After a dream debut, Gabriel Magalhaes was given a much tougher test against the Hammers. Up against a physical side, the 22-year-old got a truer introduction to the Premier League. The Brazilian, however, stood up to the task with an impressive performance that saw him make 5 clearances, block 3 shots and intercept 2 passes.
LCB: Sead Kolašinac (5.5/10)
Kieran Tierney developed a hip problem in the warm-up, which opened the door for Sead Kolašinac to start his first game of the season. This switch reminded Arsenal fans about the gulf in quality between the two, reinforcing the notion that he needs to be sold this summer.
LWB: Bukayo Saka (6.5/10)
The youngster received his first start of the season in place on Ainsley Maitland-Niles on the left. Although classed as an LWB, Bukayo Saka spent most of the game in central areas. He didn’t have the best of games but the youngster still managed to grab the pre-assist for both goals as it was his incisive passing that put Arsenal in those favourable positions.
RCM: Dani Ceballos (6.5/10)
Brought in to replace Mohamed Elneny, Dani Ceballos struggled to settle into the game at first. However, in the second half, the Spaniard stepped up his performance both on the ball and off it.
In a performance of two halves, Ceballos made 91 passes, 3 clearances, intercepted 2 passes and provided an assist for the winning goal.
LCM: Granit Xhaka (6/10)
Uncharacteristically under Arteta, Granit Xhaka was loose with his touches and often sloppy with his passes. In a frustrating performance, the Switzerland international lost the ball 14 times but made up for it through 106 passes and the willingness to always receive the ball despite a rampant West Ham press.
RW: Willian (6/10)
In his home debut for the Gunners, the Brazilian gave us a less spectacular performance than last week. Willian completed 79% of his passes, created 1 chance while losing possession 14 times.
LW: Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (6.5/10)
After finally putting pen to paper on a new contract, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang put in a selfless performance where he found himself providing for others more than himself. The 31-year-old made 5 crosses, created 3 chances and provided 1 assist.
ST: Alexandre Lacazette (7/10)
Alexandre Lacazette answered all claims of his lack of prolificacy against West Ham. For the second consecutive week, the Frenchman opened the scoring for Arsenal.
In a 3-4-3, Lacazette’s role has required him to drop deep and link up with midfield, which means he spends more of his game holding up the ball than in the box. He did that with due diligence in another hard-working display on Saturday.
Nicolas Pepe: 5.5/10
Brought on with 25 minutes to go, Nicolas Pepe was tasked with creating a spark in a lacklustre Arsenal attack. Instead, the Ivorian produced a mixed bag by providing 3 crosses, completing 1 dribble but also losing the ball 7 times.
Eddie Nketiah: 6.5/10
The youngster came on and did what was asked of him – win the match. If Eddie Nketiah wants to become a first-team starter for Arsenal, he must continue to be a threat in the final third like he was against West Ham. In just 13 minutes on the pitch, Nketiah managed to complete 1 dribble, win 1 duel and score the winning goal.
David Luiz: N/A
The Brazilian was brought on in the dying minutes to sure up things at the back.