EPL 2016/17: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United, Player Ratings
Arsenal were finally able to return to winning ways as they clocked up a routine 3-0 win over West Ham United. After losing five of their last eight games, the Gunners calmly dispatched of a West Ham side clearly lacking in confidence.
A rare long-range strike from Mesut Özil in the 58th minute set Arsenal in motion, before a cool Theo Walcott finish doubled proceedings 10 minutes later. Arsenal weren't finished there as Oliver Giroud capped off things with a belting 25-yard shot curled round the post.
The win takes Arsenal into 5th place only 4 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City. However, for Slaven Bilic's men, the thrashing leaves them 15th in the league, only three points above the relegation zone.
Here's how each player fared in the match.
Emiliano Martinez – 7/10
The third-choice Arsenal keeper announced himself to the Premier League with a solid display against the Hammers. Despite having not much to deal with, when called upon, Martinez was more than excellent. He looked calm, confident and agile, everything David Ospina isn’t.
Hector Bellerín – 7/10
With not many defensive duties to fulfil, Hector Bellerín bombed up and down the right flank to help stretch West Ham's defence. He stationed himself high up the pitch to sustain pressure on West Ham.
Gabriel – 6/10
After several nervy displays this season, Gabriel finally showed the world why Arsène Wenger signed him in the first place. The Brazilian was calm on the ball, dominant in 50-50s and disciplined in his positioning.
Shkodran Mustafi – 6/10
As the lead defender in a team constantly on the attack, it's imperative that one keeps concentration all game, this is exactly what Shkodran Mustafi did. Being pitted up against the giant Andy Carroll, Mustafi kept his composure at all times and ensured he didn't engage in aerial battles he knew he'd lose.
Nacho Monreal – 7/10
The Spaniard treated us to an attacking masterclass down the left flank. Monreal ensured support was always available for Alexis Sanchez, thus creating several 2v1 situations on Sam Byram.
Granit Xhaka – 8/10
The Swiss international gave his Arsenal teammates a lesson in the art of controlling a match. Xhaka continuously made riskier and riskier passes to the flanks in order to sustain the rapid pace of the game. As well as dictating the game, Xhaka was positionally astute in the defensive phase of the game. He constantly denied Andre Ayew and Manuel Lanzini of any space through the middle on the counter attack.
Mohammed Elneny – 5/10
As a tidy and safe player, Mohammed Elneny didn’t do anything out of the ordinary against West Ham. He made smart runs while securely recycling possession.
Alexis Sanchez – 7/10
The Chilean as he always does, kept himself busy in the final third. Sanchez constantly dropped back to receive the ball. As he continued to knock down the West Ham door, space began to appear and his tricks and flicks began to come off spectacularly.
Mesut Özil – 9/10
After a season of underwhelming performances, Mesut Özil went a long way in silencing his ever-growing detractors. In a tale of two halves, the former World Cup winner showed the best and worst of his skillset. He was poor in the first half but he was the catalyst for Arsenal’s revival in the second.
The German breathed life into Arsenal in the 58th minute, with an uncharacteristic long-range goal. Ten minutes later, the German did what he does best, assist a goal, when he found Theo Walcott. Once he found his groove, he was shifting West Ham's low-block from side to side with ease.
Theo Walcott – 8/10
The English winger was as electric as it gets against the Hammers, and at every opportunity, he ran constantly at a startled Arthur Masuaku. His runs were also increasingly varied, as he didn't just aim to run down the flank, coming inwards to run at West Ham's centre backs. The 28-year old capped off a scintillating performance with a calmly finished goal in the 68th minute from a Mesut Özil cross.
Danny Welbeck – 5/10
Perhaps still struggling for match fitness, Danny Welbeck looked out of sorts for the second game in a row. The forward struggled to link up with his fellow attackers nor did he make any threatening runs to help destabilise West Ham's low-block.
Olivier Giroud – 7/10
The Frenchman didn't have much time to work his magic but still managed to score an outstanding goal in the 83rd minute.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 6/10
With only 10 minutes to show his worth, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed Arsenal fans why he's worth all the hype with one mazy run. His ability to glide with the ball at his feet caused havoc for West Ham as he went on to set up Giroud in the 83rd minute.
Aaron Ramsey – N/A
Ramsey came on in the dying minutes of the game to aid Granit Xhaka in building up from the back. He brought composure and calmness to the team as they looked to see out their 3-0 win.
Darren Randolph – 5/10
Many a time a goalkeeper comes to the Emirates to have the game of his life, Darren Randolph seemingly refused to embrace that trend. The Irishman poorly allowed a feeble 20-yard strike from Özil slip through his hands.
He then tried to excuse his mistake by claiming an inactive Alexis Sanchez had distracted him, it was pitiful to watch. After that, the keeper was clearly shaken of confidence as he flapped at every Arsenal shot on target, conceding two more goals.
Sam Byram – 4/10
The 23-year old youngster was given the impossible task of keeping Alexis Sanchez quiet. The Chilean is a player that hates to stay in one position, so he dragged Byram out of position on several occasions. However, the youngster's immaturity shone through on many occasions as he made several rash challenges that should have led to a dismissal.
Jose Fonte – 6/10
The Portuguese centre-back was sturdy in the tackle, dominant in the air and commanding with his clearances. As the cornerstone of West Ham's defensive organisation, Fonte more than lived up to his role as he completely marked Danny Welbeck out of the game. Despite his commanding performance, he was powerless in stopping Arsenal overrunning his teammates.
James Collins – 6/10
Committed, heroic and brave are just a few of the words that could be used to describe the performance of James Collins. The 33-year old literally threw his body at any shot the Gunners attempted. His work rate inspired those around him to match his level of commitment to the cause. However, commitment is not the pivotal component of defending, positioning is, something he lacked in abundance.
Arthur Masuaku – 5/10
Burdened with the task of nullifying a pacey Theo Walcott, Masuaku had to sacrifice his attacking duties for the benefit of the team. Often doubled up on by Walcott and Bellerín, the French left-back was left helpless at times.
Mark Noble – 6/10
Box-to-box midfielders often have their incredible work rate overlooked. Mark Noble tirelessly chased down balls in the middle, for the whole game he was one of the few players putting pressure on Arsenal's midfield. In the end, his hard work was rendered futile as Arsenal simply passed rings around him.
Cheikhou Kouyate – 5/10
As the defensive midfielder of the team, Cheikhou Kouyate had the impossible task of blocking every passing lane in the middle of the pitch. Not only did he have to minimise the space for Granit Xhaka to work in, he had to track the movement of Mesut Özil. It’s fair to say the Senegal international failed to do his jobs.
Andre Ayew – 4/10
Quiet in attack but tireless in defence, Andre Ayew wasn't able to show the Premier League his excellent attacking qualities at the Emirates. Operating as the No. 10 in a midfield five, the Ghanaian international found himself chasing Granit Xhaka more than he did making runs into the box.
Manuel Lanzini - 4/10
If anything was going to happen for West Ham tonight, it would have started from Manuel Lanzini. The Argentinian’s close control and frightening acceleration was a constant threat on the counter-attack for the Hammers. A player with his ability should have shown way more sparks of brilliance than he did.
Michail Antonio – 3/10
The 27-year old is one of the Hammers most explosive and dynamic players in attack, however, he wasn't allowed to show his best qualities throughout the 90 minutes. The winger/full-back hybrid was anonymous throughout the affair.
Andy Carroll – 2/10
With limited service, the tall English striker had minimal effect on the game. With Bilic instructing his players to sit deep in their own half, Carroll was left isolated chasing shadows.
Robert Snodgrass – 6/10
The Scotsman was brought on at half-time to conjure up chances for the Hammers, especially from dead-ball deliveries. Andy Carroll was starved of service in the first half and Snodgrass made it his mission to feed the big man at every opportunity.
Diafra Sakho – N/A
Diafra Sakho cut a lonely figure up front as he was left alone against Mustafi and Gabriel.
Edimilson Fernandes – N/A
Fernandes did not have sufficient time to make any impact on the game.