Arsenal beat West Ham 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night to move back above Manchester United in the Premier League table. Goals from Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, and Olivier Giroud sealed all three points for the Gunners in the London derby while it pushed the Hammers further down the table.
Following Chelsea’s win over Manchester City, the result sees Arsene Wenger’s side move up to fifth – four points behind City with a game in hand. Here are the major talking points from the game.
1) Referee at fault yet again as Arsenal are denied two clear penalties
Although Arsenal only opened the scoring in the second half, they should have had a penalty in the first half when Theo Walcott was fouled inside the box. The England international, who was also the captain for the night on his 200th appearance at the Emirates, was tripped when he tried to get past West Ham left-back Arthur Masuaku.
Referee Martin Atkinson waved away appeals for a penalty and allowed play to go on. But replays showed Masuaku had indeed tripped Walcott in a one-on-one situation. The French defender had even looked up worriedly at Atkinson after the foul and was relieved to see no action taken.
Atkinson denied yet another penalty in the second half when Nacho Monreal was brought down in the box in stoppage time. Sam Byram, who was already on a yellow card, stamped Monreal’s ankle as the Spaniard attempted a dribble inside the box.
By this stage, Monreal was fed up with Atkinson’s refusal to give a penalty after having been kicked around all night. The standards of referees (and linesmen) have fallen and, sadly, it has not been addressed by the Premier League or the FA in recent months.