West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal: 5 Talking Points & Tactical Analysis | Premier League 2019-20
Arsenal got the better of West HamUnited 3-1 at the London Stadium to end their barren run and accord Freddie Ljungberg a bit of breathing space. The victory moved the Gunners up to ninth spot on the Premier League table and only a point behind North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.
The game started extremely sluggishly with Arsenal passing the ball around at an extremely slow tempo. Consequently, they failed to muster anything substantial as West Ham grew into the game.
The hosts then caught the visitors with the proverbial sucker punch when Angelo Ogbonna got in between Arsenal’s defenders to nod home. The Gunners didn’t manage a single shot on target in the first half as the home side went into the break with a one-goal cushion.
After the break, the North Londoners turned the screw slightly and pegged the Hammers back in the 60th minute, courtesy Gabriel Martinelli. Nicolas Pepe popped up with his first league goal from open play three minutes later to hand the visitors the lead.
The Ivorian then set up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to add further gloss on the score-line and put the result well beyond doubt.
Here is a look at the talking points from the game.
#5 Kieran Tierney’s injury adds to Arsenal’s woes
Before the match at the London Stadium even began, Arsenal were dealt a setback as Hector Bellerin suffered an injury in the pre-game warm-up. Consequently, the Gunners had to field Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the Spaniard’s stead and install Sead Kolasinac as a substitute, despite the Bosnian earlier being left out of the squad due to a groin niggle.
And, the North Londoners’ evening turned pear-shaped when Kieran Tierney picked up a hand injury in the opening 45 minutes. On first glance, the injury looked serious and might rule him out for the next few weeks. And, if that proves to be the case, Arsenal could find themselves in even more turmoil, something that many felt wasn’t achievable, considering their wretched recent record.
To put things into perspective, the Gunners, who are already missing the services of Rob Holding, might have to go into the encounter against Manchester City with their first-choice full-backs absent, meaning that their under-fire rear-guard might be put under extreme strife.
More worryingly though, if Kolasinac were to pull up stiff after the London Derby, Arsenal might have the unenviable task of calling upon a non-regular left-back.
Over the past few weeks, everything that could’ve gone wrong for the North Londoners has gone wrong. And, just when one felt it couldn’t get any worse, their annual injury crisis decided to tap their shoulder and mark its presence.