- Arsenal blew a two-goal lead against West Ham United at the London Stadium, jeopardizing their chances of winning the Premier League title.
- Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard gave Mikel Arteta’s team an advantage but Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen scored for the Hammers
Arsenal blew a two-goal lead against West Ham United at the London Stadium, jeopardizing their chances of winning the Premier League title.
In the first 10 minutes, Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard gave Mikel Arteta’s team a two-goal advantage but Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen scored for the relegation-threatened Hammers, who took advantage of another Arsenal blunder to support Manchester City in the race for the championship.
Arsenal’s quick start
Arsenal scored after just seven minutes when Odegaard slipped in Ben White, who passed for Jesus to tap in at the back post after an excellent passage of play around the box.
David Moyes’ defence did not have time to recover before being broken down again, as Gabriel Martinelli’s ball to the back post was perfect for Odegaard, who was unmarked at the far post to volley home and put Arsenal in cruise control.
However, as Arsenal’s complacency set in, West Ham unexpectedly gave themselves a lifeline when Thomas Partey gave the ball away to Declan Rice in a critical area. The Ghanaian stopped and protested for a handball against the Hammers’ captain, but his plea was dismissed.
Declan Rice dribbled into the box before he passed it to Lucas Paqueta who was tackled by Gabriel Magalhaes’ as the referee, David Coote pointed to the penalty spot.
There were echoes of Anfield for Arteta’s team as West Ham suddenly sprang into life after Benrahma sent Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way from 12 yards to halve the deficit.
With a slim advantage going into halftime, the Gunners were given the opportunity to take the penalty shot when Michail Antonio was called for a handball in the 52nd minute.
Two minutes after Saka missed his penalty kick, West Ham capitalized on the reprieve.
Ramsdale may have felt that he should have done better, but Arsenal mishandled a throw-in, allowing Thilo Kehrer to put the ball back in for Bowen, and a sluggish Arsenal defence were helpless to stop the Englishman from volleying home.
West Ham came agonizingly close to winning all three points in the 82nd minute when Antonio’s header from a tight angle hit the bar. The visitors’ attempts to regain the lead were ineffective.
This season, Arsenal have been known for scoring stunning late goals, but Arteta’s players failed to score in the final five minutes and come next month, they may be regretting the outcome of this London derby.
While West Ham remains in 15th place, four points clear of the relegation zone, they prepare to host Gent in the second leg of their Europa Conference League quarterfinal on Thursday. Arsenal are four points ahead of Manchester City with one game remaining and will host Southampton on Friday.