- Arsenal made a bold statement in the Premier League title battle by crushing David Moyes’ team 6-0.
- Declan Rice scored the game’s first goal upon returning to West Ham.
Arsenal made a bold statement in the Premier League title battle by crushing David Moyes’ team 6-0. Declan Rice scored the game’s first goal upon returning to West Ham.
Bukayo Saka scored twice, and Mikel Arteta’s team put on a merciless show that saw them set a new club record for an away Premier League victory. Leandro Trossard, William Saliba, and Gabriel Magalhaes all found the net.
The Gunners are now just two points behind Manchester City in terms of goals scored and two points ahead of Liverpool in the Premier League after their victory.
A quick start by the Gunners
The hosts had to weather an unexpected Arsenal storm after West Ham showed a few brief glimpses of life on the counter, but nothing that would have given David Raya too much to worry about.
In only the next two minutes, Trossard let go two excellent opportunities. On the 22nd, he headed over Saka’s cross but was equaled by Alphonse Areola’s outstanding acrobatic stop. Two minutes later, he connected wonderfully with a volley inside the box.
Nevertheless, it was certain that Arteta’s team would break the tie, and sure enough, the visitors would take the lead in the 32nd minute when Saliba headed a long corner from Rice.
After gaining the lead, Arteta’s team did not let up and had a chance to increase their lead in the 35th minute when Jakub Kiwior put Saka in position with a beautiful out-swinging cross, but the 22-year-old’s header just skimmed the net.
Two minutes later, Saka’s misery was repeated as Martin Odegaard sneaked in behind him on the right and he slid the ball over Areola with such delicacy that it likewise drifted past the far post and behind the goal.
But moments after that second missed opportunity, the winger’s luck finally turned around. He grabbed Trossard’s inch-perfect pass over the top, remaining just onside in the process, only to be hauled down by Areola as he attempted to go by the Frenchman.
Just before the half, West Ham’s worrying surrender showed no signs of abating when Craig Pawson signaled to the spot. Saka picked himself up and sent Areola the wrong way to rightfully double the visitors’ lead.
At 44 minutes, Gabriel crashed in to head home at Areola’s post after another Rice delivery, this one from a left-side free kick, wreaked havoc in the Hammers box.
Arteta’s advancing forces extend the lead to four goals as Odegaard lay off Trossard just inside the box. The Belgian skillfully moved the ball onto his right foot and finished in the top corner, despite Areola’s best effort to stop him.
The last time Arsenal led a Premier League away game by four goals was in 2011 when Newcastle United staged an incredible comeback to draw 4–4. Despite Arsenal’s outstanding performance, Moyes’s team had been completely awful since giving up the first goal, as the supporters informed them at the interval.
Saka‘s second goal of the game was denied by Areola with a strong hand in the 58th minute, but the England international would not have to wait long for his 10th Premier League goal of the season. In the 63rd minute, Areola was left rooted to the spot with a powerful finish inside his near post after he received a slick pass from Odegaard.
If the Hammers’ wounds weren’t already salted, they were in the 65th minute, when Rice showed up and thundered a fierce 25-yard shot into the top corner following a misunderstanding between Trossard and Odegaard that allowed the ball to drift past both of them.
Naturally, the former Hammers captain did not rejoice in front of his old adoring supporters, some of whom cheered him on when he was replaced moments later, while others showed the Englishman a more crude welcome.
Arsenal will have a week to recover and rejoice before Burnley comes to the Emirates next Saturday, while West Ham, who are now in seventh place, will attempt to respond away to Nottingham Forest.