West Ham United and Arsenal were both looking to recover from demoralising EFL Cup defeats in midweek when they met at the London Stadium on Saturay evening.
Following Man City’s collapse against Chelsea earlier that day, Arsenal knew that a win would see them leapfrog both City and Liverpool into second place in the Premier Leaguge table, at least until the latter plays tomorrow.
The home side, for their part, were aiming to pull away from the relegation zone – especially now that Sundeland have started winning games under David Moyes.
Arsenal’s class told in the end, as goals from Mesut Özil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and an absolute belter of a hat-trick from Alexis Sánchez gave the visitors a comfortable and comprehensive 5-1 win.
West Ham United Player Ratings:
Darren Randolph – 6: Let down badly by his defence, could do little for the goals he condeded and stopped it from becoming even worse.
James Collins – N/A: Lasted seven minutes before being withdrawn due to injury.
Winston Reid – 5: Couldn’t adapt to the formation change after Collins’ withdrawal, Reid has been a rock in defence for West Ham but it didn’t happen for him today.
Angelo Ogbonna – 4.5: Slow in the tackle, in closing down, wayward in his positioning. Ogbonna gave an error-strewn performance.
Edmilson Fernandes – 4: Anonymous. Offered nothing on either end of the pitch and highlighted how badly West Ham were missing Michail Antonio.
Mark Noble – 5: Overrun by the Arsenal midfield, the West Ham captain was sacrificed for Carroll in the second half and he can have no complaints about that.
Pedro Obiang – 5: Like Noble, Obiang couldn’t cope with Xhaka and Coquelin against him. Not the worst performer, but not the best either.
Arthur Masuaku – 5.5: Absolutely left for dead by Alexis for Arsenal’s second, Masuaku did at least look lively down the left wing at times.
Maunel Lanzini – 5.5: Looked threatening at times, particularly in the first half, but the end product just wasn’t there for Lanzini.
Dimitri Payet – 5.5: That Payet can give a pedestrian performance like this and still be West Ham’s best outfield player speaks volumes. Looked frustrated with what was happening around him and didn’t look minded to try and change it.
Ashley Fletcher – 5: Looked isolated at times (without only 35 touches in the whole game), but otherwise didn’t give a great account of himself.
Álvaro Arbeloa (Collins 7) – 4: Overrun doesn’t even begin to describe how much fun the Arsenal left side had with Arbeloa. Firguratively trod on while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Nacho Monreal danced right past him.
André Ayew (Fernandes 63) – 5: Unlucky insofar as his introduction came just before it all fell apart for his side. Still rusty having just returned from injury.
Andy Carroll (Noble 72) – 6.5: Reacted well to Payet’s free kick to head home unmarked on his return.
Arsenal Player Ratings:
Petr Cech – 6: Didn’t have much to do for the most part, but could perhaps have done more for Andy Carroll’s goal.
Gabriel Paulista – 7: Gave a good account of himself in an unnatural position. Had an easy time of it against Payet but that shouldn’t take away from his performance.
Shkodran Mustafi – 7: Solid and commanding performance from Mustafi this evening, and contributed a rare assist too.
Laurent Koscielny – 7: As was the case with Mustafi, Koscielny performed very well for Arsenal in defence once again.
Nacho Monreal – 7.5: A consistent full-back, Monreal rarely ventures above that but to his credit this evening, he looked more threatening than he normally does – helped in no small part by Arbeloa’s horror show against him.
Granit Xhaka – 7.5: With 89% passing accuracy and 3 big interceptions, Xhaka had a big impact in the Arsenal midfield. His passing ability will be vital in Santi Cazorla’s absence.
Francis Coquelin – 7.5: Surprisingly discplined having picked up a first half booking. Lively performance from Coquelin, starving the West Ham midfield with ease.
Theo Walcott – 6.5: Some day, Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain are both going to have a great game at the same time, but for now it seems like they’re sharing the one talent. Frustrating display from the England winger tonight.
Mesut Özil – 7.5: Great positioning for the opening goal, Özil also registered an assist for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s effort. Solid display from Özil but he was upstaged by Sánchez in a big way.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 8: It was Oxlade-Chamberlain’s turn with the talent tonight, but in the first half he wasted it. Luckily for him, he grew into the game in the second half in a big way, scoring a brilliant goal and laying on the pass for Alexis’ hat-trick.
Alexis Sánchez – 10. One assist, one hat-trick. Alexis was the difference-maker for Arsenal today – his technique, movement and finishing were all utterly brilliant. A rating of ten doesn’t even begin to do it justice.
Aaron Ramsey (Walcott 66) – 7: Adapted to the pace of the game very well upon his introduction in the second half. Looked lively in attack and was a clear threat to the West Ham defence.
Mohamed Elneny (Coquelin 87) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact
Alex Iwobi (Özil 88) – N/A: Not enough time to make an impact.
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