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HomeWorldWest Ham v Arsenal: Premier League – live

West Ham v Arsenal: Premier League – live


Key events

60 min “This feels a bit unreal to the Arsenal fan,” says Charles Antaki, “with another goal coming at any time – I mean, a goal for Arsenal coming at any time; but given the realty of what the team was like at the start of the year, a bit of unreality is very welcome. Carry on like this and Gunnersaurus might get a few minutes at the end for a run out.”

I didn’t realise Aaron Ramsdale was being made to do that. Surely this constitutes constructive dismissal?

58 min Saka’s shot is beaten away well by Areola after a nice layoff from Havertz. That was a really good save actually.

56 min “Trivia Corner,” begins Joe Pearson. “Making Austin Powers a fashion photographer was an homage to Matt Helm as played by Dean Martin in the mid-60s. Yes, I am quite old.”

See, we always get to the Sopranos in the end. (Clip contains adult language, etc.)

54 min Bowen has looked very lively since half-time, as if he and only he was given a rollocking by David Moyes at half-time. It must be so weird to start a second half 4-0 down, and fairly weird to start it 4-0 up.

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51 min “Could this scoreline be viewed as emphatically punctuating the end of the ‘Less is Moyes’ era?” says Grant Tennille. “Or more of a common-or-garden #they really miss Paquetá’-type situation?

I’d veer towards ‘one of those days, Des’. I appreciate it’s not just about results, and as a neutral it’s got very little to do with me, but I’ll be very surprised if West Ham’s next manager outperforms Moyes.

49 min Havertz shoots not far wide from distance. Arsenal definitely want more.

47 min Trossard misses a decent chance to make it five, spanking Martinelli’s cutback into orbit.

46 min Peep peep! West Ham have made a double change: Konstantinos Mavropanos and Kalvin Phillips are on for Kurt Zouma and Edson Alvarez.

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Half-time reading

It hasn’t been a perfect day for Arsenal Football Club.

“If Arsenal keep this up,” says Peter Oh, “Odegaard’s gonna go full Austin Powers.”

Half time: West Ham 0-4 Arsenal

Arsenal’s dodgy new year spell feels a long time ago. They demolished West Ham in the first half at the London Stadium, and a 4-0 scoreline doesn’t particularly flatter them. William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Magalhaes and Leandro Trossard got the goals, and you’d expect more in the second half.

Arsenal have no midweek game, so this is a chance to massage their goal difference. If they win 7-0, they’ll even go above Manchester City.

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45+5 min A break is only a break if you’re 4-0 up at half-time in the next game.

Odegaard breaks at a shellshocked defence and pokes an angled pass to Trossard on the edge of the area. He cuts inside Zouma, onto his right foot, and flashes a curler into the top corner.

GOAL! West Ham 0-4 Arsenal (Trossard 45+2)

Good lord.

Trossard scores for Arsenal to make it 4-0. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

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45 min There will be seven minutes of added time, which at least gives David Moyes time to finalise the brollocking he is about to administer. As well as Arsenal have played, West Ham have been a mess.

It’s another set-piece goal, the kind West ham are supposed to score. Rice curled in a terrific, dipping free-kick from the left, and Gabriel got away from his man to head past Areola from four yards.

GOAL! West Ham 0-3 Arsenal (Gabriel 44)

This is turning into a rout!

Gabriel of Arsenal heads in from Rices free kick. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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42 min With that goal, Saka becomes the youngest player to score 50 goals for Arsenal since Frank Stapleton in the 1970s. Similar characters too.

41 min It wasn’t Saka’s greatest penalty – had Areola gone the right way he would probably have saved it – but that’s irrelevant: Arsenal have deservedly doubled their lead.

Saka jogs on the spot like Harry Kane, moves forward and sweeps the ball into the net to his right. Areola went the wrong way.

GOAL! West Ham 0-2 Arsenal (Saka 41 pen)

Saka scores!

Saka scores from the Penalty spot. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Saka celebrates after scoring a penalty. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

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Penalty given! And Saka, who missed so damagingly on this ground a year ago, will take it.

VAR check Saka may have been offside in the build up. He looks okay to me but it’s being checked.

38 min: Penalty to Arsenal! Odegaard puts Saka through with a long pass. He goes round Areola and is clumsily brought down. A clear penalty and a yellow card for Areola.

Saka is fouled by Areola in the box. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

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37 min: Another great chance for Saka! Odegaard, just inside the area, plays a gorgeous eye-of-the-needle pass inside Emerson to put Saka through. He dinks the ball over the outrushing Areola but wide of the far post.

35 min: Chance for Arsenal! An even better opportunitye for Saka, who heads Kiwior’s excellent cross wide from six yards and thumps the ground in frustration.

35 min Arsenal deserve to be ahead, and if West Ham aren’t careful this game will be done before half-time. Mind you, we said that last year. Either way, Saka has just fresh-aired a header from Odegaard’s inswinging cross.

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GOAL! West Ham 0-1 Arsenal (Saliba 32)

No short corner this time, just an old-fashioned goal! Rice curled it towards the far post, where Saliba got above Alvarez to head in from four yards. Areola was nowhere, having been blocked (legally) by White, and once Saliba timed his jump correctly he was always going to score.

Saliba scores with a header. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images
Gabriel celebrates with Saliba. Photograph: David Price/Arsenal FC/Getty Images

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31 min Kiwior’s cross goes behind for another Arsenal corner. From which…

30 min Martinelli’s low cross just evades Odegaard, six yards out, and Aguerd boots the ball clear. West Ham are hanging on.

28 min Saka teases a defender in the area and pushes the ball back to Odegaard, lurking with intent on the edge of the area. His first-time shot hits Soucek and deflects past the far post. A goal is coming…

25 min Saka has another shot blocked. Arsenal look pr-etty, pr-etty dangerous going forward.

23 min: Brilliant save by Areola! Saka, on the right, plays in the underlapping Martinelli in the area. His chipped cross is left by Havertz, who pointedly ducks to allow the ball to reach Trossard at the far post. He twists his body to smack a fierce right-foot volley that is superbly tipped over by the leaping Areola. That’s a very good reaction save.

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22 min: Chance for Arsenal! The first big chance. Saka moves away from Emerson and curls a lovely inswinging cross that is headed over from eight yards by Trossard. A taller man would probably have buried it.

20 min At the other end, Saka’s long-range shot takes a deflection and dribbles through to Areola.

18 min This is a good spell for West Ham. Martinelli’s dodgy pass is picked up by Bowen, who heads straight for goal from the halfway line. He gets to within 25 yards before hitting a shot that takes a deflection and spins through to Raya.

17 min Ward-Prowse’s corner is headed away by Gabriel. Soucek hit the deck after being manhandled by Odegaard at the far post. It was a dive, no question, though Odegaard took a risk by putting hands on Soucek.

17 min Bowen spins his man expertly and plays an excellent return pass to Johnson on the left. His low cross is put behind for a corner by Kiwior.

15 min West Ham enliven the crowd with some aggressive pressing in the Arsenal half. They particularly enjoyed Bowen catching Rice in possession.

12 min Arsenal take a short corner on the right, and Saka’s eventual cross goes out for a goalkick. Somewhere in the world, Paul Scholes smiles.

11 min The pressure is building. After a long spell of Arsenal possession, Saka pings one from 25 yards that hits Aguerd’s arm – down by his side – and flies behind for a corner.

10 min Rice’s deep cross is headed up in the air by Havertz, under pressure at the far post. Areola claims.

9 min Alvarez is booked for a weirdly reckless lunge at Saka, then almost exacerbates the situation by going head to head with Gabriel.

8 min There’s a mixture of boos and applause as Rice goes across to take the corner. Why’s he being booed? Am I missing something?

7 min Loads of early possession for Arsenal, which is just the way both teams like it. Alphonse Areola’s gloves remain unsullied, though Aguerd has just conceded the first corner.

5 min Arsenal have started with Trossard up front and Havertz as the left-sided No8, though he’s almost an inside-left when Arsenal have the ball.

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2 min Kudus, who has started on the rigtt, nicks the ball off Kiwior and runs to the edge of the area. His route to goal is blocked so he plays the ball outsife to Coufal, whose cross is headed away.

1 min Peep peep! Arsenal kick off from right to left as we watch.

The camera is all over Declan Rice, as you’d expect on his return to West Ham. He’s chewing gum with intent, maybe trying a bit too hard to show that it’s just another game.

“I really enjoy all Barney’s pieces,” writes Neil Parkes. “I especially like it when some po-faced puritan reports him to Private Eye’s Pseuds Corner. One thing in the Moyes piece leapt out at me: ‘… for the neutral it is also a bracing point of contrast in a league where an entire half can be spent watching defence and deep midfields engaged in the footballing equivalent of competitive knitting.’”

“This has crystallised for me why I find much of the greatest league in the world, well, boring.”

Never mind all that, I’m still trying to locate the PFP who reported me to Pseuds Corner for a tongue-in-cheek line in 2009. Face cheek, that is.

Kalvin Phillips on Kalvin Phillips

[Gareth Southgate] said the Premier League is a lot more difficult, a more competitive league. He said to be playing in the Premier League versus playing anywhere else … it’s just that little bit of a step down in quality. So yeah, he influenced me to stay in England. And when West Ham came in, I thought it was the right place to go.

Max Rushden on the celebration police

Arsenal are unlikely to win the Premier League, but that probably has more to do with Kevin De Bruyne being good at football than Ødegaard’s amateur photography one Sunday afternoon in February.

Barney Ronay on David Moyes

It is Moyes’s team who are the exotics and the cultural antagonists now. L’Équipe’s report on the game against Brighton in August described “a clash of style that verged on cartoonish” as West Ham made 13 passes to Brighton’s 221 in the opening half-hour but still won the game.

Team news: Trossard in for Jorginho

David Moyes sticks with the same West Ham sided that played well for much of their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford last weekend, though Mohammed Kudus and Ben Johnson may/should switch wings so that Kudus can attack Arsenal’s left-back.

This week, that left-back is Jakub Kiwior. He covers for the injured Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back, one of two changes from the win over Liverpool. Jorginho, the player of the match last Sunday, is replaced by Leandro Trossard. A different challenge means a different attacking balance: Kai Havertz will almost certainly take Jorginho’s position in midfield, with Trossard playing up front.

West Ham (possible 4-2-3-1) Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Alvarez, Soucek; Kudus, Ward-Prowse, Johnson; Bowen.
Substitutes: Fabianski, Cresswell, Mavropanos, Ogbonna, Scarles, Phillips, Cornet, Ings, Mubama.

Arsenal (possible 4-1-2-3) Raya; White, Saliba, Gabriel, Kiwior; Rice; Odegaard, Havertz; Saka, Trossard, Martinelli.
Substitutes: Ramsdale, Soares, Walters, Jorginho, Elneny, Bandeira, Nwaneri, Nketiah, Nelson.

Referee Craig Pawson.

Rice and Trossard warm up prior to the match. Photograph: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

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Preamble

John Part is one of the best darts commentators around, especially brilliant at explaining the mental challenge of a sport with a unique ebb and flow. One of his favourite phrases is, “A break is only a break if you hold”. For the grandmothers reading this who were never taught to suck eggs, Part means that the grand gesture of breaking your opponent’s throw counts for the square root of bugger all unless you hold your own throw in the next leg.

The point of this tangential, slightly indulgent, will-you-get-to-the-point-man introduction is that Arsenal need to hold today. Well, they need to win, which is where the analogy gets a bit confusing. In title-race terms, last weekend’s stirring win over Liverpool was a break of throw, but it will mean very little if they don’t back it up with victory at West Ham. It’s a tough task, as Arsenal know all too well from last season, but nobody ever won a league title by just winning the easy games.

There’s another reason Arsenal will be desperate to win today: so that they can enrage the celebration police by posing for a squad photo on the pitch, with Martin Odegaard gleefully snapping away on an Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV revenge. West Ham won 2-0 at the Emirates just after Christmas, the first of two consecutive defeats that left Arsenal briefly holding the Premier League Crisis Baton™. As they have recovered, so West Ham have regressed beyond the mean: no wins in six, an FA Cup exit and a continuing referendum on whether David Moyes’ overall results justify his reactive style of play.

No team in the Premier League does more with less than West Ham. They have already won four games this season with a possession percentage in the 20s: Brighton, Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal. We’re pretty sure that’s a record for a single season in the English top flight. If West Ham make it five, or even if they draw, Arsenal will be back on the fringes of the title race.

Kick off 2pm

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