West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: Clinical Gunners halt winless run in London derby
PUBLISHED: 22:00 09 December 2019 | UPDATED: 22:00 09 December 2019
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Arsenal ended their nine-game winless run as they put in a clinical display to beat West Ham United 3-1 at the London Stadium on Monday night, securing Freddie Ljungberg's first victory as interim boss.
Angelo Ogbonna's deflected header gave the hosts the lead on 38 minutes after some poor defending, but Gabriel Martinelli equalised on the hour mark with a well-taken finish.
Nicolas Pepe then put them in front on 66 minutes as he curled a wonderful strike past David Martin, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 3-1 just three minutes later with a volley inside the area to secure a much-needed win.
Ljungberg rang the changes after Arsenal's defeat to Brighton on Thursday, with Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney, Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel Martinelli - making his full Premier League debut - all named in the starting XI.
That meant David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette dropped to the bench, while Joe Willock and Sead Kolasinac missed out on the 18-man squad for the trip to east London.
But, there was a blow for the Gunners before kick-off though as Hector Bellerin dropped out of the starting XI through injury, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles taking his place and Kolasinac named among the substitutes.
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Another blow came on the other side of defence after a dreary opening 30 minutes as Tierney went down at a free-kick with what looked like a dislocated shoulder, forcing him off and seeing Kolasinac - who 40 minutes prior wasn't even in the squad - come on.
Both sides then had good chances as an unmarked Mesut Ozil headed over from six-yards out for Arsenal, before West Ham's Michail Antonio forced a smart save from Bernd Leno down low.
Despite seeing little of the ball, the Irons then went ahead as the Gunners' defensive struggles came back to haunt them once again.
The visitors failed to clear a corner which was put back into the box, and on the run Ogbonna powered the ball at goal with a header which deflected off Maitland-Niles and past a helpless Leno.
The home side went into the break level, but with an hour played, despite a somewhat toothless display in attack, the Gunners equalised.
A driving run through midfield from Lucas Torreira saw him feed Kolasinac down the left, and his cross was on a plate for Martinelli to slot home with a neat first-time finish.
That opened the floodgates as Pepe put Arsenal ahead on 66 minutes with a beautiful, curled finish on the edge of the box from Aubameyang's pass, and the rolls were reversed just three minutes later as the Ivorian crossed for the captain to volley home inside the area and make it 3-1.
The Gunners held on for victory, ending their winless streak of nine games thanks to some clinical second-half finishing and securing Freddie Ljungberg's first win as interim boss.