Theo Walcott struck twice and Lukas Podolski netted a third as Arsenal came from behind to win at West Ham and go back to the top of the Premier League.

Arsenal dominated the first half but fell behind as Carlton Cole tapped home after Wojciech Szczesny spilled a shot.

The Hammers wasted chances to double the lead and Walcott equalised with an effort that Adrian should have saved.

Podolski crossed for Walcott to nod Arsenal ahead before lashing in to drop West Ham into the relegation zone.

Results elsewhere saw them slip from 17th and a point outside the bottom three to 19th and two points inside it.

Walcott torments West Ham

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has now scored in each of his last four Premier League appearances against West Ham

The Hammers have won only one of their last 11 league games and will be desperate to respond at home to West Brom on Saturday.

Arsenal, by contrast, ended a run of four games in all competitions without victory and lead second-placed Manchester City by two points.

City beat Liverpool, who were top of the table at the start of the day and would have leapfrogged Arsenal had they won the late kick-off.

The importance of this match to Arsene Wenger was underlined by a line-up featuring only one change from that which played a full 90 minutes in Monday's 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were convincing - Wenger

His side were also up against a West Ham team who kept clean sheets in their previous two home matches and welcomed experienced trio Kevin Nolan, Joe Cole and Carlton Cole back into the starting XI.

The hosts came closest in the early stages through a Mark Noble free-kick, but Arsenal soon began to build momentum.

Adrian reacted well to repel a goal-bound header from Santi Cazorla and Walcott volleyed wide when he should have scored.

West Ham's threat was now being posed on the counter-attack, Mohamed Diame testing Szczesny after a powerful run, while, at the other end, Cazorla, Giroud and Mikel Arteta went close.

Arsenal weaved many a pretty pattern but lacked end product, with nobody on hand to convert Mesut Ozil's cut-back, before Giroud failed to connect with a low Kieran Gibbs cross from invitingly close range.

Gibbs and Giroud - seeking a first goal in seven appearances - looked on in disbelief and Arsene Wenger cut a frustrated figure at half-time.

Gilt-edged chances missed - Allardyce

Their disappointment was compounded when, within a minute of the restart, Szczesny spilled a Nolan drive straight into the path of Carlton Cole and he made no mistake with the simplest of finishes.

Arsenal looked rattled and after Szczesny saved from Matt Jarvis when one-on-one, Joey O'Brien headed wide and Carlton Cole prodded off target; both when in glorious positions to double the lead.

Buoyed by their multiple reprieves, Wenger's men poured forward and Adrian made a fine double stop to deny Cazorla and Ozil.

However, the Spanish goalkeeper will want to forget his next involvement: Walcott cutting in and scuffing a shot through his hands.

The equaliser followed Podolski's arrival for an injured Ramsey, and the German marked his first appearance since suffering a hamstring problem on 27 August by helping turn the game on its head.

He provided a new focal point for the visitors and was involved in all of their best work, crossing from the left for Walcott to head his second.

With West Ham seemingly resigned to defeat, Podolski lashed into the bottom corner after a Walcott cross and Giroud's lay-off.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (6)

West Ham United

  • 13 Adrián
  • 17 O'Brien Booked (Demel - 63' )
  • 03 McCartney
  • 21 Diamé
  • 19 Collins (Rat - 38' )
  • 05 Tomkins
  • 26 Cole
  • 16 Noble
  • 24 Cole
  • 04 Nolan (Taylor - 75' )
  • 07 Jarvis

Substitutes

  • 08 Rat
  • 10 Collison
  • 11 Maiga
  • 14 Taylor
  • 18 Diarra
  • 20 Demel
  • 22 Jääskeläinen

Arsenal

  • 01 Szczesny
  • 03 Sagna
  • 28 Gibbs
  • 08 Arteta
  • 04 Mertesacker
  • 05 Vermaelen
  • 14 Walcott
  • 16 Ramsey (Podolski - 65' )
  • 12 Giroud (Bendtner - 85' )
  • 11 Özil (Flamini - 81' )
  • 19 Cazorla Booked

Substitutes

  • 09 Podolski
  • 17 Monreal
  • 20 Flamini
  • 21 Fabianski
  • 23 Bendtner
  • 25 Jenkinson
  • 44 Gnabry
Ref: Phil Dowd
Att: 34,977

Match Stats

Shots

12 29

On target

5 8

Corners

0 10

Fouls

11 6

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, West Ham United 1, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +4:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, West Ham United 1, Arsenal 3.

90:00 +2:16

Attempt missed. Joe Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Diamé.

90:00 +0:36

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

89:57

Delay in match Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) because of an injury.

89:44

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by George McCartney.

89:43

Attempt blocked. Nicklas Bendtner (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

88:10

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Razvan Rat.

84:04 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Nicklas Bendtner replaces Olivier Giroud.

80:36 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Mathieu Flamini replaces Mesut Özil.

79:51

Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:51

Dangerous play by Carlton Cole (West Ham United).

78:39 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 1, Arsenal 3. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Olivier Giroud.

76:50

Hand ball by Joe Cole (West Ham United).

75:35

Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:35

Foul by Joe Cole (West Ham United).

74:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Matthew Taylor replaces Kevin Nolan.

74:11

Attempt missed. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a corner.

73:42

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Razvan Rat.

72:22

Attempt saved. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a through ball.

71:41

Attempt blocked. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

70:32 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 1, Arsenal 2. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

70:25

Attempt blocked. Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

70:03

Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

69:11

Attempt missed. Lukas Podolski (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

67:18 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 1, Arsenal 1. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

64:19 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Arsenal. Lukas Podolski replaces Aaron Ramsey because of an injury.

64:06

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Guy Demel.

62:59 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Guy Demel replaces Joey O'Brien.

62:31

Attempt missed. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right.

60:21 Booking

Booking Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

60:09

Attempt missed. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Matthew Jarvis.

59:51

Attempt saved. Mesut Özil (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

59:48

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

58:11

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by George McCartney.

57:49

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

57:42

Attempt blocked. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.

57:20

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by George McCartney.

57:13

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

56:05

Attempt missed. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Razvan Rat with a cross following a fast break.

55:33

Attempt blocked. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Theo Walcott.

54:39

Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

54:39

Foul by Joey O'Brien (West Ham United).

53:22

Attempt missed. Joey O'Brien (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed Diamé with a cross.

52:21

Attempt missed. Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a corner.

52:00

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by George McCartney.

50:33

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box misses to the left. Assisted by Bacary Sagna with a cross.

50:17

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:17

Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

50:07

Attempt saved. Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mark Noble with a through ball.

49:31

Attempt blocked. Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

49:06

Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:06

Foul by Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United).

48:27

Offside, West Ham United. James Tomkins tries a through ball, but Carlton Cole is caught offside.

47:51

Attempt missed. Joe Cole (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

47:20

Foul by Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal).

47:20

Joey O'Brien (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

45:48 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! West Ham United 1, Arsenal 0. Carlton Cole (West Ham United) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

45:46

Attempt saved. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

45:00

Second Half begins West Ham United 0, Arsenal 0.

45:00 +2:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, West Ham United 0, Arsenal 0.

45:00 +0:31

Attempt missed. Kevin Nolan (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Mark Noble following a set piece situation.

44:41

Hand ball by Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal).

43:55

Attempt missed. Mikel Arteta (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left following a set piece situation.

43:52

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

42:58

Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

42:58

Foul by Joey O'Brien (West Ham United).

39:40

Offside, Arsenal. Thomas Vermaelen tries a through ball, but Olivier Giroud is caught offside.

38:43

Offside, West Ham United. Matthew Jarvis tries a through ball, but Joe Cole is caught offside.

37:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, West Ham United. Razvan Rat replaces James Collins because of an injury.

37:14

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

35:41

Delay in match James Collins (West Ham United) because of an injury.

34:13

Attempt saved. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

32:58

Attempt missed. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

32:12

Attempt missed. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil.

30:08

Foul by Olivier Giroud (Arsenal).

30:08

James Tomkins (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:30

Bacary Sagna (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

29:30

Foul by Mark Noble (West Ham United).

26:45

Attempt missed. Per Mertesacker (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross following a corner.

26:19

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by George McCartney.

25:30

Attempt missed. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey with a through ball.

24:32

Attempt saved. Mohamed Diamé (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Joe Cole.

22:48

Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

22:48

Foul by Joey O'Brien (West Ham United).

21:49

Attempt blocked. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla.

19:11 Booking

Booking Joey O'Brien (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

19:04

Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

19:04

Foul by Joey O'Brien (West Ham United).

16:02

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

16:02

George McCartney (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

15:40

Attempt saved. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

15:19

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Carlton Cole.

14:31

Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by James Collins.

10:03

Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

10:03

Foul by Matthew Jarvis (West Ham United).

9:30

Attempt saved. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the left is saved in the top right corner.

8:30

Foul by Mikel Arteta (Arsenal).

8:30

Carlton Cole (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

6:15

Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Aaron Ramsey.

5:56

Offside, West Ham United. James Tomkins tries a through ball, but Matthew Jarvis is caught offside.

4:11

Foul by Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).

4:11

Carlton Cole (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:10

Offside, Arsenal. Santiago Cazorla tries a through ball, but Theo Walcott is caught offside.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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