Premier League: Arsenal v West Ham as it happened

Live text and radio commentary as Arsenal move back into the top four with a win against West Ham.

15 April 2014 Last updated at 17:30 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 22:12: 

    Job done in the end for Arsenal then, and they end the night back in the top four.

    What can Everton do in response? Join us tomorrow to find out. Manchester City are also in action against Sunderland, and there's another El Clasico to look forward to in the Copa del Rey final.

    Monster monster. See you there!

  2.  

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator Conor McNamara: On-air on @bbc5live Sport through to 22:30 with @markpougatch & @martinkeown5. Get involved: Call 0500 909693 Text 85058.

  3. 22:07: 
    Dortmund delight
    Borussia Dortmund celebrate

    Another team celebrating tonight are Borussia Dortmund, who are into the German cup final after beating Wolfsburg 2-0.

    There is a 50-50 chance (well, let's be honest, 90-10) that they will be facing Bayern Munich in the Berlin final. The current holders host second tier Kaiserslautern tomorrow.

  4.  
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    Anon: Have supported the Irons since 1940 and think tonight's effort ranks with the worst I have ever seen.

  5.  
    Manager reaction- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
    Arsene Wenger

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger: "I think we built the victory tonight through consistency in our game, the vital thing tonight was to come back to 1-1 before half time. It was a hard-fought win and a very enjoyable win as we had to dig deep on Saturday.

    "Aaron Ramsey is a very important player for us, he has that power and that drive. He also surprises you with his vision in the final third. Everyone is under pressure to do well, the best thing to do is to focus on your own performances and see where that takes us.

    "We were under absolute pressure to win the game, on top of that it was a derby and after giving a lot on Saturday it was difficult. Maybe we could have scored more, I was satisfied with the mental response of the team tonight, the focus tonight of the team was outstanding.

    "We showed maturity not to panic when we went 1-0 down, I had to rest a number of players tonight but it was good that players like Kim Kallstrom managed to contribute tonight."

  6.   
    Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown on 5 liveArsenal 3-1 West Ham

    "You look at Manchester United this season, Sir Alex Ferguson left and the water has come out of the bath. That will be on Arsenal's minds, the board must be frightened about what would happen if Arsene Wenger left.

    "Arsenal are only two or three players away from challenging again."

  7. 22:00: 
    Luton are promoted

    Luton chairman Nick Owen on BBC Radio 5 live: "It is wonderful to be back in the Football League!

    "It's taken us five seasons, we've got close and lost some play-off finals and it is such a relief to get back there. We have got a good side and played some lovely football this season. We have some youngsters who will only get better.

    "I nearly went to Kidderminster but decided there was something not quite right about going to a game hoping a team would lose. It's a great moment for tens of thousands of fans in Luton and around the world."

  8.  
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    Kris Laughton: Arsenal win means Hull are almost certainly in Europe next season. #UTT

  9.  
    Player reaction- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
    Lukas Podolski and Wojciech Szczesny

    Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski: "The Champions League is very important and we must focus on the next game to ensure that we can qualify. It was important to score before half-time and for us to get a win in a local derby.

    "The FA Cup is after the season, we leave it now and we focus on the Premier League because everyone wants to play in the Champions League. The atmosphere is amazing and it is important for the club."

  10.  
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    Yes yes yes

    Ben Hawkes: All I can say is #Champions #LutonAreBack #Champions

  11. 21:53: 

    West Ham are in 11th place after tonight's result. They are seven points above the drop zone with four games to go. They may not be mathematically safe quite yet but it would take a remarkable turn of events to send them down.

  12.  
    Manager reaction- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham
    Sam Allardyce

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce:

    "It was two errors on our part for their first two goals, at that stage we worked really hard to get 1-0 up and we worked hard throughout the game. But even after playing so well if you gift them two goals it's difficult to get a result.

    "The second half they scored from a long ball and the defending was pathetic on our account. There's no satisfaction at playing OK as football is about winning and getting results, we didn't do that tonight and all of our hard work was wasted. We knew that Arsenal had a lot of games and a lot of injuries lately and we took the pressure off them.

    "It's down to us why we lost the game and why we haven't got anything out of the game tonight."

  13.   
    Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown on 5 liveArsenal 3-1 West Ham

    "Arsene Wenger is like a father to me. But if he doesn't win a trophy and doesn't get into the Champions League there will be a lot of criticism coming his way.

    "But they can win the FA Cup and they can make the top four. No doubt."

  14.  
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    Ola in Reading: Podolski is arguably the best finisher in the Premier League. He should be playing every game. He is a victim of the demise of 4-4-2. I would play 4-1-3-2 to make sure he plays every game

  15. 21:48: 
    As it stands
    Premir League

    Arsenal are back into fourth place then - but Everton can move back ahead of them with a win against Crystal Palace tomorrow night.

  16.  
    Football League round-up
    Charlton v Barnsley

    Barnsley have got a crucial 2-1 win at Charlton as they look to kick-start their Championship survival bid, goals from Jean-Yves M'voto and Tom Kennedy ensure that the Tykes are only two points away from the Addicks at the bottom of the table. Astrit Ajdarevic got an injury-time consolation goal.

    In League One Crawley beat Tranmere 2-0 which increases the pressure on the side from the Wirral.

  17.  
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    Chris Parker: Podolski has 112 caps and 46 international goals, why is he only a bit player for Arsenal?

    George Jenkins: If we had a team of Carl Jenkinsons we'd win the league. He's an engine

  18.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 3-1 West Ham
    Lukas Podolski

    "There was a lot of pressure building on Arsene Wenger before tonight but Arsene has gone about it in the correct way, concentrating on the game and just getting the result. Arsenal were nice and solid at the back, they've got back that strong defensive line up that they had lost.

    "All in all it was a very professional performance from Arsenal. I was at the game at Wembley at the weekend and you were beginning to wonder how good this team is and tonight they've shown just how good they are."

  19. 21:41: 
    LUTON ARE PROMOTED

    Congratulations to Luton Town and their fans. Kidderminster's 2-0 win against Cambridge tonight means that the Hatters are back in the Football League.

  20. 21:38: 
    Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    The Arsenal fans who were subdued at half-time are pretty pleased with tonight's work. Lukas Podolski and Per Mertesacker throw their shirts into the crowd, before Podolski then gives his wristbands to two small children near the tunnel.

    It's over to you now Everton.

  21.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 3-1 West Ham

    "West Ham have played with a lot of energy tonight, Mo Diame has run all night and fought to keep hold of the ball and try to create something. It's the only way that Sam Allardyce sets his sides up to play. West Ham fans shouldn't be surprised about that. He's kept them in the Premier League and it's job done as far as he's concerned."

  22. 21:36: 
    FULL-TIME- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Arsenal move back into fourth.

  23. 21:34: 
    Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Antonio Nocerino hits a shot off the back of Ricardo Vaz Te and away. West Ham gave it plenty tonight but in this second half they've been no therat at all.

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    Aetesam from London: After taking the two goal lead we should have been looking to score the fourth and fifth with more vigour in my opinion. Goal difference may prove to be crucial yet.

  25.  

    BBC News sports correspondent Natalie Pirks: My friend Craig today genuinely suggested a statue of John Still should be erected outside Kenilworth road. If Jacko can get one...

  26. 21:32: 
    INJURY TIME- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Into added time. Lukas Podolski is playing a very rare 90 minutes...

  27.  
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    Danny Howell: West Ham don't have one good player do they? It's like watching a team of Kyle Naughtons.

  28. 21:29: 
    FINAL FIVE- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Into the last five minutes. Santi Cazorla comes off to a standing ovation as Carl Jenkinson comes on. Presumably not to play in the hole...

  29.  
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    Jamie Atkins: Ramsey could be the major difference in the FA cup final and run in. Major boost.

    J_Mitch: Exact repeat of Boxing Day, we score first and they score three in reply

    Rohan Passey: Kallstrom playing well. For someone who's completely new to the system he's linking up rather well. Full of energy.

  30. 21:26: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Andy Carroll comes off with seven minutes left - it's Carlton Cole on in his place. And Cole wins a header straight away, flicking one wide.

  31.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 3-1 West Ham
    Lukas Podolski

    "We talked about getting Podolski in the central areas and once he gets in to those central areas he is absolutely lethal. Arsenal have been strong at the back, you have to be brave when you play West Ham because they will hurt you and Arsenal have shown that strength tonight."

    Listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  32. 21:22: 
    Luton on the up

    Kidderminster are now 2-0 up against Cambridge so it looks like Luton's promotion will be secured tonight. Get the Babycham on ice...

  33. 21:21: 
    Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

    Aaron Ramsey looking very neat and tidy now, linking up well with Santi Cazorla nefore the Spaniard's shot is turned away.

  34. 21:19: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 3-1 West Ham - Lukas Podolski (78 mins)

    Another really neat goal for Arsenal. Olivier Giroud drifts out to the left wing, he picks out Aaron Ramsey on the edge of the box and he nods it down cleverly into the path of Lukas Podolski. The German waits and waits for the ball to sit up nicely, before hammering right through Adrian and into the net. Game over.

  35.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 2-1 West Ham

    "Arsene Wenger doesn't put any restrictions on his midfielders, you just want to see a bit more selfishness from the Arsenal players at times. It's funny how the game got quicker at this stage of the first half and the same is happening again now. Arsenal need to try to keep hold of the ball and dictate the play more because West Ham will take a chance if they're given one."

    Listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  36. 21:17: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Aaron Ramsey finds a pocket of space 22 yards out, central, but his technique deserts him for the time being and he slashes over the top.

  37.  
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    George Berry: Santi Cazorla - what a player. See why he was in the Spain squad ahead of Mata

  38.  
    Football League latest

    Barnsley have taken a big step towards all three points at the bottom of the Championship, they now lead Charlton 2-0 thanks to Tom Kennedy's goal. Crawley remain 1-0 up against Tranmere Rovers thanks to Matt Tubbs's first half goal.

    Elsewhere could Luton Town be about to end their five-year stay in the Conference? Kidderminster have gone a goal up against Cambridge United. If the score stays the same Luton will be promoted to the Football League tonight.

    I repeat - Luton are potentially 20 minutes away from promotion....

  39. 21:16: 

    Stand by for some big news, Luton fans...

  40. 21:15: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Aaron Ramsey was in the form of his life before his latest injury setback. Can he find that touch again? It could make all the difference.

  41. 21:14: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Tomas Rosicky is coming off for Arsenal as Aaron Ramsey gets a 20-minute run out.

  42.  
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    Danny Bedborough: Girwould you believe it?

  43. 21:12: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Just over 20 minutes to go then. West Ham hit a few balls in the general direction of Andy Carroll but the England man has not had much change out of Per Mertesacker all night.

  44.  
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    Martin, Edinburgh: Arsenal are 'Olivier' West Ham just now.

    That's enough now Martin...

  45. 21:10: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Yes, I missed that first time around. Olivier Giroud - like Jose Baxter at Wembley on Sunday - kissed his Hillsborough black armband in celebration.

  46.  
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    Danny Dixon: Two touches of class by Giroud, one to bring the ball down. The other to kiss the Hillsborough armband & point to the heavens.

    Andrew Smith: I personally have never had a problem, with giroud's finishing. Without him where would arsenal be? I just wish he had more pace.

  47. 21:07: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Arsenal having their best spell of the night. West Ham need to hang on and get Andy Carroll in the game. The big man has had just 28 touches all night. Olivier Giroud has had 48.

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    Alex in Leeds: Giruthless finish!

  49. 21:05: 
    YELLOW CARD- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Mohamed Diame and Kim Kallstrom exchange bookings for some midfield niggles. Tomas Rosicky then frees Santi Cazorla on the counter, he cuts inside on to his left foot and cracks a brilliant effort in from 20 yards which arcs away from Adrian and inches past the far corner...

  50. 21:03: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Lukas Podolski hits in a free-kick which forces Adrian into a flying save. Arsenal sense a chance to finish the game off as we reach the hour mark.

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    Dil Vijay, London: I reckon Giroud went on BBC Sport at half time and read all the comments.

  52. 21:02: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    To paraphrase the great Barry Davies: 'Look at his face! Just look at Olivier Giroud's face!'

    Look at him in that picture, enjoying the goal before it even goes in...

  53.  
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    Olivier Giroud

    Mark Duffell: I do hope those people criticising #giroud were watching that. What a first touch and strike that is. Proves a point perhaps

    Tom Clifton: I'm sorry Giroud!! How on earth did you just do that!! Missed a sitter and just plucked that out the air!!!

    Cam Geddes: Cracking goal by Giroud, that's how to silence the critics! First touch was heavenly

    Kevin Threadgold: put that in your pipe and smoke it, Giroud critics. Henry would have been proud of that control and finish.

  54.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 2-1 West Ham

    "You would think Olivier Giroud was on another planet, it's a brilliant touch to take it down and I'm unsure where it came from! To do that under pressure is fantastic, it came from nowhere. You talk about strikers giving you belief and hope and that is the sort of goal that gives you belief for the rest of the season. He's had his problems off the field this season but tonight he looks focused."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  55. 21:00: 
    Top four dreams- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham
    Premier League

    Arsenal are now back into fourth place as it stands. That could be a crucial goal in their season.

  56. 20:59: 
    Arsenal 2-1 West Ham

    Olivier Giroud is now up to 20 goals for the season. Not too shabby eh?

  57. 20:57: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 2-1 West Ham - Olivier Giroud (55 mins)

    What a touch! He's had plenty of stick tonight but Olivier Giroud comes up with a magnificent bit of technique to put the Gunners in front!

    A corner is cleared away, Arsenal load it back into the mixer and Giroud controls it with a touch that Dimitar Berbatov will stay up all night in Monte Carlo appreciating.

    A brilliant touch, kills the ball dead and the Frenchman then rifles low through Adrian's legs.

  58. 20:56: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Fine defending again from James Tomkins as he flicks away a Santi Cazorla cross. Arsenal will have to try something else to find a way through.

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    Ben, Cambs: Giroud was originally bought to be a second option behind RVP. Considering he was never a great player, just a good one, he's done really well. Time to buy someone better, though.

  60. 20:54: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Antonio Nocerino teases a neat ball into the middle but Andy Carroll was on his heels, he didn't anticipate it and the ball spins away to safety. Rickie Lambert won't be too worried for his World Cup place so far.

  61. 20:51: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Don't do it Mo, don't do it Mo, don't do it - ah!

    Brilliant play from Mohamed Diame originally, spinning away from Mikel Arteta 45 yards out, but then he drives forward and can't resist a 30-yarder on his left foot which ends up predictably high and wide.

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    Tom from Kent: Will Gi-rue that miss, if you pardon the pun?

    Have you spent 35 minutes coming up with that joke, Tom?

  63. 20:49: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Stewart Downing carries the ball 40 yards but wastes it with a scuffed effort into the side-netting. Downing's career in microcosm perhaps.

  64.  
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    Kilanko Adedeji: Giroud and Julio Baptista are the worst strikers Arsene Wenger has ever believed in

    Vasilis Machairidis: Podolski's link up play was horrible when tried as a striker. Giroud is key for Arsenal but he needs some rest, which only Sanogo can provide right now

  65.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 1-1 West Ham

    "I'm sure Arsene will try to crank this up now. He doesn't talk for the first 10 minutes of the half-time break but will have a plan and want to attack and get forward at pace.

    "Sam Allardyce will be happy with his team. They have attacked well and apart from the goal defended well. He will be hoping they can get the ball to Andy Carroll more in this half."

    You can listen to commentary of the second half on BBC Radio 5 live

  66. 20:47: 
    KICK-OFF- Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    No changes for Arsenal at the break then - and we are back under way.

  67. 20:46: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    'Jump Around' by House of Pain at the Emirates! Ambitious. Ambitious...

  68. 20:44: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    A draw really does Arsenal no good here. Will Arsene Wenger make changes at the break? He's not got many options available.

    Aaron Ramsey played 120 minutes at the weekend, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is not fully fit, and then there's Yaya Sanogo and Chuba Akpom.

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    Tony Cocozza: Awful from Downing. All West Ham's good work undone by one ugly swipe of Downing's boot.

    Anish: Cazorla makes this Arsenal team tick. He's been everywhere tonight.

    Zenon: Football fans do make me laugh. Giroud may not be the best but he's scored 2 goals less than 'world class' Rooney and is by far the least of Arsenal's problems.

  70.  
    Football League latest

    In the Championship Barnsley are still leading Charlton as they look to get three points that could give them hope in their battle to beat the drop. Meanwhile in League One Crawley are beating Tranmere thanks to a Matt Tubbs goal in the 37th minute.

    In the Conference Kidderminster are holding Cambridge to a 0-0 draw which means that Luton won't be promoted tonight - if that score stays the same.

  71. 20:38: 
    Better with age?- Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    A lot of people have commented on the age of Arsenal's team tonight, and it is indeed their oldest starting XI in the Premier League since May 2003.

    Tonight's line-up has an average age of 29 years 188 days, while against Leeds in 2003 it was 30 years and 18 days.

  72. 20:34: 
    Lu-Lu-Lu, Lukas Podolski!- Arsenal 1-1 West Ham
    Lukas Podolski

    Should Lukas Podolski be playing through the middle for Arsenal? Martin Keown thinks so.

    Podolski has only scored 16 league goals for the Gunners since joining from Cologne in 2012 - but he has a phenomenal record for Germany.

    The 28-year-old has got 46 international goals in 112 caps.

  73. 20:33: 
    As it stands
    Premier Leageu

    Arsenal back to within a point of Everton as it stands then - but Everton's game against Crystal Palace tomorrow looks very inviting...

  74. 20:32: 
    HALF-TIME- Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Muted applause at the Emirates, but that was a cracking last five minutes.

  75.  
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    Edward McKeon: Giroud take note, that is how you finish!

    Ben Morley: Please try Podolski upfront instead of Giroud.

  76.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 1-1 West Ham

    "Lukas Podolski is an out-and-out goal scorer and is playing on the left wing, when he gets in to the centre he can smell the goals. Arsenal need to get him in the centre more often because he's lethal in that position."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  77. 20:31: 
    Arsenal 1-1 West Ham

    Stewart Downing gives the ball away again. Sam Allardyce looks livid.

  78. 20:29: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 1-1 West Ham - Lukas Podolski (44 mins)

    West Ham cannot hold on to their lead though, and Arsenal are right back level. It's a shocker from Stewart Downing, who takes a short throw-in in his own right-back spot and plays it back across goal straight to Santi Cazorla.

    Cazorla threads the ball into Lukas Podolski's path and the German is clinical, burying a low host into the far corner. Fine finish.

  79.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 0-1 West Ham

    "Antonio Nocerino ghosts behind the Arsenal defence, you're looking and thinking there is no way they can get that in. How he's managed to get ahead and get there before all of those Arsenal shirts I do not know.

    "Matt Jarvis is making some great running off the ball tonight, Downing and Jarvis are showing a real threat when they run with the ball at the Arsenal defence. West Ham are compact and organised, they're a threat with the pace they have on the wings."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  80. 20:28: 
    Arsenal 0-1 West Ham

    Arsenal need a response and they almost get one. Kim Kallstrom bursts into the box and gets away a decent effort with his left foot but Adrian is right behind it to push it clear.

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    Sanj: Try breaking this wall now that we're 1-0 up!

    Scotty: Typical Arsenal. Don't take their chances then get punished from their mistakes.

    Abdul Said: What was Arsenal stopper doing there? Shame Arsenal.

  82. 20:27: 
    Top four hopes?- Arsenal 0-1 West Ham
    Premier League

    As it stands it's looking very good for Everton. Should Arsenal lose tonight, and Everton beat Crystal Palace tomorrow, the Toffees would be five points clear in fourth place...

  83.  
    Football League latest

    There's been a big goal in South London too, and it hasn't gone the way of Charlton as Barnsley have taken the lead through Jean-Yves Mvoto. Barnsley are still in the relegation zone but will be two points behind Charlton if they get the win tonight.

  84. 20:24: 
    GOAL- Arsenal 0-1 West Ham - Matt Jarvis (40 mins)
    Matt Jarvis scores

    Big goal for West Ham! Big goal for Arsenal! Big goal for Everton!

    Antonio Nocerino gets into the box down the right, Wojciech Szczesny saves his effort but the Italian is live to the free ball, poking it back into the six-yard box where Matt Jarvis arrives bravely to head in from off the high boot of an Arsenal defender.

  85. 20:23: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Olivier Giroud has done lots of neat things tonight, knitting the play together and linking up well with Tomas Rosicky. But he's also spurned the best chance of the game with a lazy touch. That's the way of the striker...

  86.  
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    Gareth Thomas: Giroud has scored more than Hazard, Eto'o, Rooney, Van Persie. Does that make them bad too?

    Chris Watkins: Giroud criticism is unfair. Its tough being the only (good) striker and his link up play with midfielders has been excellent

    Saikat Nandy: People criticizing Giroud forgetting his slick flicks and all those goals. With Theo and Ox mostly absence, he carried a lot

    Matthew Harris: Giroud's the single worst football player who ever lived. Football careers start from scratch at each kick-off, right?

  87. 20:21: 
    YELLOW CARD- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Soft booking here as Antonio Nocerino goes into the book after a tussle with Olivier Giroud. Those two know the finest barbers in London.

  88.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 0-0 West Ham

    "Arsenal have turned up the volume, it's much quicker and much stronger. It feels like they have pushed a button all of a sudden and are attacking with a lot more intent. Credit to West Ham though they're looking strong in defence."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  89.  
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    Adam Momoniat: MISSING: Olivier Giroud's right foot. If found just leave it, he won't use it anyway

    Sham Gallagher: Arsenal need to sell Giroud, that was horrific. How Arsenal aren't 1-0 up. It's beyond me.

    David C Lewis: are you kidding Giroud?

  90. 20:17: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Arsenal are hitting their straps. Tomas Rosicky plays a fine one-two with Olivier Giroud, the Frenchman playing in the Czech with a great pass, but Rosicky can't quite gather it in on the stretch. Arsenal still going though, Bacary Sagna far up the pitch on the right and crossing in but James Tomkins heads clear.

    Arsenal well on top.

  91.  
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    Chris, Belfast: Diame the best midfielder on the pitch so far.

    Henry: Win lose or draw, I've lost the enjoyment I should get from watching Arsenal play, nothing makes me sadder than that

    Imran, Cardiff: Whatever happens this season, Arsene Wenger is still the man. Earlier this season with a fit squad, we played scintillating football.

  92.  
    Football League latest

    It's all quiet in tonight's two Football League games. It's 0-0 between Charlton and Barnsley at The Valley where Barnsley need a win to have a realistic chance of survival. It's also goalless in League One between Crawley and Tranmere as Rovers go in search of three points that could push them closer to survival.

  93. 20:14: 
    SAVE!- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Oh dear, Olivier Giroud does the opposite of silencing his critics, amplifying them as he runs on to Santi Cazorla's pass, he's clean through but goes for a subtle flick with the outside of his left foot, barely reaching Adrian in the West Ham goal who saves easily.

    More power needed...

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    Steven Marshall: Honestly, how does Giroud get paid to play football?

    James William Dingle: Giroud is unbelievably terrible... Good enough to lead the line for maybe Palace (no offence) at best

  95. 20:13: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Better from the Gunners. Olivier Giroud starts it with a deft lay-off, Lukas Podolski plays in an early cross which is well measured for the run of Tomas Rosicky but he can't get ahead of the strong James Tomkins.

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    Nutmeg Larry: If Arsenal lose tonight and with Everton's fixtures, too much to dream of United back in the top 4 race?

  97. 20:10: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Lovely line in succinct punditry from our Christian. They really are, they are also missing Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp, Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Perry Groves.

    There's the first sign of discontent from the home crowd as Kim Kallstrom plays the ball out of play on the left. He wanted Lukas Podolski to spin in behind the West Ham defence, who are looking very comfortable.

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    Christian from York: Arsenal are clearly missing Mesut Ozil.

  99. 20:08: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    West Ham piling on the pressure, winning three corners on the spin. Per Mertesacker is earning his corn though, heading the ball out for fun before Sam Allardyce is left raging at a poor delivery from Stewart Downing. Halfway through the first half and it's the visitors who have looked the better side.

  100.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 0-0 West Ham
    Mo Diame

    "West Ham are creating plenty of chances, many of this Arsenal side are looking really tired after Saturday's FA Cup game especially in the defence. We've talked about Lukas Podolski playing centrally and it's only now he's come across to the centre, Giroud needs some help as West Ham are looking very comfortable."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  101.  
    Text us on 81111

    Raj, Wolverhampton: I can't believe there are Arsenal fans that would take the FA Cup over fourth place. The loss in revenue will only make it harder to sign players, which Wenger gets criticised for not doing.

  102. 20:03: 
    CLOSE!- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Cracking old-school stuff from West Ham. Matt Jarvis takes on and beats his man before standing up a fine cross to the back stick.

    Andy Carroll is waiting to smash in the header but Thomas Vermaelen keeps his eyes on the ball to flick it away. From the corner, Carroll picks out Mo Diame inside the area and he fires well over the bar. West Ham sense a chance here...

  103.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Timothy Lastname: Antonio Nocerino's beard is the twelfth man.

  104. 20:00: 
    YELLOW CARD- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Tomas Rosicky catches a Hammer in midfield, he is late and is in the book. Andy Carroll then gets up to meet a cross and heads over the bar. Good open start at the Emirates.

  105. 19:59: 
    CLOSE!- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Best move yet for Arsenal. Tomas Rosicky finds space in the midfield and picks out Lukas Podolski, who flashes in a striker's dream of a cross, fast and hard across the front post. Olivier Giroud doesn't know whether to head or volley it and in the end does neither. Big opportunity.

  106.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Johnny Magrinho: As good as Wenger has been for Arsenal, I'm glad he's not my manager. Quite sad when you hear yourself say that!

    Cliff B: Not a fan of Sam's football but as an Evertonian, I have to cheer his football team tonight - it makes me feel dirty.

  107. 19:56: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Without Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain this Arsenal side is lacking zip on the break. Santi Cazorla does bring the ball away down the right but support is slow to arrive and West Ham survive.

  108.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Roseanne: I'd like to think WHU can grab a cheeky point after the marathon match for Arsenal last week. Hopefully we can break top 10.

  109.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal 0-0 West Ham

    "West Ham really fancy this, you can see that already in this game. They have demonstrated that they can get in behind with the likes of Matt Jarvis and Mo Diame. All the talk has been about Arsenal but West Ham have shown their hunger and they'll want to win this game tonight."

    You can listen to commentary of Arsenal v West Ham on BBC Radio 5 live

  110. 19:54: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Can Andy Carroll sneak into the England World Cup squad? He needs some goals, and fast. But he does offer something different, without a doubt. He almost gets on the end of a deep free-kick but Per Mertesacker does brilliantly to clear.

  111. 19:51: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    More good play from Mo Diame, this time putting over a dangerous cross from the left which evades Andy Carroll in the centre, Antonio Nocerino arrives beyond the back stick but his shot is well blocked in the end. It's a pedestrian start from Arsenal.

  112.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Steven Jerjian: If Arsenal lose tonight, they can mathematically no longer win the league. Two months is a long time in football...

    Andez: RE: Patrick Johnson; Half of Arsenal's first XI is British but they are all injured!

    Dazzler: Re: Patrick - Wilshere, Walcott and Gibbs all injured; Ox and Jenkinson on the bench. Quit making a big deal over nothing.

  113. 19:49: 
    PENALTY APPEAL- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Lovely shimmy from Mo Diame sees him spin away from Kim Kallstrom. the Hammers midfielder gets a shot away which is blocked by Per Mertesacker's jaw. The West Ham fans want a handball but referee Kevin Friend is having none of it.

  114. 19:47: 
    Arsenal 0-0 West Ham
    Mark Noble and Santi Cazorla

    Slack start from both sides as Antonio Nocerino scuffs a clearance away and Arsenal then give it up cheaply. Kim Kallstrom is sitting alongside Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park for Arsenal, Santi Cazorla out on the right.

  115.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Jamie Mills O'Brien: 2-2 tonight. Carroll and Kallstrom to score.

  116. 19:45: 
    KICK-OFF- Arsenal 0-0 West Ham

    Game on.

  117.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Patrik Johnsson: So sad, not a single English footballer in that Arsenal line-up and no one seems to care

  118. 19:43: 
    Hillsborough anniversary- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)
    Arsenal in minute's silence

    Twenty-five years to the day since 96 football fans died at Hillsborough. There is a minute's silence at the Emirates as 'Arsenal remembers' is shown on the big screen.

  119.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    "You sometimes wonder what the West Ham way is. You have to go back a long time to the days of Bobby Moore and Trevor Brooking.

    "It's about evolving now, I think they will stay up, the job is done now. Sam Allardyce has done a remarkable job and he deserves respect but West Ham fans do believe that they have something in their DNA which means that they expect to play football."

  120. 19:39: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Players in the tunnel at the Emirates, Andy Carroll v Per Mertesacker could be tasty. Back stick!

  121. 19:35: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce: "If we get a point I will be absolutely delighted. We know how difficult it is.

    "We have to perform to our best. It's a local derby and our fans want to see us perform as we did against Liverpool and Sunderland."

  122.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Nick Clohessy: This is the oldest Arsenal team I've seen in ages. Giroud is the second youngest player in the starting line up, and he is 27!

  123. 19:32: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Only 15 minutes to go until kick-off but there's barely a soul in their seats at the Emirates. This may be the first 'evening sunshine' kick-off of the season. West Ham have gone for pace out wide in Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing, can they get at Thomas Vermaelen out at left-back?

  124.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Re: Josh at 19:10...

    Nick Turner: How is it United's champions league spot?

    Edd Mowbray: Arsenal are playing for Arsenal's spot. Liverpool have United's spot. Arsenal have been there for 16 yrs.

    Richard Elgar: United's CL spot looks like it's going to Liverpool. The other spot is Arsenal's!

  125. 19:26: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    West Ham will miss Kevin Nolan in midfield tonight, but his replacement Antonio Nocerino is sporting a truly magnificent beard. Honestly it's a thing of wonder. Hours, days, weeks have gone into cultivating that.

  126. 19:22: 
    Euro news

    He's been mentioned as a transfer target for just about anyone, but Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is going nowhere by the look of it.

    Borussia Dortmund have just announced that the silky playmaker has extended his contract at the Westfalenstadion until 2016. They just need to tie Jurgen Klopp down now...

  127.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Myztik Allen: No sound Arsenal fan believes in Wenger anymore. He must go ASAP. The recent FA Cup semi-final is my proof.

    Gareth Murray: @Myztik_Allen That was a semi final we won, wasn't it?

    William Kharshiing: Funnily enough, my nerves are a lot calmer knowing Källström's starting. Very cool cat indeed.

  128.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    "Arsenal pass the ball so much and that is what the manager has done for years but the difference now is he doesn't have the same pace and real quality in the final third to finish it off. Because of the injuries we now need to see if the players can step up, do they want to be a part of the future of the club or do they want to move on? I believe the manager still wants to be here and be part of the club.

    "I honestly don't think Arsene is looking from game to game. It would come as a huge surprise to him if he doesn't reach the top four.

    "He's very pragmatic, he's organised and is trying to build this side for the future. He loves his football and he doesn't assess things like we do in the media. Watching that game on Saturday I have never been more frustrated watching an Arsenal performance."

  129. 19:17: 
    Thriller at the Villa
    Paul Lambert

    The polls aren't looking good, so there's been the equivalent of a cabinet reshuffle at Villa Park this afternoon.

    Aston Villa have suspended assistant manager Ian Culverhouse and head of football operations Gary Karsa pending an internal investigation.

    Gordon Cowans moves to work and pensions, while former goalkeeper Shay Given takes energy and climate change.

    I jest, but Cowans and Given have been temporarily promoted to assist manager Paul Lambert.

    Villa have not explained why Culverhouse and Karsa were disciplined.

    Are Villa safe yet?

  130.  
    Text us on 81111

    Talk of Sanogo being the new Henry is silly. Everyone knows that Sanogo will be better! from Mrs Sanogo.

  131.   
    Martin Keown, BBC Radio 5 live, Emirates StadiumArsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    "West Ham have been magnificent in how they've turned their season around.

    "There's a lot for Andy Carroll to play for, I think it's a straight choice between him and Rickie Lambert to go to the World Cup. It's a big decision but Andy will still think he has a great chance of travelling, he will look forward to smashing in to the defenders and getting on the end of those balls in the box."

  132.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Josh: Would prefer United's Champions League spot to go to Everton rather than Arsenal. Come on you Toffees.

  133. 19:10: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)
    Arsenal

    Tonight is Kim Kallstrom's first start since Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan went toe-to-toe in November, as Portugal beat Sweden to qualify for the World Cup.

    What a game that was. Will tonight's be half as good?

  134. 19:08: 
    Complacency?- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has said his team may have been guilty of taking their place in next season's Champions League for granted.

    The Gunners have slid to fifth in the table, two points behind fourth-placed Everton going into tonight's game with West Ham.

    "Maybe yes, we felt 'that is done'," said Wenger when asked if the squad had assumed they would make the top four.

    "For many years I was sitting here and had to convince you that it was important that we were in the top four - now it is in a reverse position, you say to me 'you realise how important it is for us'.

    "It is vital to me to do it. I want this club to play in the top-level competition, and for that you want to be in the Champions League."

  135. 19:07: 

    So what you're saying there Henry, is that Yaya Sanogo is the new Thierry Henry?

  136.  
    Text us on 81111

    Henry Smith from Muswell Hill: Yaya Sanogo will be a class act. His pace is electric and his finishing will improve with time. All he needs is the support of his manager and fans. All of Arsenal's big strikers in the past took a while to get going. Gem in the making!

    Chris E: I'm a Hammer working in Amsterdam and my wife is a Gooner at home in Chelmsford, at least one of us, most likely me, will be able to sulk in peaceful solitude after the game!

  137. 19:06: 
    LINE-UPS- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Kallstrom, Rosicky, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Fabianski, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Akpom, Bellerin.

    West Ham: Adrian, Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Armero, Nocerino, Noble, Jarvis, Diame, Downing, Carroll. Subs: McCartney, Vaz Te, Taylor, Jaaskelainen, Carlton Cole, Joe Cole, Johnson.

    Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

  138.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Richard Griffiths: Arsenal have been only 2 good signings from winning the league for the last 5 years. They never correct their weaknesses.

    Arthur Fane: Can't help but feel that Kallstrom is only starting so Wenger can justify a questionable signing.

    Adrian Watters: Arsenal use the injuries excuse every year. Maybe the finger should be pointed at their medical staff and training regimes.

  139.   
    BBC Radio 5 liveRadio, Radio

    Tune in to Radio 5 live now for the build-up to tonight's game with Mark Pougatch. There is then full commentary with Conor McNamara and Martin Keown from 19:45 BST.

    Don't forget that you can also listen to that commentary from this page or via the BBC Sport app.

  140. 19:01: 
    Liverpool set for Europe- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    I know it's not really their focus any more - but a defeat for Arsenal tonight would secure a place in next season's Champions League for Liverpool.

    Get those passports at the ready Reds fans.

  141.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Charlton fan Carl Chivers: The game at Arsenal has nothing on the Championship clash tonight COYA!!!! We are staying up!!!!!

  142. 18:59: 
    Hillsborough memorial
    Anfield

    Bells have been rung 96 times across Merseyside today to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

    The bells of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Town Hall and churches in Merseyside rang at 15:06 BST during a one-minute silence.

    It marked the moment Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final at the Sheffield ground was halted on 15 April 1989 after a crush that led to the deaths of 96 fans.

    An annual memorial service was held at Anfield.

  143.  
    Text us on 81111

    Darren from Devon: Why Arsene, please spend big - buy some homegrown players as well as foreign ones make it a team to win us titles please.

  144. 18:57: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Former Arsenal manager George Graham on BBC Radio 2: "It will be a massive disappointment if Arsenal don't qualify for the Champions League, Arsene set such a high standard in his first period but slowly it has ebbed away and it is something that everyone in the club needs to look at.

    "They need to look at if the club is being run to win things or simply run to finish in the top four every season. Apart from the first game of the season they went on a fantastic run and looked potential champions, the last few months they've hit the depths. They've lost a lot of confidence and not played their normal game, there is a lack of energy and a lack of their normal rhythm.

    "The players and the manager need to roll their sleeves up and get back in the top four as soon as possible."

  145. 18:55: 
    Big night for Luton

    At the other end of the football pyramid, tonight could see the end of Luton's five-year exile from the league.

    The Hatters may have blown the chance to seal the Conference title on Saturday but their promotion will be confirmed if Cambridge - the only team who can catch them - lose at Kidderminster tonight.

    All eyes on Aggborough then...

  146. 18:54: 
    Team News- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal make five changes from the FA Cup semi-final as Kim Kallstrom makes his first start for the club.

    Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Arteta, Rosicky, Kallstrom, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud

    West Ham: Adrian, Reid, Tomkins, Jarvis, Armero, Carroll, Noble, Demel, Diame, Downing, Nocerino

  147.  
    Join the debate at #bbcfootball

    Peter Collins: Arsenal's injury list. Any team would struggle with the absences they have!

    George Platten: stats will say it went wrong when Jack Wilshere got injured. Dispute critics, after the Ozil injury, Arsenal were lacklustre

    Andy Bradley: Arsenal needed a new striker, a new wide player and legs in midfield. I believe in Arsene.

  148. 18:51: 
    Team News- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    There will be no 'chicken dancing' tonight - unless Ian Wright is relaunching his old advert - as West Ham skipper Kevin Nolan misses out. Antonio Nocerino takes his place.

  149. 18:49: 
    Football League preview

    There's one game in the Championship tonight, and it's pretty close to a 'must win' for both sides at The Valley.

    Charlton are a point above the drop zone - albeit with some games in hand - while visitors Barnsley are propping up the league and staring at a return to League One.

    A win for the Tykes though, and they could be back in business.

    In League One, Crawley host Tranmere with both sides still casting nervous glances at the relegation places.

  150. 18:45: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey: "We have achieved what we wanted in the FA Cup in getting to the final. Now we switch our focus back to the league and winning our remaining games."

  151.  
    GET INVOLVED
    Yaya Sanogo

    So Arsenal need a win tonight to keep the pressure up on Everton - who host Crystal Palace tomorrow.

    But where has it gone wrong for the Gunners this season? How on earth did they end up with Yaya Sanogo starting a Wembley semi-final? Who needs to go in the summer? Who needs to come in? Will everything be alright when Abou Diaby is fit?

    Let us know your thoughts. You can text in to 81111 (UK Only), tweet us at #bbcfootball or use the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  152. 18:39: 
    Big Sam safe?- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)
    Sam Allardyce

    West Ham fans have also seen a huge change in their side's fortunes since late January.

    Sam Allardyce was under pressure post-Christmas as the Hammers looked doomed in the bottom three but Big Sam dodged the bullet and has seen his boys prosper.

    Six wins in the last 10 have seen Allardyce's men move smoothly into midtable safety but he is not taking safety for granted. Yet.

    "The results some of the teams below us pulled off, some surprisingly, means we are not mathematically safe," Allardyce said.

    "If they then get back-to-back wins you have to look down and say we're not quite there. We've got five very tough games to go, we've got to try to pick up as many points as we can."

  153. 18:37: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Arsene Wenger was all smiles as he arrived at the Emirates, giving Gunnersaurus a warm handshake. Laurent Koscielny is in the mix too - who will Arsene pick? We shall find out soon enough.

  154. 18:34: 
    Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)

    Since beating Palace in early February, Arsenal have won just two of nine Premier League games, getting tonked at Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton in the process.

    Arsene Wenger did at least manage to see off Wigan and book an FA Cup final place at the weekend - but the wheels have well and truly come off. Can West Ham add to the misery tonight?

  155. 18:30: 
    Thursday nights at the Emirates?- Arsenal v West Ham (19:45 BST)
    Arsene Wenger

    The second of February must feel a very long time ago for Arsenal fans.

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's brace that day put the Gunners back on top of the Premier League, with Arsene Wenger's men eight points clear of plucky Liverpool and a clear 10 ahead of Everton.

    How things can change in two months. Liverpool's run of 10 straight wins has pushed them to the brink of the title, while Everton have won the last seven to move past the free-falling Gunners and into fourth place.

    Could Wenger be facing a season without Champions League football? If his side are to take a top-four spot they must win tonight...

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As It Stood Table

Last updated 15 Apr 2014 UK

Barclays Premier League summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Liverpool 34 51 77
No movement 2 Chelsea 34 42 75
No movement 3 Man City 32 54 70
Moving up 4 Arsenal 34 18 67
Moving down 5 Everton 33 22 66
No movement 6 Tottenham 34 0 60
No movement 7 Man Utd 33 18 57
No movement 8 Southampton 34 5 48
No movement 9 Newcastle 34 -14 46
No movement 10 Stoke 34 -10 43
No movement 11 West Ham 34 -9 37
No movement 12 Crystal Palace 33 -15 37
No movement 13 Hull 33 -6 36
No movement 14 Aston Villa 33 -14 34
No movement 15 Swansea 34 -5 33
No movement 16 West Brom 33 -11 33
No movement 17 Norwich 34 -27 32
No movement 18 Fulham 34 -40 30
No movement 19 Cardiff 34 -34 29
No movement 20 Sunderland 32 -25 25

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