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ArsenalArsenal1West HamWest Ham United0

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: Alexandre Lacazette gives Gunners victory

By Steve SutcliffeBBC Sport
Alexandre Lacazette
All seven of Alexandre Lacazette’s Premier League goals this season have come in home games

Mikel Arteta says his Arsenal team are "turning the corner" after a narrow win over West Ham boosted their hopes of finishing in the Premier League top four.

Alexandre Lacazette's goal 12 minutes from time, which was confirmed by the video assistant referee, lifted the Gunners up to ninth, five points behind Chelsea in fourth.

The France forward swept a close-range effort into the bottom-left corner from Mesut Ozil's cushioned header for his third goal in four games.

And it also ensured the Gunners claimed a third straight league win at home for the first time since February 2019.

"I'm happy because big teams find a way when they aren't playing well," Arteta said.

"We are turning the corner in terms of results, but our ship still has to turn a few times more to see what we want to see. It doesn't happen overnight."

West Ham, who have now lost their past six Premier League away games, had enjoyed the better of the scoring opportunities until Lacazette's intervention and remain 16th, above the bottom three only on goal difference.

While David Moyes' side had limited possession, they took the game to their hosts, who came out of the blocks sluggishly and struggled to inject any tempo to their play.

Jarrod Bowen's early shot was tipped on to a post by Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Michail Antonio failed to score from two clear chances either side of the interval.

Greece defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos earlier went close for Arsenal - he headed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross against the bar - before Lacazette popped up with the winner.

Improvement needed from sluggish Arsenal

Since his appointment as Arsenal boss on 20 December, Arteta has lost only one league game, and appears to have injected more resilience, energy and a pattern of play into his side.

However, for large parts of this encounter the Spaniard's imprint on his team was barely visible.

Instead, they served up the sort of rudderless display - lacking in leadership, guile and pace - that led to the departure of former manager Unai Emery in November.

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: Mikel Arteta says the visitors were really good

While the outcome may have enhanced Arsenal's chances of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2016-17, Arteta suggested that his side will have to improve further to make up ground in the race for a top-four finish.

Leading scorer Aubameyang, was a peripheral figure throughout. Although the Gabon forward showed glimpses of his talent, laying on chances for Sokratis and Nicolas Pepe from wide positions, he touched the ball only twice in the Hammers' penalty area.

In midfield, Arsenal were slow and ponderous, while a defence that included on-loan Flamengo defender Pablo Mari for the first time in the top flight was repeatedly caught out by West Ham's swift counter-attacking.

The one element that pleased Arteta, is that his side found a way to grind out a victory when not at their best, with Leno excelling in goal and Ozil's intelligence coming to the fore for Lacazette's goal.

"The most important thing is to find a way to win. That is what the big clubs do," Arteta added.

"A lot of things need to improve. But let us just enjoy today. We have to take it game by game."

'I don't want us to be a hard luck story'

If this contest was between teams with disparate ambitions, West Ham's performance made it difficult to distinguish which side were struggling towards the bottom of the table.

The Hammers' tally of five points from the past 27 available may well make for uncomfortable reading but Moyes will be delighted by the way his team carried out his instructions against Arsenal.

West Ham were disciplined in defence, and the pace and power of Bowen, Sebastien Haller and Antonio ensured they carried a threat on the break.

Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: David Moyes rues missed opportunities in defeat at the Emirates

But for some errant finishing and wayward final passes, they could have claimed a notable scalp and three precious points.

Bowen's early effort which grazed the right-hand post was a precursor of what was to follow, with Haller and Antonio denied by Leno when well placed and the latter also flicking a close-range shot wide just before the break.

"The opportunities were there to win and we didn't take them," Moyes said.

"I don't want us to be a hard luck story. I told my players I thought they played well but let's get rid of that tag. We can't let that happen again. We have got to be more ruthless. At this stage, I would rather we had not played well and won."

Man of the match - Bernd Leno (Arsenal)

Bern Leno
Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno made several telling saves before his team scored the winning goal

Arsenal extend unbeaten run - the stats

  • Arsenal are unbeaten in eight Premier League matches (W4 D4), the longest current run in the competition.
  • West Ham have lost their past six Premier League away games, their longest run on the road since a run of eight defeats between August and December 2006.
  • Arsenal have kept three clean sheets in their past four league games, as many as they had in their previous 23.
  • Since the start of last season, Arsenal have scored 16 league goals via substitutes, more than any other side in the competition. Alexandre Lacazette has scored four, more than any other player.
  • West Ham manager David Moyes has never won at Arsenal in 16 attempts (D4 L12), a Premier League record.

What's next?

Arsenal's next Premier League fixture is at Manchester City on Wednesday (19:30 GMT), while West Ham host Wolves in their next Premier League game on 15 March (14:00).

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 5PapastathopoulosBooked at 63mins
  • 23David Luiz
  • 22Marí
  • 77Saka
  • 8Ceballos
  • 34Xhaka
  • 19PépéSubstituted forNelsonat 69'minutes
  • 10ÖzilSubstituted forBellerínat 89'minutes
  • 14Aubameyang
  • 30NketiahSubstituted forLacazetteat 59'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Bellerín
  • 9Lacazette
  • 24Nelson
  • 26Martínez
  • 28Willock
  • 29Guendouzi
  • 35Martinelli

West Ham

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Fabianski
  • 52Ngakia
  • 23Diop
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 3Cresswell
  • 17BowenSubstituted forSnodgrassat 90'minutes
  • 16NobleSubstituted forSoucekat 81'minutes
  • 41Rice
  • 18FornalsBooked at 9minsSubstituted forFelipe Andersonat 87'minutes
  • 30AntonioBooked at 90mins
  • 22Haller

Substitutes

  • 4Balbuena
  • 5Zabaleta
  • 8Felipe Anderson
  • 10Lanzini
  • 11Snodgrass
  • 28Soucek
  • 35Randolph
Referee:
Martin Atkinson
Attendance:
60,335

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home69%
Away31%
Shots
Home9
Away14
Shots on Target
Home2
Away6
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 1, West Ham United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 1, West Ham United 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal).

  4. Post update

    Jeremy Ngakia (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Reiss Nelson (Arsenal).

  6. Post update

    Michail Antonio (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Booking

    Michail Antonio (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  8. Post update

    Dani Ceballos (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Michail Antonio (West Ham United).

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Reiss Nelson (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Alexandre Lacazette.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Robert Snodgrass replaces Jarrod Bowen.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Marí (Arsenal).

  13. Post update

    Sébastien Haller (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Héctor Bellerín replaces Mesut Özil.

  15. Post update

    Offside, West Ham United. Michail Antonio tries a through ball, but Sébastien Haller is caught offside.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Felipe Anderson replaces Pablo Fornals.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pablo Fornals (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Aaron Cresswell with a cross.

  18. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Reiss Nelson.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pablo Fornals (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sébastien Haller (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jarrod Bowen with a cross.

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