Irons flattened by the Gunners
Written By: Robert Halter
It was another London derby for West Ham United and Arsenal as they met at the Boleyn Ground for an early evening kick off beginning of October. Last time out was a role reversal for both clubs in the Premier League, as the Hammers secured a 2-1 away win at Queens Park Rangers while the Gunners went down by the same score line at home to Chelsea, the result lifted the Irons to seventh in the table, leaving Arsenal a place below prior to the start of the match. Jussi Jaaskelainen was called into action during the opening minute and a half, when he had to turn behind for a corner a low drive from Olivier Giroud. But it was the Hammers that scored first on twenty one minutes, when from the left side of the penalty area Mohamed Diame cut inside Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson and from an acute angle Diame hit an unstoppable effort that flew into the right hand side of the net as the claret and blue army took the lead against the run of play. A solid catch by Vito Mannone kept out an Andy Carroll header from Mark Noble’s corner in the thirty first minute, as West Ham pressed up field again. Although it was the Gunners that found a way back into the match on forty one minutes when Diame lost the ball out to Giroud just inside the centre of the park, and when Podolski was fed out on the left wing, he supplied a cross to Giroud, who stuck a leg out to put the ball into the heart of the goal. West Ham went close just before the break after Gervinho fouled Noble, whose free kick found Carroll, and his downward header was driven wide by Hammers captain Kevin Nolan. The Irons were delivered a hammer blow on sixty minutes, when Ricardo Vaz Te was injured when colliding into Mannone and he was replaced by Matt Taylor. Five minutes later, a back heel by second half substitute Theo Walcott, found Giroud, but the pass was too long as Giroud put the ball into the side netting. Within a minute Carroll could have restored the Irons lead as he won the aerial battle with Mannone but his header went agonisingly wide. A drilled left footed shot from Podolski was tipped round the post by Jaaskelainen on seventy one minutes, as the Gunners looked for a second goal but they did not have to wait too long as Arsenal opened up the West Ham defence on seventy six minutes, when Giroud threaded the ball through to Walcott, who set off with pace and produced an instinctive finish by driving the ball past Jaaskelainen, into the right side of the goal. Nolan then wasted a chance as he ballooned the ball over in the Arsenal penalty area. Per Mertesacker went close for the Gunners on eighty minutes, as on the turn his effort was deflected narrowly wide. Although the Gunners sealed victory three minutes later with a crowning moment for Santi Cazorla, who with a sublime finish he bent the ball around James Collins, towards the right hand side of the net, to capitalise on a neat lay off by Walcott and put Arsenal in the driving seat at 3-1 up. Giroud could have added a fourth within moments but put his shot wide of the target. Mannone had one more duty to carry out a minute from normal time with a full length save to stop a well struck ball by Taylor from outside the area. Giroud went close again in stoppage time but his effort was blocked by Jaaskelainen, after Cazorla had instigated the move, although the job had now been complete with the Gunners storming to victory.