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In Focus: Ljungberg vs. Pellegrini as Arsenal defeat West Ham

In Focus: Ljungberg vs. Pellegrini as Arsenal defeat West Ham
© Reuters
Freddie Ljungberg sealed a maiden win in charge of Arsenal after an improved second-half display at West Ham.

Three goals in the space of nine second-half minutes saw Arsenal win in the Premier League for the first time since October and give interim boss Freddie Ljungberg a maiden victory in charge after a 3-1 triumph at West Ham.

Manuel Pellegrini looked set for a second success in three games after Angelo Ogbonna’s 38th-minute goal, but the hosts capitulated following the interval at London Stadium.

Here, the PA news agency takes a closer look at how managers Pellegrini and Ljungberg fared on Monday evening.

Team Selection

After a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton last time out, Ljungberg was brave and made four changes – later five after Hector Bellerin suffered an injury in the warm-up – with Gabriel Martinelli handed a first Premier League start.

Record-signing Nicolas Pepe was also included from the off along with Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney while Ainsley Maitland-Niles was summoned just before kick-off to slot into the right-back role.

The Swede boldly dropped Alexandre Lacazette and David Luiz to the bench and saw young guns Pepe and Martinelli inspire a second-half comeback.

Pellegrini was boosted by the return of Michail Antonio and opted for his physicality up top, with Sebastien Haller among the substitutes, but left it too late to bring the £45million striker on.

Crowd Reception

West Ham United v Arsenal – Premier League – London Stadium
Manuel Pellegrini was booed by the home faithful (Adam Davy/PA)

It took the visiting supporters 28 minutes before they serenaded Ljungberg with ‘we love you Freddie’ but rival boss Pellegrini was not afforded any chants from the home fans.

Half-time was a different story with the Arsenal faithful booing after an insipid display by the Gunners which saw them trailing by one goal at the break.

But Martinelli’s strike on the hour mark changed everything and the away fans were singing ‘we are staying up’ six minutes later and did not stop until full time.

For Pellegrini and West Ham on the other hand, his decision to withdraw Felipe Anderson in the 70th minute resulted in him being booed and they would have been louder at the end of the game had the stadium not been virtually empty.

Touchline demeanour

West Ham United v Arsenal – Premier League – London Stadium
Freddie Ljungberg was well received by the Arsenal fans (Adam Davy/PA)

The experienced Pellegrini was animated early on and so was opposite number Ljungberg, who had problems by the half an hour mark when Tierney was forced off with a shoulder injury.

The stoppage gave the Gunners interim boss time for chats with Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, although it failed to have the desired effect.

West Ham opened the scoring when Ogbonna’s effort deflected in. Pellegrini jumped out of his seat and fist pump, but three minutes later he had his head in his hands when Pablo Fornals failed to pick out Antonio inside the area.

The Chilean was continuously patrolling the touchline and showed his frustration with Arthur Masuaka early into the second half when the substitute took his time to get ready to come on and replace the injured Aaron Cresswell.

He was even more unhappy when Arsenal found an equaliser, but Ljungberg wanted more and got his wish when Pepe curled home to make it 2-1.

The one-time West Ham winger shared a hug with the record signing when he was replaced with two minutes left and the boss received applause from the away fans after, with the Gunners taking a small step in the right direction.

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