Live Commentary: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United - as it happened

Live Commentary: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United - as it happened
© Getty Images
Find out how Arsenal got the better of West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium with Sports Mole's text updates.

Arsenal recorded their fifth Premier League win on the bounce thanks to a 3-0 victory over London rivals West Ham United this afternoon.

The deadlock was broken just before the break by Olivier Giroud, before late goals from Aaron Ramsey and substitute Mathieu Flamini made sure of the outcome.

Find out how the encounter unfolded with Sports Mole's minute-by-minute text updates below.


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2.02pmAfternoon all. So after the FA Cup quarter-finals last weekend, it's back to Premier League matters. Here, we have an all-London affair between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium. The first meeting between these two sides at Upton Park earlier in the season was entertaining, so let's hope this one follows suit.

2.03pmFirst of all, though, let's take a look at the team news, starting with the hosting Gunners.

2.04pmARSENAL XI: Ospina; Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Coquelin, Ramsey; Walcott, Ozil, Sanchez; Giroud

2.05pmARSENAL SUBS: Szczesny, Gibbs, Bellerin, Flamini, Cazorla, Welbeck, Akpom

2.08pmThere may be doubts over his contract situation with Arsenal, but Theo Walcott is handed a start by Arsene Wenger. He's come into the team at the expense of Danny Welbeck, while Santi Cazorla has also dropped out, with Aaron Ramsey taking his place in the heart of midfield. There is also a change at right-back, with Calum Chambers coming in for Hector Bellerin.

2.09pmAnd now for the Hammers...

2.10pmWEST HAM XI: Adrian; O'Brien, Collins, Kouyate, Cresswell; Song, Noble, Nolan, Jarvis, Downing; Sakho

2.11pmWEST HAM SUBS: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Onariase, Poyet, Cullen, Amalfitano, Nene

2.14pmSam Allardyce has made four changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Chelsea last time out, one of which has seen the injured Winston Reid drop out. Fellow centre-back James Tomkins is also injured, which means that Cheikhou Kouyate will fill in at the back alongside James Collins. Carl Jenkinson, who is on loan from Arsenal, is not permitted to feature, while Enner Valencia is absent with a foot problem that he sustained standing on a broken cup.

2.18pmIncidentally, there are couple of names on that West Ham bench that you may not be familiar with. Due to injuries, homegrown youngsters Emmanuel Onariase and Josh Cullen have been included by Allardyce.



2.21pmRight, let's hear from West Ham defender Collins shall we? He will be playing alongside Kouyate, who is normally a midfield player.

Speaking to Premier League Productions moments ago, he said: "Tonks got injured in training unfortunately so Cheik will come in at the back. He's played there a few times and done very well. It's a new partnership for us and we know it'll be tough against a team of Arsenal's quality, so we'll have to be on our toes."


2.24pmThis is also bound to be a big afternoon for Alex Song, who is returning to the Emirates Stadium, having made 227 appearances for Arsenal before his departure to Barcelona in 2012.

Speaking to West Ham's official website, the loanee midfielder said: "They are one part of my life and, because I went there when I was 17, I always say it is my family.

"Today, though, I am focused on West Ham and I want to make the fans happy. I want to play this game and give my best to help the team to win and come back to winning.

"I know this is a special game for me, but that's football and I have to take all the emotion out and just try to play my game and play the best football I can to help the team to win."

Then Arsenal midfielder Alex Song in action on July 29, 2012© Getty Images


2.28pmSo, when you look at the Arsenal side, who is going to win them the match today? Giroud perhaps? Sanchez or Ozil? Well, Wenger has in fact pinpointed his full-backs as potential key players - remember, Monreal got his name on the scoresheet at Old Trafford on Monday.

"When you look back at the positive results of the team you always realise that you have great full backs," the manager That is a vital part in any successful team," he told the official matchday programme.

"Today they are dangerous going forward, they have crucial, important decisions to make defensively, and they contribute in a reliable way to the defensive efficiency. It's probably one of the most important positions in the team."


2.32pmIn terms of Premier League form heading into this contest, the two teams couldn't be much further apart. Of their last eight outings, Arsenal have won seven - including their last four. During that time they've scored a highly impressive 19 goals.

2.36pmAs for Allardyce's Hammers, they are without a win in six, losing three of those. This is actually their fourth London derby in a row, having drawn with Spurs and lost to Crystal Palace and Chelsea. Going further back, it's just one win in 12. It seems right now that following a promising start, during which they beat the likes of Man City and Liverpool, West Ham's season is stuttering towards a conclusion.

2.40pmSo, what does a win mean today? Well, for Arsenal, they would move to within a point of second-placed Man City, who take on Burnley this evening. They'd also be just six points adrift of leaders Chelsea. Meanwhile, depending on results elsewhere, three points could potentially send West Ham up to eighth. It might reignite their season as well - it certainly needs a kick-start.

2.43pmWant to see the Arsenal players heading out to warm-up? Of course you do!



2.47pmPREDICTION: What is going to happen out there today then? On current form, it should be a routine victory for Arsenal. Will they have one eye on Monaco on Tuesday evening? That is perhaps one source of optimism for West Ham. Even so, it's hard to look beyond the Gunners just squeezing out a victory. Let's go for 1-0, with Sanchez, who has scored only one goal in his last nine outings, finding the net.

2.51pmAnd here's another reason to be optimistic if you're a West Ham fan as we approach the start of the match. Back in 2007, the Hammers became the first away side to win at the Emirates Stadium when Bobby Zamora lobbed in for a 1-0 victory. Collins and Noble were both in the West Ham side that day:


2.55pmRight, the players are now in the tunnel and are preparing to make their way out on to the pitch. Not long now until we get underway at the Emirates.

1 minKICKOFF! Hosting Arsenal get us off and running in North London.

5 minCHANCE! With five minutes gone, Arsenal should be 1-0 in front. Walcott is found all alone inside the West Ham area, but he delays his shot, which allows Collins to get back to snuff out the danger. That's a big opening for Arsenal.

9 minFantastic break from Arsenal, which starts with Koscielny inside his own area. The ball is eventually worked to Sanchez, but the Chilean's shot is well blocked by an alert O'Brien. It's been a positive start from the home side.

14 minSo far, West Ham have posed very little of an attacking threat. At the other end, though, they are well organised and but for that Walcott chance, they've been tight. Arsenal are actually struggling to break them down at present.

16 minSAVE! And just as I say that, Arsenal create a chance! Chambers sends over a good cross from the right for Sanchez, who sends a downward header goalwards. There's plenty of power on the effort, but Adrian scampers across his line to push the ball behind for a corner.

20 minSome potentially bad news for West Ham because Nolan is limping and looks to be in some discomfort. Might not be long until he comes off.

23 minCHANCE! But Nolan, who is still in pain, almost scores! Jarvis finds himself with time and space on the left wing. His cross picks out Nolan on the edge of the box and his instant half-volley is heading for the bottom corner. Ospina, though, just gets down in time to parry clear the danger.

26 minWest Ham are starting to get a little bit of joy down Arsenal's right hand side. Chambers is caught out of position once again and Jarvis pounces. His cross is a good one, but on this occasion Koscielny heads away.

28 minSAVE! Meanwhile, up the other end, Chambers is proving to be a threat. His cross finds Ramsey, who meets the ball on the volley. It's not the cleanest of connections from the Welshman, but he still forces Adrian to tip the ball over the bar.

33 minSAVE! More work for Adrian, this time to deny Walcott. The winger gets in behind the West Ham defence, but the shot is too close to the West Ham goalkeeper, who makes a routine save.

35 minSAVE! Adrian certainly wants his clean sheet bonus! Fantastic passing from Arsenal eventually finds Ramsey, who crosses towards the back post. Sanchez chests the ball down, before launching a half-volley towards the near post. Most of those inside the ground think the ball is heading in, but Adrian flies across his goal to push clear.

37 minBOOKING! And moments after he's denied a goal, Sanchez goes into the book for deliberate handball. Replays show that had he gone in with his head, he may well have scored!

41 minAfter those string of Adrian saves, the pace of this game has settled down somewhat. From West Ham's point of view, it's important that they don't concede before the break.

44 minCHANCE! It's not been the greatest of first halves for Walcott. Adrian again stands firm, this time to Ozil. The ball rebounds into the path of Walcott, but as he aims to fire in the rebound from a tight angle, he looses his footing and shoots horribly wide of the target.

45 minThere will be one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half.

45+1 minGOAL! ARSENAL 1-0 WEST HAM (GIROUD)

45+1 minWhat a great time that is to score for Arsenal and it comes from more lovely passing football from the Gunners. Walcott collects Ozil's pass forward inside the area, but instead of advancing, he leaves it for Giroud, who powers his shot into the far corner of Adrian's net. He's been in great form today, but the West Ham keeper had no chance with that strike. That's five goals in five outings against the Hammers for Giroud.

45+2 minHALF-TIME: ARSENAL 1-0 WEST HAM

3.49pmMoments after the Giroud goal, the whistle goes for the break and it's Arsenal that lead following an opening 45 minutes that they largely dominated.

3.53pmIt seemed that it was going to be a frustrating opening 45 minutes for the home team. Yes, they dominated, but a combination of wayward finishing and some smart stops by Adrian made it look as though they were not going to make the most of their pressure. The goal form Giroud changes the outlook, though, and could have a positive impact heading into the second half.

3.57pmAs for West Ham, they are going to have change their outlook now if they are to get anything from this game. Aside from one shot by Nolan, they've barely posed a threat in the attacking third. At some stage, more players are going to have be committed forward, which admittedly will leave gaps further back for Arsenal to exploit. Unfortunately for the away team, they have little choice.

3.59pmMATCH ACTION! Perhaps West Ham can have some more joy down their left? After all, Jarvis has caused Chambers some problems so far.

Matthew Jarvis of West Ham United is closed down by Calum Chambers of Arsenal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2015© Getty Images


46 minRESTART! West Ham, who trail 1-0, get us back underway in North London. Here's some reason for hope - West Ham have scored at least one goal in their last five meetings with Arsenal.

50 minThere's some indecision in the Arsenal defence as Jarvis, who has switched to the right flank, swings over a cross. Sakho and Ospina both go for the ball, but neither make significant contact. Koscielny eventually hacks the ball clear, but it was a worrying moment for the hosts.

54 minDanny Welbeck is going through his paces on the touchline. It might not be long until we see the Arsenal striker introduced into the action.

59 minCHANCE! A huge opening for West Ham as Arsenal fail to clear Downing's corner. The ball drops kindly for Jarvis 10 yards from goal, but with a number of bodies between himself and the goal, the winger flashes his shot wildly over the crossbar.

61 minREF CHANGE! I mentioned a moment ago that Welbeck was getting warm, but the first switch of the match is actually made by the officials! Referee Chris Foy limps off and he is replaced by Anthony Taylor.

65 minTo be fair to West Ham, they've been the better side in the second half. Having said that, they still need to get more support up to Sakho. On a couple of occasions he's found himself in threatening positions, but a lack of help has resulted in the situations fizzling out.

66 minARSENAL SUB: And here comes Welbeck, who takes the place of the quiet Sanchez. Welbeck scored his last Premier League goal against West Ham back in December.

70 minCHANCE! Why Ozil has not had a shot 10 yards from goal, only he knows. Instead, he finds Walcott at the back post, who cuts the ball back for Ramsey with his head. By this point West Ham have got men back behind the ball and the Welsh midfielder shoots wide, whereas moments before, Ozil had a clear sight of goal! That's a strange one.

72 minARSENAL SUB: Second change of the game for the Gunners and it's Walcott that comes off, with the popular Cazorla taking his place.

76 minWEST HAM SUB: And now it's West Ham's turn to make an alteration as Jarvis jogs off. On comes Morgan Amalfitano, who recently signed a new deal to remain with the East Londoners.

79 minBOOKING! It's a yellow card for Sakho for leaning with his elbow in a challenge with Koscielny. Replays show that it was the correct decision by referee Taylor.

81 minGOAL! ARSENAL 2-0 WEST HAM (RAMSEY)

81 minWhat a way to seal the three points! Giroud and Ramsey exchange passes inside the area, freeing the latter to fire beyond the reach of Adrian from 12 yards out. That's a great finish from Ramsey and it's a fourth goal of the season in the Premier League for him. Arsenal will close the gap on City in second to just one point.

83 minSUBS: A change apiece for both sides as Noble comes off for West Ham, with Nene taking his place. Meanwhile, Flamini has replaced Ozil for the home side.

84 minGOAL! ARSENAL 3-0 WEST HAM (FLAMINI)

84 minThat's Flamini's first touch! It's more fantastic football on the edge of the West Ham box by Arsenal. Cazorla then springs the offside trap, before passing the ball across the face of goal. Rushing in at the back post is Flamini, who fires in from close range to score his first goal in a year.

88 minIt's now all Arsenal, who are passing the ball around at will. It seems that West Ham are just hoping that the final whistle will be blown shortly!

90 minThere will be three minutes of stoppage time at the end of this encounter.

90+3 minFULL TIME: ARSENAL 3-0 WEST HAM

4.52pmThere goes the whistle and it's a deserved victory for Arsenal, who win for the fifth time in a row in the Premier League. As far as Champions League qualification is concerned, they look like certainties right now.

4.56pmMeanwhile, it's another game without a win for West Ham. Their season is fizzling out fast at present and they stay 10th.

4.57pmAnd that is all we have time for from the Emirates Stadium. Thanks for joining us this afternoon and be sure to stick with Sports Mole for all the analysis, player ratings and match reaction. Until next time, goodbye.

Danny Welbeck of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Hector Bellerin and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal after scoring his team's second goal during the FA Cup Quarter Final match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on March 9, 201
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