Olivier Giroud scores his fifth goal in as many games against West Ham to secure three points for the Gunners, and close the gap on Manchester City for second place after their 1-0 defeat to Burnley this evening.
Arsenal dominated the first half, and were denied a stonewall penalty when Theo Walcott was brought down by James Collins just in front of the keeper.
The English winger demonstrated how rusty he was in his third league start this season as he missed a few other clear cut chances too, despite making quality runs forward.
Some fine saves from Adrian denied Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez goals, but a lovely piece of work on the stroke of half time between the aforementioned German, Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud saw the Frenchman hammer a belter past the impressive Hammers goalkeeper off the woodwork.
Özil cooly played the ball into the box for Aaron Ramsey who took it in his stride and Giroud took over from there, lashing the ball into the net.
West Ham started the second half on the front foot, with Matt Jarvis coming close and Sakho posing a threat. However, Arsenal got that goal they needed to kill the game off in the 81st minute when a throw came into Giroud who dummies it for Ramsey to knock it back to Arsenal’s target man, and he created space for Ramsey to side foot home.
West Ham looked to go for it consequently, and Wenger brought on Flamini for Özil to add a more defensive balance to the side. However, to everyone’s surprise (including his own I am sure!), it was the French defensive midfielder who got Arsenal’s third with his first touch.
Santi Cazorla linked well with Giroud and crossed across goal to find Flamini at the far post for a tap in his first goal in twelve months.
It rounded off what was a good day for Arsenal, with City dropping three points and opening up the race for second.
Arsene Wenger praised his side, calling it an “important and convincing win”. He acknowledged that despite the weak period at the start of the second half, his side’s metal strength secured concentration and firmly established themselves as the winners.
Here’s hoping to a miracle in Monaco now, folks. Have a good weekend.