West Ham 3-3 Arsenal: Draw helps neither in enthralling London derby
- Carroll scores 8-minute hat trick
- Arsenal led 2-0
- Gunners title hopes all but over
Arsenal and West Ham United drew 3-3 at Upton Park on Saturday in a breathtaking London derby.
The Gunners raced into a 2-0 lead as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez scored but then Andy Carroll -- making his first start in over three months -- scored a hat trick to put the Hammers ahead amid jubilant scenes.
However, Laurent Koscielny made it 3-3 late on and despite both teams going for the win neither could grab all three points.
Arsenal stay in third place and have 59 points from 32 games with their title race fading, while West Ham’s top four hopes took a hit as they have 52 points.
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West Ham started brightly as Aaron Cresswell’s volley in the opening minute was nodded just wide by Manuel Lanzini but the Argentine was in an offside position.
Soon after Carroll picked up a needless booking as he scythed down Koscielny cynically, then Lanzini knocked home after Carroll’s acrobatic effort but he was once again flagged offside but this time Hector Bellerin kept him onside and it was a bad decision from the linesman.
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Arsenal grew into the game and Ozil gave them the lead in the 18th minute as he looked to be slightly offside but dispatched Alex Iwobi’s through ball clinically. 1-0 to the Arsenal. But the Hammers were correct to feel aggrieved.
It was 2-0 before half time as confusion in the West Ham defense saw Iwobi lob the ball to Sanchez and his sublime first touch and calm finish but the Gunners 2-0 up. Carroll had a low shot saved at the second attempt by David Ospina but then right on half time the game turned on its head.
3 - Andy Carroll is the first Premier League player to score a hat-trick v Arsenal since Wayne Rooney in August 2011. Comeback.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2016
First Carroll headed home Cresswell’s perfect cross right on half time to make it 2-1 and in first half stoppage time he volleyed home acrobatically with his left foot to make it 2-2. A remarkable three minutes at the end of the first half saw West Ham surge back from 2-0 down to make it 2-2. Game well and truly on.
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At the start of the second half a major flashpoint arrived as Carroll wrestled with Koscielny in the box and Opsina came out to grab the ball but it fell to Payet who slotted home. However, the referee whistled for a foul by Carroll.
Carroll was in the thick of things once again moments later and he headed home at the back post for his and West Ham’s third goal. Pandemonium among the home fans in east London.
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Arsenal pushed hard for an equalizer after getting over the initial shock of falling behind and substitute Aaron Ramsey went close, then from the following corner Lanzini cleared Monreal’s shot off the line to keep the Hammers ahead.
With 20 minutes to go the equalizer arrived as Ozil’s pull back in the box found Koscielny in the right place at the right time and slotted home. 3-3.
Late on Payet and Cresswell forced Ospina into sprawling saves and Olivier Giroud headed wide, but that was the closest either team came to snatching all three points in a breathtaking encounter in the final London derby at Upton Park.