Arsenal blow another 2-0 lead, draw at West Ham as title hopes take a hit
LONDON – Arsenal blew a 2-0 lead for the second game running, as they drew 2-2 at West Ham and their Premier League title hopes took another hit.
WEST HAM vs ARSENAL FULL MATCH REPLAY
After letting a 2-0 lead slip at Liverpool last week, Mikel Arteta’s young side are wilting at precisely the wrong time.
Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard both scored inside the first 10 minutes as the Gunners were flying early on but a first half Said Benrahma penalty kick flipped the momentum.
Moments after Bukayo Saka had missed a penalty kick to put Arsenal 3-1 up early in the second half, West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen made it 2-2 and the Hammers looked the more likely to win it late on.
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The point puts West Ham on to 31 as they inch further away from the relegation zone.
Arsenal are now on 74 points and have a four-point lead over Manchester City but the latter have a game in-hand and if they win that and beat Arsenal in their massive showdown on April 26, they will go two points clear at the top of the table.
Pure boredom behind Gunners blowing 2-0 leads
Arsenal were so dominant in the first half it was scary. They went 2-0 up inside 10 minutes and looked like they would score with every attack. But a pattern is emerging. All season long they’ve scored early in games and rode that euphoria to victories. But now they’re stuttering when they go 2-0 up. Why? Boredom. Plain and simple. Thomas Partey was getting bored with having so much of the ball and so much space that he switched off and allowed Declan Rice to win it back. That led to Gabriel making a poor challenge to give West Ham the penalty for their first goal. They then allowed one long ball over the top to find a completely unmarked Jarrod Bowen to make it 2-2. How does that happen?
These sloppy defensive mistakes are creeping back in to Arsenal’s game and they have been there all season. Perhaps missing William Saliba and Oleksandr Zinchenko is having a bigger impact than we thought? After all, Arsenal have a small squad and Arteta has run them into the ground this season, focusing on keeping them together while the chemistry has been so good. Perhaps he is now paying the price for Arsenal being so good for so much of the season that he didn’t feel the need to rotate his team? Fatigue mixed with boredom is why they are crumbling in games to hand Man City the initiative in the title race.
Stars of the show; West Ham vs Arsenal player ratings
Declan Rice: After a slow start, dominated midfield and dragged the Hammers back into the game. He will
Martin Odegaard: Started superbly with a hand in the first goal and scored a beauty himself. Faded a little but still oozed class.
Jarrod Bowen: A fine finish for his goal and never stopped running. Gave Rob Holding and Gabriel and torrid time.
Mikel Arteta reaction: Arsenal ‘can only blame ourselves’
“Very disappointed because the way we started was superb again and we had the game in total control. Then we can only blame ourselves. We lost that purpose to really attack them and threaten their goal. We gave them hope and conceded a terrible penalty. Then credit to [West Ham]. They started to play their way.
“What we did in the second half with changes, it wasn’t enough. A crucial moment at 2-1, you have a penalty to put It 3-1 is a different game. Two minutes later, you concede a goal.”
On Bukayo Saka’s missed penalty: “Any player who takes penalties misses penalties [sometimes]. I haven’t known anybody who doesn’t and still we should’ve done things much better.”
Martin Odegaard reaction: Arsenal gave West Ham what it wanted
“A lot of the same things to last week, started well but then we stopped, allowed them to play on their qualities. We gave them the game they wanted, we gave them hope, and that’s on us. We have to look forward now. We started to do a lot of stupid things on the ball, we allowed them to play on the long balls.”
On their table lead being down to four points: “We have to remember we are still top of the league with everything in our own hands. The same mindset, same mentality to make sure we win the next one.”
After hosting Gent in the second leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League quarterfinal on Thursday, West Ham head to Bournemouth on Sunday, April 23 in a massive relegation six-pointer.
Arsenal host bottom side Southampton on Friday, April 21.
How to watch West Ham vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time
Kick off: 9am ET, Sunday TV channel: USA Network Online: Stream via NBCSports.com
West Ham vs Arsenal live analysis! - By Joe Prince-Wright at London Stadium
FULL TIME: West Ham 2-2 Arsenal - What a comeback from the Hammers and the Gunners will be kicking themselves. They were 2-0 up and cruising, again. Will this draw cost them the title? There is still a long way to go but this feels like a crucial moment in the title race.
🤯 Arsenal blow a 2-0 lead for the 2nd game on the trot as West Ham roared back. What a game here in east London!— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) April 16, 2023
Recap, analysis, reaction + video highlights ➡️ https://t.co/GQt5A3pMdR
My thoughts on West Ham vs Arsenal ⤵️ #WHUFC #AFC pic.twitter.com/IYBW2XW5ca
5 minutes of stoppage time. Eddie Nketiah is on. Cane he be the hero?
POST! Michail Antonio hits the post with a header. So close to a third for West Ham!
Jarrod Bowen gets in behind but Arsenal block his effort, then Ramsdale is brave to clear out the corner. The home fans are getting right behind their team here. 10 minutes to go...
Jorginho and Leandro Trossard are on for Arsenal. Gabriel Jesus and Thomas Partey are off. Can the January signings have a big impact?
CLOSE! So close to for Arsenal. A cross flashes just past Gabriel Jesus who was ready to tap in.
This is all West Ham now. Wow. Who saw this coming!? Martin Odegaard is furiously waving his hands around, trying to get Arsenal to calm down and regain some control.
GOALLLL! West Ham 2-2 Arsenal - Moments after Bukayo Saka missed a penalty kick to put Arsenal 3-1 up, West Ham have equalized. This is crazy. A lovely finish from Jarrod Bowen and Arsenal have coughed up a 2-0 lead for the second week in a row. What a game!
PENALTY to Arsenal! After a handball in the box by Michail Antonio as he blocked Gabriel’s shot, a penalty kick is given to Arsenal... but Bukayo Saka misses it! He puts the ball well wide. What a missed opportunity for Arsenal.
We are back underway and the hosts are pushing for an equalizer.
HALF TIME: West Ham 1-2 Arsenal - A stunning start from the Gunners as Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard were both on target but the Hammers have found their feet and Said Benrahma’s penalty kick has made this a game. What a turnaround from the opening 10 minutes. Surely Arsenal aren’t going to chuck away another 2-0 lead, right? Right!?
CLOSE! Lucas Paqueta, who has been really good in recent weeks, smashes a shot over. Arsenal totally flat. West Ham are purring after that goal. Who saw this coming!?
SAVEEE! Aaron Ramsdale tips over a header from Michail Antonio, who just couldn’t get enough power on it. The Hammers having a real go here. A corner is then whipped in and Ramsdale was not convincing as he tried to punch clear.
GOALLLL! Said Benrahma slots home the penalty kick and after all of that Arsenal dominance, it is 2-1 and the home fans are loving it. Game on.
Penalty to West Ham! Lucas Paqueta taken down by Gabriel in the box. Declan Rice wins the ball back against Thomas Partey and finds Paqueta. Clumsy from Gabriel.
“You’ve only come to see the Arsenal!” sing the away fans. To be fair, why wouldn’t you? The way they are playing right now is absolutely scintillating. The next song from Arsenal’s fans: “Are you Tottenham in disguise?” Banter.
This is going to be a longgggg outing for West Ham now. They are already chasing the ball a lot and this huge pitch must look twice as big for the West Ham players now.
What a DREAM start for Arsenal. Absolutely perfect response to those dropped points at Liverpool last weekend.
GOALLLL! West Ham 0-2 Arsenal - Martin Odegaard with a lovely volleyed finish at the back post after a great ball from Martinelli. He was wide open!? Less than 10 minutes on the clock. Wow. Ruthless from the Gunners.
GOALLL! West Ham 0-1 Arsenal - Gabriel Jesus taps home after a lovely move. Odegaard slots in Ben White and he crosses for Jesus to tap home. Brilliant Arsenal goal.
KICK OFF! We are underway at London Stadium. Fantastic atmosphere here. Decent start from the hosts too, who want a penalty for a handball on Rob Holding but nothing is given. Holding’s arm was down by his side.
Some analysis from our crew here, as they focus on how Arsenal should be feeling as the intense title race cranked up a few more notches this weekend.
The atmosphere is bubbling up (pardon the pun!) nicely here. Arsenal players are looking sharp in their warm ups.
Turns out the whispers were correct. Tierney is in for Zinchenko at left back, while Eddie Nketiah is back in the squad. There are a host of changes for the Hammers, with eight players coming in and only Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen and Vladimir Coufal staying in the starting lineup.
🚨 Welcome to London Stadium!— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) April 16, 2023
West Ham vs Arsenal, a massive derby game and crucial for both in their respective campaigns.
Live analysis on #WHUFC v #AFC + stream link, video highlights & much more ➡️ https://t.co/bwwBS2GVTm pic.twitter.com/klCzkBYUBN
Arsenal will of course want to regain their six-point lead atop the Premier League table after City cut it to just three, while West Ham are scrapping against relegation and are just three points above the drop zone heading into this game.
Welcome to east London for this huge London derby! Just 4.8 miles separate these clubs (Arsenal and Spurs are 4.4 miles apart) so they are big rivals and there is no love lost between these sets of fans. In the bustling press room in the bowels of London Stadium there are whispers floating around that Oleksandr Zinchenko may not be fit to start due to a groin injury so Kieran Tierney is likely to come in.
Key storylines & star players
Arsenal’s seven game winning streak came to a screeching halt last time out, as their 2-0 lead over Liverpool turned into a disappointing (and slightly worrying) 2-2 draw at Anfield — the Gunners’ first wobble of the run-in. Before their colossal clash with Manchester City on April 26 (3 pm ET), Mikel Arteta’s side will face back-to-back relegation fighters as an appetizer, whole Pep Guardiola and Co., juggle a Champions League quarterfinal second leg vs Bayern Munich, as well as an FA Cup semifinal vs Sheffield United, between now and then.
As for the Hammers, it was a win last time out in the Premier League (1-0 over Fulham), but now comes the hard part for David Moyes’ side: back-to-back wins, something they haven’t done in over six months (Oct. 1 and 9). Of course, West Ham are also juggling European fixtures as they played Gent to a 1-1 draw in the Conference League quarterfinals in Belgium on Thursday.
West Ham team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: Gianluca Scamacca (knee)
Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup
OUT: William Saliba (back), Takehiro Tomiyasu (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knock), Oleksandr Zinchenko (groin)