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Arsenal 6-0 West Ham United (Feb 11, 2024) Game Analysis

Arsenal exacted sweet revenge on West Ham United with a 6-0 away thrashing to stay right in the thick of the Premier League title race on Sunday, obliterating their hosts before halftime.

Mikel Arteta’s side had lost twice against their London rivals this season but were 4-0 ahead by halftime with goals by William Saliba, Bukayo Saka, Gabriel and Leandro Trossard.

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The punishment continued in the second half with Saka making it 5-0 before former West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who assisted two goals in the opening period, thumped his team’s sixth on a day of abject humiliation for the hosts.

It was a sublime display by Arsenal who wiped off a goal difference deficit to champions Manchester City who they joined on 52 points, although they stay in third place courtesy of scoring fewer goals, and City have a game in hand. Leaders Liverpool have 54 points.

Arsenal were defeated by West Ham in the League Cup although the bigger blow was a 2-0 home defeat in December when they were guilty of squandering a host of chances.

Gabriel’s header was his fourth Premier League goal this season.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

This time they were lethal as they tore eighth placed West Ham to shreds at the London Stadium. Thousands of home fans who streamed out of the exits before halftime were spared the rest of West Ham’s worst home league defeat since an 8-2 loss by Blackburn Rovers in 1963.

“It was a brilliant performance from the start to the end, we dominated and controlled everything and today we were really sharp in front of goal as well,” Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard said. “We backed up a big win last week [against Liverpool] with another great performance.”

It was even more impressive given that wins for Liverpool and Manchester City on Saturday had cranked up the pressure on Arsenal to respond.

Arteta’s side dominated the opening exchanges with Trossard’s ferocious volley tipped over by home keeper Alphonse Areola and Odegaard’s shot deflecting just wide.

The away fans might had a sense of deja-vu from the clash at The Emirates on Dec. 28, when Arsenal were stunned by West Ham despite their superiority. But they need not have worried.

Once Saliba was allowed a simple header from a Rice corner in the 32nd minute, West Ham disintegrated.

Saka was played clean through was taken out by Areola who was shown a yellow card before the young England forward dispatched the penalty for his 50th goal for the club.

Rice then swung in a free kick that was met by Gabriel with another close-range header and with West Ham resembling rabbits frozen in the headlights, Trossard casually curled a superb right-footed shot into the top corner.

West Ham were booed off by their fans at halftime and the exodus continued after the break as Saka fired a clinical shot past Areola to make it 5-0 before Rice, who got a mixed reception from the home fans, produced a stunning finish.

Rice refused to celebrate but the party was in full swing amongst the away fans who left the ground dreaming of going one step further than last season’s runner-up finish.

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