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2011-01-15T13:26:00 Updated 2015-02-18T22:17:22

West Ham United v Arsenal

Two goals from Robin van Persie and one from Theo Walcott saw Arsenal complete a Barclays Premier League double over West Ham United courtesy of a comfortable victory at the Boleyn Ground.

Dutchman van Persie expertly converted Walcott's low cross to fire the Gunners into a 13th-minute lead before the pair swapped roles for the England winger to smash a shot high into Robert Green's net four minutes before half-time.

An injury-depleted West Ham had opportunities of their own during the opening 45 minutes, but neither Carlton Cole nor Zavon Hines could find a way past Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Arsenal made sure of their victory with 13 minutes remaining. Debutant Wayne Bridge brought down the lively Walcott and Van Persie smashed the resulting penalty past Green.

West Ham were without a host of possible first-team starters - Lars Jacobsen, Scott Parker, Jack Collison, Thomas Hitzlsperge and Frederic Piquionne were all absent through injury, while Victor Obinna was serving the first match of a three-game ban for being sent-off in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg win over Birmingham City.

Those absentees were joined on the sidelines after 20 minutes by Mark Noble, who was forced off with a minor calf injury.

By then, though, Arsenal had already taken the lead through a typically incisive piece of football.

Walcott got in behind Bridge and crossed low, Samir Nasri expertly dummied and Van Persie had the time and space to rifle a low shot between Green and the near post.

West Ham responded well and, after Green had denied Walcott, could easily have equalised when Carlton Cole latched on to Johan Djourou's short back pass and forced a save from Szczesny. The follow-up fell to Hines, but he could only shoot over the crossbar.

It was not long before Arsenal regained the ascendancy, though, as Van Persie smashed a low shot across Green and against the base of the post before Walcott doubled the Gunners' advantage with a close-range finish from the striker's cut-back.

As the first half approached its conclusion, West Ham had one final chance to get their names on the score-sheet, only for Cole to glance Freddie Sears' right-wing cross well off-target.

The second half saw Arsenal spend much of their time patiently keeping possession and attempting to work openings through the home defence.

West Ham defended doggedly and held out until 13 minutes from time when Walcott got clear down the right and was fouled by Bridge as he entered the penalty area. Van Persie made no mistake from 12 yards, smashing his spot-kick into the bottom left-hand corner.

Debutant Bridge, who saw a 52nd-minute free-kick deflect narrowly wide of the Arsenal goal, admitted his first game in claret and blue since completing a loan move from Manchester City could have been easier.

"It was a difficult first game. Arsenal are a great team and keep the ball well, so most of the time we were running around chasing after the ball. We had a few chances and if we'd have put them away it might have been a different story.

"We've just to forget about this and look forward to the next one and get a win. Once we get everyone fit and fighting for places, I see that this team can create chances and we've got to finish them.

"Obviously we've also got to concede less but not team is going to be as hard Arsenal. We've just got to make sure we concentrate and keep our focus and hope the games are a bit easier than they were on Saturday."

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