WEST HAM UNITED v ARSENAL
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
THURSDAY 26 DECEMBER 2013
REFEREE: PHIL DOWD
FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV
Final score: West Ham United 1-3 Arsenal
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Full time: That's it as Arsenal stage a second half turnaround to return to the top of the Barclays Premier League table. It looked to be going well for the Hammers when Carlton Cole nudged them in front, but Theo Walcott's swift double, which Lukas Podolski added to late on, turned their smiles upside down. We'll have reports and reaction to follow on whufc.com, and see you here again on Saturday when West Brom are the visitors.
90+2: Joe Cole sends a bobbling shot wide of the mark after Mo Diame chests back to him. Szczesny was watching it all the way and would probably have had it covered.
90: Arsenal are still looking for more and Bendtner makes a good run down the right before sending in an angled shot from the right, which takes a touch off McCartney on the way wide. Four minutes of stoppage time to be played.
84: The Gunners make their final substitution, as Nicklas Bendtner comes on for Olivier Giroud.
81: Mathieu Flamini replaces Mesut Ozil for the visitors.
79: Goal. Podolski. That's the points for Arsenal. Sub Podolski lashes home left-footed from the edge of the area after Giroud controls by the penalty spot and lays off. No saving that as the German places it just inside the post. Fine finish.
75: Arsenal rampant at the moment and Cazorla flashes a long ranger just wide of the mark. Meanwhile the Hammers replace Kevin Nolan with Matt Taylor.
73: Almost game over as the ball drops for Podolski inside the box, but Adrian is out on top of the Arsenal man quickly to smother the danger and keep the visitors' lead at one.
71: Goal. Walcott again. The turnaround is complete as Gibbs' cross skips off Tomkins' head at the near post and flies perfectly for Walcott to plant a header beyond Adrian.
68: Goal. Walcott 1-1. Horrible moment for the Hammers, as Walcott's shot squirms through a forest of legs, Adrian's grasp and into the net. It was a threatening run into the box from the winger, and the fact that his shot went through several sets of players' legs made it difficult for the home keeper, but it's a soft goal and the Hammers' lead has gone.
66: More neat stuff on the edge of the Hammers box as Arteta passes into Giroud and continues his run into the box. The ball looks to be squirming through to the Gunners man, but McCartney just manages to crowd him out and Adrian gathers.
65: Arsenal make their first change, as Aarom Ramsey limps off and Lukas Podolski comes on. They have a corner too, which comes to nothing.
63: Diame looks to catch out Szczesny with a dinked effort, but gets too much on it and the ball flies over. Meanwhile, Guy Demel is replacing the booked Joey O'Brien.
60: Double save Adrian. He might have done better with the first one, spilling Cazorla's effort, but he's quickly up to block Ozil on the rebound with his feet. Great recovery from the No13 and it's still 1-0 West Ham.
59: Great ball in from Cazorla on the right, but Tomkins makes a great defensive header by the near post. Arsenal upping the heat as they look for a leveller now.
58: Pinball in the Hammers box following an Arsenal corner, but they survive. This could be a harem-scarem final 30 minutes.
57: The chances are flowing now and Carlton Cole passes up an excellent opportunity for a second as Rat's wonderful ball is played between the lines of defence and goalkeeper. Szczesny is just able to put Cole off though, and his connection isn't the best as the ball goes wide.
56: Joey O'Brien is perhaps fortunate to still be on the pitch. Already booked in the first half, he cuts short an Arsenal attack with a foul on Giroud, but referee Phil Dowd keeps his cards in his pocket.
54: Big chance for 2-0 as Diame crosses from the right torwards Joey O'Brien, who advances into the six-yard box. The defender at the near post can't reach it, but O'Brien can and his diving header dribbles wide.
53: Corner for Arsenal down the right hand side. Mesut Ozil swings the ball over right-footed deep into the box and Vermaelen rises highest, but heads comfortably over.
50: Big handball appeals from the Arsenal players and fans in the Trevor Brooking Lower, as Mertesacker's shot is charged down. Nothing doing for referee Phil Dowd and all of a sudden West Ham have a chance as Jarvis evades the offside trap and shoots across Szczesny, drawing a diving save from the Pole.
48: That's got the crowd going as Bubbles rings loudly around the Boleyn Ground. The hosts win a free kick on halfway, and Joe Cole's bouncing volley dribbles wide.
46: GOAL! Carlton Cole! The Hammers are in front, and what a howler from Szczesny. Nolan's shot from the edge of the area is straight at the Arsenal stopper, but he spills the ball to Carlton Cole, who says thank you very much and tucks away. Two in two for the striker now. What a start to the second period.
46: Joe Cole and Mo Diame get us back underway, with the Hammers now attacking towards the Bobby Moore Stand.
4.01pm The Hammers re-emerge for the second period. Can they continue to frustrate Arsenal in the second period? We're about to find out. Come on you Irons!
Half time: The Hammers have made it to the break with their goal intact. After a quiet opening, Arsenal have begun to show their quality and have come close, without being able to find that decisive touch in the penalty area. 0-0 and that scoreline is good enough for the hosts at this stage.
45+1: That free-kick routine is a familiar one for the Hammers, but one that works and Noble flicks the ball through to Nolan. Szczesny is closing in on him though and the skipper cannot connect. Arsenal then break and Gibbs' low cross is only just in front of Giroud, who would have tapped in. Very close.
45: Two minutes of stoppage time have been signalled.
44: O'Brien hauls down Vermaelen as he turns away from him 25 yards out. Free kick in a dangerous position. Ramsey's effort is charged down by the wall, but it drops to Arteta, who sends in a fizzing low drive which is only just wide. Adrian may well have had it covered though.
42: When they turn it on they can slice through you and Ozil's pass into the six yard box is begging for a telling touch. Fortunately for the Hammers, that touch comes from O'Brien, who controls and hacks clear.
41: Good hands from Adrian to hold onto Ramsey's attempted cross from the left. The Gunners had worked their way into a decent position inside the box, so will be disappointed they didn't make more of that opening.
39: Carlton Cole does magnificently to hold the ball up on half way and poke through to Jarvis in the left channel. He spots Joe Cole running across to the centre and clips a pass to his fellow wideman, but Cole stepped just offside and a raised flag stops the move in its tracks.
37: That's going to be the end for Collins this afternoon. He makes his way slowly to the touchline and Razvan Rat is coming on to replace him. George McCartney moves to centre half with Rat the new left back.
36: James Collins is currently receiving treatment. It looks like a calf problem for the centre half.
35: Arsenal beginning to turn the screw a little, and Ramsey's deflected effort travels into Adrian's hands.
34: Arsenal create another opening as Giroud is played through in the left channel. He opts to take the shot on early but drags across goal with Adrian able to watch it wide.
33: Close. The closest either team has come so far. Ozil ghosts beyond Walcott in the right channel to collect his flick with McCartney in attendance. He spots Cazorla, who is rushing forward to get involved in the attack and lays square. The Spaniard takes a touch and lets fly with a left-footed shot which only just clears the crossbar.
31: Scramble in the Arsenal box from a West Ham set piece, but the ball won't drop for Carlton Cole and Vermaelen is able to get in front of the striker and hook clear.
30: For those of you wondering where Ravel Morrison is today, he was a late withdrawal from the squad with a groin injury.
27: They keep up their moment of pressure by winning a corner down the right. Ozil's delivery is aimed towards Mertesacker at the near post, and the big German meets the ball but nods harmlessly over.
26: Chance at the other end as Walcott sneaks in unattended at the far post, but his connection with Ramsey's lofted pass is poor and the ball squirts wide. The England made should have done better with that opening.
25: Szczesny is called into action for the visitors, but in truth Diame's long-ranger is straight at him, and although his first action sends the ball into the air, he's able to gather comfortably at the second attempt.
22: Arsenal look to be taking control, but after a move breaks down in the West Ham half, the hosts have the opportunity to break and Nolan feeds Cole. He's allowed to advance to the edge of the box, but is held up, and after exchanging passes with O'Brien, sends in a cross which is cleared. Genuine chances still hard to come by.
20: ...Arteta delivers, but Tomkins is there with a strong near post header to clear.
19: Intricate from the Gunners as they look to stamp their mark on the contest, and Cazorla works space before passing to Gibbs out wide, and his low cross is hacked away by O'Brien, but the visitors have a free kick down the left now...
18: A collectors item there, as Cazorla's pass is misplaced and gives the Hammers a throw-in down the left. Fairly even so far, and that'll please Big Sam.
16: Another corner for Arsenal down the left and theyu work it short before crossing into the box. The initial; delivery is cleared, but Cazorla is arriving on the edge of the box to head goalwards. Adrian is there, though, to claw away.
14: Arsenal are always a menace on the break and they get themselves into a good position in Hammers' territory and Gibbs crosses from then right, where Collins needs to be positioned well to head away with Giroud well placed.
12: Nolan establishes possession for the Hammers in their own half and spreads the play out wide to the right for O'Brien to advance. He takes the ball into the attacking third and lays off for Joe Cole, whose left footed cross is whipped into the hands of Szczesny's hands. Still 0-0.
10: The Hammers win a free-kick by the left-hand corner of the penalty area and Mark Noble goes for goal. His shot is on target, but Szczesny is equal to it, moving across to his left to palm the ball aside.
8: Now Tomkins has to be alert to come across and sweep up after Ozil plays a threatening ball into the box. The Gunners are starting to get going.
7: There's a bit of an ebb-and-flow to this game early on and Arsenal seize on their chance to attack as Sagna swings over a dangerous cross from the right. Giroud is well placed in the middle but can't connect with his header and the ball flies all the way through the box.
6: The Hammers look to stay on the front foot and Tomkins' raking ball from the back looks to have down that as it picks out Jarvis on the flank. However, the winger had strayed just offside and the flag goes up.
5: Carlton Cole wins a free-kick deep in Arsenal territory after Ramsey clipped the big striker. Noble plays the free kick into the channel for Jarvis and he has two bites at the cross, with the second needing Szczesny's touch to take it away from the danger zone.
3: The Gunner establish possession in Hammers territory for the first time and Ozil looks to set Walcott free in the right channel, but he's made his run a touch early and is a yard offside.
1: The Hammers threaten an early chance down the left as they thread the ball through to Jarvis down the left. He's in behind Gibbs, but the touch the heavy and the ball runs out for a goal kick.
0: Giroud and Ozil get us underway.
2.58pm The captains are going through the pre-match formalities as Bubbles rings around the Boleyn for the second time. Come on you Irons!
2.56pm Kevin Nolan leads the Hammers out. Kick-off is only moments away!
2.50pm A familiar face is pitchside currently, as Julien Faubert is back at the Boleyn Ground today, The Frenchman is currently back in France with Bordeaux, but has popped over the Channel today to watch his old side.
2.45pm As we get closer to kick-off, why not get ready for the game by watching our Advent Calendar series of videos? You can find them on our YouTube channel here.
2.35pm The Hammers will be looking to end a run of six consecutive defeats to the Gunners this afternoon. West Ham last gained a positive result against the north Londoners in October 2009, when they came from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 draw. Carlton Cole was on the scoresheet that day. Can he repeat the feat this afternoon?
2.15pm So four changes for the Hammers as skipper Kevin Nolan comes back into the side following his suspension. Also returning are Joey O'Brien, Joe Cole and Carlton Cole as Guy Demel, Ravel Morrison, Matt Taylor and Modibo Maiga miss out.
2.05pm Team news is in...
West Ham United: Adrian; Joey O'Brien, James Tomkins, James Collins, George McCartney; Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble, Mo Diame; Joe Cole, Carlton Cole, Matt Jarvis
Subs: Razvan Rat, Jack Collison, Modibo Maiga, Matt Taylor, Alou Diarra, Guy Demel, Jussi Jaaskelainen (GK)
Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Mikel Arteta, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Kieran Gibbs
Subs: Lukas Podolski, Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Flamini, Lukasz Fabianski (GK), Nicklas Bendtner, Carl Jenkinson, Serge Gnabry
1.30pm We expect to have team news in around 30 minutes. Why not get involved in the fun of our twitter competitions. We've got signed prizes up for grabs, for guessing our starting XI and first Hammers goalscorer. Just tweet us using the #WHULINEUP and #WHUGOAL hashtags.
1pm Good afternoon from the Boleyn Ground! The festive football programme is in full swing and the Hammers welcome Arsenal to E13 hoping to extend their unbeaten home run to three games.
A 0-0 draw against Sunderland back last time out was preceded by a 3-0 victory over Fulham on 30 November in the Club's last two home fixtures. In their last game, Sam Allardyce's side succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford, one of three consecutive away league defeats. That defeat left the Hammers 17th in the table, one point above the relegation zone although a win over the Gunners could move the home side up two places.
Arsenal arrive in east London having lost three of their last four away matches in all competitions. A 6-3 defeat to Manchester City in their last away Premier League outing followed a 2-0 defeat to Napoli in the Champions League and a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United back on 10 November. Last time out the Gunners drew 0-0 with fellow title contenders Chelsea, a result which left them second in the league, level on points with table-toppers Liverpool.
We've got live coverage here, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram throughout the afternoon.