ARSENAL v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY 2013
REFEREE: ANDRE MARRINER
Final score - Arsenal 5-1 West Ham United
102 mins - Into the final minute and Arsenal are searching for a sixth. Andre Santos has a go from about 30 yards, but it's low and off-target. Moments later, the final whistle is blown. A forgettable evening is over. We'll have post-match reaction on whufc.com and West Ham TV, plus we'll get an update on Dan Potts' injury as and when the medical department give us an official confirmation.
100 mins - A lot of supporters have left thinking the game is over. They are chancing their luck a little bit, I'd say.
98 mins - Cazorla collects from a corner and shoots. Jaaskelainen tips the ball wide for another corner. The ball is worked short and then smashed high and wide. Sorry, I didn't see who had the wayward shot.
96 mins - Oxlade-Chamberlain has a shot that is blocked and then hits the England man and loops away for a goal kick.
94 mins - Diarra has been good since he came on. He's made a few decent interceptions. West Ham need to hold out to avoid matching their worst-ever defeat by Arsenal - a 6-1 loss at Highbury on 20 March 1976.
93 mins - Jaaskelainen almost gifts Arsenal a sixth as he passes the ball straight Walcott, but the No14 cannot quite clear the Finn with his lob. Jaaskelainen blocks and then scrambles back to collect as the ball rolls towards the net.
91 mins - Tomkins clears for a corner. Arsenal will fancy adding a couple more here. The corner is cleared.
90 mins - Arsenal's physio is not needed, but Diame does catchy Mertesacker as he over-stretches when the ball gets away from him. We're going to have TWELVE minutes of added time.
88 mins - Let me repeat, we will of course get an official update on Dan Potts' condition as soon as we can. Football fans will know that medical staff always take precautionary steps whenever a player goes down awkwardly, securing the head and neck area.
86 mins - Taylor lofts the ball over the top for Tomkins after a free-kick is cleared but the No5 is flagged offside.
84 mins - As if it wasn't tough enough already, West Ham now have to cling on with ten men for about 15 minutes. Jaaskelainen is called into action almost immediately by Wilshere's low drive, which he parries before a defender clears.
82 mins - Potts is stretchered off to applause from all corners of the Emirates Stadium, which is nice to hear and see. Let's hope it's not as serious as it looks. We'll have an official update as soon as we know more about the young left-back's condition. The game re-starts.
81 mins - A head and neck brace is being fitted.
80 mins - Potts is still being treated on the pitch. The players are chatting away, while some are keeping an eye on the injury situation. It looked like Potts basically collided with Sagna in the air and twisted before landing heavily. I've not seen a replay though, I'm afraid.
76 mins - They are always cautious when a player is injured, so it may mean the No33 is not seriously hurt. Potts is lying on his back before being lifted onto the stretcher. It's a challenge for the other 21 players to keep warm and some of them are jogging around to do so.
73 mins - Arsenal make a change while Potts is attended to. Giroud is clapped off and England midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain comes on. Potts is not going to be able to continue. The stretcher is coming on for the Irishman.
72 mins - Potts is hurt as he collides in the air with Sagna. He looks to have landed awkardly and needs both the physio and the doctor on. West Ham have made all three substitutions.
71 mins - Taylor bundles through a tackle and tries to play in Demel, but the right-back is miles offside. The flag goes up.
70 mins - Arsenal bring on Andre Santos for Podolski. West Ham bring on Diame for Vaz Te.
69 mins - Or Arsenal might! The free-kick is headed out and Taylor's pass puts Noble under pressure. His ball forward is volleyed clear and suddenly Arsenal have four attackers to two defenders. Amazingly, Diarra prevents the cross from Walcott reaching two unmarked colleagues. If he hadn't, that would have been 6-1.
68 mins - My colleague to my right is looking on the bright side, saying "At least we've scored!". Anyway, Nolan is fouled 25 yards out, so we might score again!
66 mins - Nolan is penalised for a foul about 25 yards out. Walcott curls the free-kick over the wall but Jaaskelainen gets his body behind it and holds on.
62 mins - Reid and Collison are replaced by Diarra and Potts. Damage limitation? It's three centre-backs with Tomkins and O'Brien flanking Diarra and Demel and Potts as wing-backs.
61 mins - Walcott wins another Arsenal corner. It is headed out but Vaz Te cannot hold the play up. Arsenal come again and Tomkins clears for another corner. West Ham momentarily clear before Tomkins heads behind again. It's taken short and West Ham escape when they are awarded a free-kick.
59 mins - O'Brien crosses left-footed. Collison heads back for Noble, who cushions the through ball for Vaz Te. The No12 volleys wide, but he has already been flagged offside.
57 mins - GOAL! Arsenal turn defence into attack in an instant. Wilshere sends Podolski away again and he crosses low for Giroud, who finishes nearly first-time past Jaaskelainen. West Ham cannot deal with the Gunners in any way, shape or form. Vermaelen is replaced by Koscielny before the re-start. Four goals in ten minutes. I shudder to think what the final score might be...
56 mins - Arsenal must be playing well as the home fans are singing. Tomkins comes forward and makes it into the box. He crosses and Cole shoots first-time but it's too close to Szczesny.
54 mins - GOAL! The start to the second half has been a horror show. Walcott makes it 4-1 as West Ham again lose the ball on halfway. Wilshere sends Podolski away and he crosses for Walcott, who makes no mistake from ten yards. This could get ugly unless the Hammers buck their ideas up. They have been awful since half-time.
53 mins - GOAL! Yet again West Ham pay for needlessly giving the ball away. Walcott races clear and his cross is cleared off the line by Reid. The Gunners keep up the pressure and Podolski can pick out Cazorla. The Spaniard flicks the ball beyond O'Brien and into the net.
52 mins - Noble finds Collison in space behind Gibbs but for no good reason the No10 does not cross. Instead he is tackled and Arsenal do what they do best and break in numbers.
50 mins - Apparently Arsenal have sold 60,081 tickets for tonight's game. A fair few less than that have showed up - particularly in the more expensive seats.
47 mins - GOAL! The worst start possible to the second half. Walcott's corner is low to the near post, Giroud helps it on and the ball hits Jaaskelainen on the way in. The goalkeeper didn't have much time to react, but he might be disappointed to have let that one in.
46 mins - Wilshere gets the second half underway and Arsenal nearly score within 20 seconds of the re-start. Walcott crosses low and Tomkins is forced to slide the ball behind for a corner. West Ham don't really clear properly and Nolan has to concede another corner.
Half-time score - Arsenal 1-1 West Ham United
48 mins - Wow! Jaaskelainen claws the free-kick out from the near top corner before O'Brien and Tomkins make miraculous blocks to concede the corner. Cole heads it clear and West Ham break. Collison then wins a free-kick in about the same position as Cazorla just whipped his in from, but maybe a tad further out. Taylor takes but it is disappointing as he sends in a low one that is easy for Szczesny to claim. With that, the half-time whistle is blown.
47 mins - Danger. Nolan is penalised for pushing Cazorla to the ground about a yard outside the box. A left-footer will be all over this as it's on the right edge of the box. Cazorla is the man to take it...
46 mins - There will be THREE minutes of added time!
44 mins - Cole is now flagged offside. Replays show he too was not offside. Frustrating. Anyway, his cross was claimed by the goalkeeper. Goalkeeper is easier to type than Szczesny, especially in these temperatures.
43 mins - Vaz Te is booked for kicking the ball away after being flagged offside. To add insult to insult, replays show the No12 was not offside.
41 mins - So, so close to a goal - but for West Ham! A cross drops to Taylor, who stabs forward to Cole, who pokes his shot goalwards. Szczesny gets a touch and Wilshere clears the ball right off the line for a corner. The ball comes in and the Pole punches out and Arsenal race forward in numbers. O'Brien is virtually the last man but he makes a fantastic challenge on Sagna, of all people, who was leading the attack.
40 mins - Vaz Te is penalised for a foul on Sagna, which looks a bit soft. Arsenal take the free-kick quickly and switch play to Podolski. He heads inside for Cazorla, who takes a touch before dragging his shot wide from 25 yards.
38 mins - Arsenal are dominant at present. West Ham need to keep the ball a lot better than they are at present or they will pay the price. Arsenal are too good to keep gifting the ball inside your own half. Demel lifts the pressure with an enterprising run and he wants a free-kick as he goes to ground, but nothing is given.
35 mins - They surely can't hold out much longer. Podolski shoots from all of 12 yards after good work down the left by Gibbs, but O'Brien positions himself in the six-yard box and miraculously clears off the line with Jaaskelainen beaten.
33 mins - Walcott and Cazorla combine before O'Brien concedes a corner with a sliding challenge. The corner is headed clear but Wilshere collects a loose touch from Taylor. His shot is blocked. West Ham survive.
32 mins - Demel is fouled and Taylor whips in a superb left-foot delivery from out on the right. Unfortunately it's a foot too high for Cole and bounces a couple of yards wide of the far post. Before the goal kick, Gibbs has to have treatment, which he receives sitting off the pitch next to the goal.
30 mins - O'Brien has got his hands - and feet - full with Walcott in this form. The England man runs at the left-back again and scoots past him before crossing dangerously. Thankfully, Tomkins is in the right place to clear for a throw. Arsenal's next attack breaks down.
27 mins - By the way, Collison's goal was West Ham's first on the road in 476 minutes in all competitions - and 386 minutes in the Barclays Premier League. It was also Collison's first of the season and first since his two at Cardiff in the Play-Off semi-final first leg on 3 May 2012.
24 mins - Good reaction from West Ham, who go forward through Taylor, who wins a corner. Noble takes it and Vaz Te wins the header unchallenged about nine yards out, but nods over the top. That was a decent opportunity.
22 mins - GOAL! Anything Collison can do... Wilshere finds Podolski in space 25 yards out and the German takes a touch and smashes a shot past Jaaskelainen into the right corner of the net. The goalkeeper could do nothing there, but maybe Podolski should have been closed down a bit quicker?
20 mins - The scenes in the away end were something to behold there. It was like a living being, with 2,800 claret and blue-clad fans jumping up and down in unison!
18 mins - GOAL! The Taylor corner is headed out by Giroud straight to Collison, who takes a touch and rifles in an unstoppable left-footed drive from 20 yards. What a goal! Shades of the Play-Off semi-final at Cardiff last season! Collison runs to the away bench and hugs head of sports medicine Andy Rolls. He made a point of waving away his team-mates to give Rolls a celebratory cuddle. Very poignant.
17 mins - West Ham are organised and they thwart another Gunners raid before Demel gallops away down the right and is fouled by Gibbs. The free-kick from Tomkins is flicked on by Cole. Mertesacker pokes the ball out to Taylor, whose shot is deflected just over the top. The corner from Taylor is won by Reid and hits a defender on its way wide of the near post.
14 mins - Brilliant defending again from Reid. Walcott collects a pass and has the No2 isolated. Reid sticks to his task and makes a fantastic last-ditch tackle. The ball even has the good grace to hit Walcott and go wide for a goal kick.
13 mins - Some patient build-up from Arsenal and a hurried clearance from Reid. The Gunners keep up the pressure before Giroud fires high and over the bar from 25 yards. Formation-wise, West Ham are 4-3-3, with Taylor in central midfield with Noble and Nolan. Vaz Te is to the left of Cole, with Collison to the right of the front three.
12 mins - Tomkins lofts another free-kick into the box from halfway. Nolan wins the header, but it just won't drop to a West Ham player and Arsenal clear.
10 mins - Decent play. Tomkins picks out the run of Nolan down the inside-right channel. He collects near the byline before pulling back for Demel. The Ivorian crosses and Vaz Te meets the ball with his head, but it glances wide of the far post. Half-chance, but good to see three light blue shirts in the Arsenal penalty area.
9 mins - Vaz Te initially does well against Sagna but then dwells on the ball and is caught in possession. Potts makes amends by blocking the ball behind for a corner. Nolan heads clear from inside his six-yard box. West Ham clear and win a throw inside Arsenal territory.
7 mins - Collison tackles Wilshere and he catches the England international on the right ankle. Replays show thaty could have been a bit nasty, but the referee waved play on. Wilshere has the physio on and he walks to the touchline. I'm not sure exactly what happened - maybe Collison's boot rolled over the ball - because on first viewing it looked like an old-fashioned 50/50.
5 mins - Walcott has been in good form recently and he runs at O'Brien. He gets beyond the Irishman and tries to pick out Giroud again. The Frenchman slips and Reid is again able to clear to O'Brien.
4 mins - Tomkins launches a long free-kick to the edge of the Arsenal box. The ball is headed half-clear to the D, from where Collison finds Demel. He is forced a bit wide but his cross hits a defender and West Ham have a corner. Taylor takes to the far post, but the ball clears the head of Tomkins and the hosts escape with a throw.
2 mins - The Gunners are predictably making the early running but West Ham look organised. Also as predicted, the visiting fans are outsinging their hosts.
7.45pm - The Hammers get the game underway, but seconds after doing so, Cole loses possession and Arsenal counter. Walcott picks up possession on the right edge of the penalty area and crosses low towards Giroud, but Reid blocks and O'Brien completes the clearance.
7.42pm - Here come the two teams. The Hammers fans are making all the noise, as predicted! West Ham to kick-off...
7.30pm - It is a COLD night here at the Emirates Stadium, but I'm sure the atmosphere will warm the place up come kick-off. There is a sizeable West Ham following over in the far corner to my right, who I am definitely sure will be heard loud and clear tonight.
6.55pm - The team news is confirmed. Four changes from the 1-1 draw with QPR on Saturday, with the ineligible Chamakh, Joe Cole, Diame and Jarvis making way for Carlton Cole, Taylor, Collison and Vaz Te.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Taylor, Nolan, Collison, Vaz Te, C.Cole
Subs: Henderson, Potts, Diarra, Diame, O'Neil, J.Cole, Jarvis
Arsenal: Szczesney, Sagna, Gibbs, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Wilshere, Ramsey, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud
Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Frimpong
5.45pm - Arsene Wenger is effusive in his praise for West Ham and, in particular, Joe Cole in his programme notes: "West Ham will make it difficult - they have the potential to be dangerous, are strong physically and have a good technical level too. [Joe Cole] has the kind of special creativity that will help West Ham."
Good evening and welcome to a cold and snowy Emirates Stadium for tonight's Barclays Premier League fixture between Arsenal and West Ham United.
The Hammers travel to north London for their game in-hand on the rest of the Premier League, with the original fixture scheduled for Boxing Day being postponed due to industrial action on the London Underground.
Tonight, while the Victoria line may be running with 'severe delays', the game will go ahead unless the light snow falling outside turns into a full-blown blizzard!
Sam Allardyce will have to make at least one change to the starting XI that dominated Saturday's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers at the Boleyn Ground, with on-loan Gunners striker Marouane Chamakh ineligible to face his parent club. Carlton Cole is expected to replace him.
Elsewhere, goalkeeper Stephen Henderson returns to the squad following a successful loan spell with npower Championship club Ipswich Town, while Jack Collison will hope to feature on the ground where he made his West Ham debut on New Year's Day 2008.
Guy Demel is also in familiar surroundings in terms of personnel, as he spent a year playing under Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a teenager, although he did not play a first-team game for the Gunners.
West Ham will need to buck recent trends if they are to be successful this evening. The Hammers have scored just five goals in eleven away league matches this season - the lowest in the top-flight - and have not won on the road since scoring a 1-0 victory at Newcastle United on 11 November. Indeed, West Ham haven't scored on their travels since Carroll's late header at Tottenham Hotspur on 25 November - more than four league matches and 368 minutes ago! Add in the FA Cup with Budweiser third-round replay at Manchester United and it is 458 minutes since West Ham last scored an away goal.
Arsenal have also got to turn things around, as they have lost each of their last two league matches. The Gunners have been beaten at home by Manchester City (0-2) and at Chelsea (1-2). Add in a 1-1 draw at Southampton on New Year's Day and the Gunners have not won in the Barclays Premier League since thrashing Newcastle 7-3 here on 29 December.
The team news will be confirmed at 6.45pm on the club's official twitter feed @whufc_official