ARSENAL v WEST HAM UNITED
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
TUESDAY 15 APRIL 2014
REFEREE: KEVIN FRIEND
Final score - Arsenal 3-1 West Ham United
95: Full-time. Arsenal come from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 for the second time this season. In fact, both games followed very similar patterns, with the Hammers more than holding their own, taking the lead and then relinquishing it in frustrating fashion. The first two Arsenal goals came from nothing - a loose clearance and a penalty area mix-up - while the third was also too simple. Before that, West Ham had arguably had the better chances, with Jarvis capping a decent opening 40-odd minutes by bravely heading West Ham in front. Anyway, we move on to Saturday and a winnable home game against Crystal Palace. Before then, we'll have reaction for you on all our media and social media platforms. Thanks for joining us. Goodnight.
94: Into the final minute and the Arsenal fans are streaming out, but so many have already gone I doubt they will beat the queue at the Tube station. Nocerino cuts inside on his left foot but his shot hits Vaz Te and loops wide. It's been that sort of night...
92: Ramsey collects on the right corner of the box, turns on his left foot and shoots straight at Adrian. He clears and Carlton holds the ball up before being fouled. The West Ham fans are still singing. Special support on the road, as always.
91: Four added minutes to be played. I'm not sure that will be enough.
89: Vaz Te shoots from an improbable angle and the ball flies into the stand. West Ham have now relinquished 20 points from winning positions this season, more than any other club in the Barclays Premier League.
88: Cazorla is replaced by Jenkinson. The Spaniard receives a very good ovation on his way off.
86: Carlton wins a free-kick from Koscielny and then wins the header from the free-kick wide on the right, but his effort flies over the crossbar. Decent effort from the No24 as he was some way out.
84: Diame passes the ball behind Armero and out of play. Carroll is replaced by Carlton Cole.
83: Demel drops a shoulder and crosses but it's too close to Szczesny. Carlton Cole will be on soon. He'll need to perform miracles.
81: It may seem a little academic now, but conceding before half-time was such a turning point in this game. Arsenal's players and crowd would have been anxious going into the break and had 15 minutes to think about being behind at home. As it was, they went in on a high and came out on top and have remained there for virtually the whole second half.
79: Vaz Te and Joe Cole are on for Jarvis and Downing.
78: Goal! Arsenal wrap up a seventh straight win over West Ham and it's too easy. Giroud crosses, nobody is near Ramsey and he heads a through ball for Podolski, who has time and space to smash a left-foot finish into the roof of the net from eight yards. This second half has been so disappointing.
76: Ramsey has space in front of him on the edge of the D, but leans back slightly and fires his shot over the top. Meanwhile, Vaz Te and Joe Cole will be on soon for West Ham. This will be Vaz Te's first appearance since dislocating his shoulder at Swansea City on 27 October last year.
73: Kallstrom goes in hard and fouls Nocerino again. No second yellow for Arsenal's No29 and Big Sam doesn't like it one bit. He berates the fourth official severely.
72: West Ham knocking the ball around as well as they have all night now. Perhaps Arsenal are tiring? Vermaelen blocks off Downing and the Hammers have a free-kick 40 yards out. Before it can be taken, Rosicky is replaced by Ramsey. Noble lifts the ball into the arms of Szczesny and Big Sam simply turns away in frustration, bashing his arms against his sides.
70: Another half-chance, if that, for Carroll as he challenges Koscielny for Armero's left-wing cross and again doesn't get a strong contact. Goal kick.
66: Half a chance for Carroll from a diagonal cross from the right, but he can only glance the header wide under big pressure from Mertesacker. The two giants pull each other to their feet and exchange a smile. It's like watching two trees banging into one another in a gale.
64: West Ham's free-kick so nearly turns into a third for Arsenal as the counter finds Cazorla in space down the left. Armero speeds back and holds him up initially, but the Spaniard simply cuts inside and loses the Colombian before smashing a shot that slides inches past the far post. That was very close.
62: The German smashes a curling free-kick past the wall and Adrian dives to his left and parries the ball clear. West Ham need to do something to turn the tide here. They are not doing enough in possession.... until now. Nocerino collects inside the centre circle and holds off Arteta before being brought down by Kallstrom. The Swede is booked.
60: Armero fouls Giroud and Diame reacts with a few words. He is booked for his troubles by Mr Friend. Podolski is lining up the free-kick.
59: If West Ham are to get back in this, they need to start keeping the ball a little better. At present, it's going back to Arsenal too quickly and putting the Hammers under avoidable pressure. Carroll runs onto a ball over the top, but Koscielny gets back in and fires it back to Szczesny, who clears.
55: Goal! Another poor piece of defending and Arsenal lead through Giroud. Diame needlessly hacks the clearance upfield to Vermaelen, who measures a diagonal into the box. Reid and Carroll get in each other's way and Giroud controls and fires through the legs of Adrian from the right corner of the six-yard box.
54: Corner for Arsenal - their third - as Vermaelen's cross is put behind by Tomkins. Reid wins Cazorla's first delivery and Tomkins his second, but Arsenal have another corner.
52: The 3,011 West Ham fans inside the Emirates were holding their breath there as Downing's cross was deflected into the path of Nocerino. His instant cross is into a decent area, but just a yard too strong for Carroll. Szczesny collects. Come on West Ham. Believe.
49: Diame skips past one defender and is up against the last line of the Arsenal defence. Rather than take him on, Diame chooses to shoot left-footed from 25 yards and the ball clears the crossbar comfortably. Take him on, Mo!
47: Demel leads the charge on the counter and finds Downing. He cuts inside and ignores Diame free on the edge of the D. Downing shoots and the ball clips the heel of a defender on the way past the near post. Mr Friend gives a goal kick, much to Downing's disgust. In fairness, the shot was going even further wide before it hit the Arsenal player!
46: The second half is underway as Arsenal kick-off. I have made a huge error not wearing a coat as it has got rather cold! Anyway, tonight's attendance is announced as 59,997. I would suggest a few of them have come dressed as red seats because the stadium is far from full.
Half-time score - Arsenal 1-1 West Ham United
Well, if you'd offered us 1-1 at half-time we'd all have taken it. West Ham have certainly matched their hosts in terms of chances created, even if Arsenal have had more of the ball. Nocerino and Jarvis showed real desire and bravery to put West Ham in front. So, to go ahead so close to half-time and then relinquish the lead is rather frustrating, however, and Big Sam will not be pleased about the nature of the equaliser. Anyway, West Ham are very much in the game and will hope to stifle their hosts and nick the lead again after the break.
47: Into the second of two added minutes and Arsenal want the lead before the break. Cazorla is buzzing around like a bee outside the West Ham box. The visitors cannot afford to go behind. A cross into the box falls to Armero, who finds Jarvis. He tries to flick the ball back to the Colombian, but doesn't get the height on his pass and Giroud so nearly benefits, but his shot is charged down and Adrian collects. He clears the ball upfield and that's half-time.
44: Goal! Downing's clearance from the corner flag is aimless and finds only an Arsenal player, Cazorla, 30 yards out. The ball is played into the feet of Podolski, who takes a touch and finishes low past Adrian. West Ham shoot themselves in the foot a minute before half-time.
43: As you might expect, Arsenal's response has been immediate and strong. First, Nocerino makes a decent interception on the edge of the box, then Kallstrom tests Adrian with a well-struck shot from 15 yards. The No13 parries behind at his near post. The corner flicks off a defender and safely through the penalty area.
40: GOAL! JARVIS! Demel's ball picks out the run of Nocerino, who shoots low and Szczesny saves with his body. The ball drops, Nocerino challenges a defender and the ball loops into the air six yards out, from where Jarvis bravely nods into the net despite Koscielny swinging his boot wildly in an attempt to clear. The West Ham fans go a little doolally!
38: Diame drives forward through the middle and finds Jarvis, who has made a run inside. Jarvis feeds Downing wide right and he makes for the byline but can only drive a cross into the arms of Szczesny. Decent position again there to pick out Carroll inside the box.
37: West Ham attack in numbers and it's again Jarvis who is the man to deliver from the left. It's cleared as far as Nocerino, whose control lets him down a tad. Giroud takes possession and Nocerino grabs him. Yellow card for the bearded Italian.
35: The latest Arsenal attack ends when Kallstrom's diagonal floats over the head of Podolski and out for a throw. Podolski points inside and says that is where he wanted the pass played by the Swede. He had a very serious look on his face too.
33: The home fans are in full voice now as Rosicky is within inches of going clear, only for Tomkins to get a foot in. Moments later, a lofted through ball is acrobatically cleared by Noble inside the penalty area. The pressure is really being cranked up by the home side. West Ham need some possession, badly.
30: Great save by Adrian! Noble passes to Cazorla, who slips the ball through to the Frenchman. His first touch is a little heavy with his left foot, but he has time to steady himself and tries to poke the ball past Adrian, who dives to his right and palms the ball aside. The No13 is up in a flash and dives on the loose ball. Super goalkeeping.
28: It's a very closely-contested game so far. The Arsenal fans are urging their team forward in response to the ceaseless noise from the West Ham supporters. A cross from the left into the box falls to Demel and he swivels and pokes the ball away just in front of Podolski.
22: Armero uses his pace to keep the ball in and it slips under the boot of Arteta to Carroll. The Spaniard tries to make up for his mistake, but fouls Carroll. Tomkins lofts the ball into the box and it flicks off a defender and out for a corner. West Ham take it quickly and Giroud has to head behind again. West Ham keep up the pressure from the kick when it is cleared and work the ball across to the right and Downing, but his cross flies behind. Disappointing end to a decent period.
21: The Hammers fans sound encouraged by their team's start, while Wenger is already biting his nails.
19: Corner for West Ham as Jarvis streaks down the left, beats Mertesacker for pace and crosses to the far post, where Vermaelen heads behind. The corner is high and deep and Carroll can only flick on before retrieving the ball himself. He does so and crosses low for Diame, who swings his left foot and the shot flies over the top.
16: From the resulting free-kick, Carroll nods down for Diame. Arteta rolls the ball square but it's too short for Sagna and Jarvis nips in and is caught by the right-back. Jarvis stays on his feet, when he could easily go down inside the box. Jarvis retrieves by the touchline and crosses for Carroll, who heads over while under pressure from a defender.
14: The home side are having more of the ball and they nearly make their possession pay as Podolski crosses from the left and Giroud is inches from putting that in from six yards. As it happens, Armero collects, streaks past Rosicky and is scythed down by the Czech. Yellow card for Rosicky as the Colombian speedster was just far too quick for him.
13: Arsenal probing amid noise from the visiting fans. Kallstrom clips a diagonal ball into the box, but Adrian is all alone to collect.
10: Decent start for West Ham. A long ball forward is towards Carroll, who is shoved by Koscielny 35 yards from goal. Noble lofts it in but Arsenal deal with that, and then Noble's follow-up header and all of a sudden they are on the counter. Rosicky streaks away from Reid down the left and crosses for Cazorla, but Tomkins' run puts off the Spaniard and the ball bounces away on the far side. Arsenal pick up possession and win a free kick in a central area. It is lofted in and Tomkins heads clear as far as Cazorla, who finds Podolski in an offside position. Free-kick for Adrian.
8: Diame is heavily involved again, getting to the byline and clipping a left-foot cross over Szczesny to the far post, but there is nobody there in a white shirt and it's headed clear.
7: West Ham are having a decent dig here and are attacking down their left. Armero's throw finds Diame inside the penalty area, who crosses to the far post. Nocerino is there and has nobody near him. He shoots back towards the far post, but the shot hits Vermaelen.
5: Diame goes on a mazy run and beats his man on the edge of the box before thumping a shot into a defender. The Hammers fans shout 'Handball!' from the other end of the stadium, but there are no appeals from the West Ham players.
4: Arsenal have found their passing rhythm already and are knocking the ball around just inside the West Ham half. No penetration just yet, although Mertesacker does nutmeg Carroll on halfway. Silky stuff from possibly the only player in the Barclays Premier League to dwarf our No9.
2: Demel and Giroud battle for possession over in front of the West Ham fans. Giroud hands off the full-back before Demel pokes the ball behind for a corner. The delivery curls to the near post and is headed out as far as Nocerino, who makes little contact. Nor does Rosicky with his shot, which loops into the hands of Adrian.
7.45pm - The Hammers get the game underway...
7.44pm - The minute's silence was immaculately observed as always, and rightly so. Both teams are also wearing black armbands as a mark of respect. West Ham to kick-off...
7.40pm - Here come the two teams, led by captains Vermaelen and Noble. We will have a minute's silence before kick-off.
7.36pm - A wreath is laid in the centre circle by the two mascots in memory of the 96 fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough 25 years ago. It's a poignant day for the whole of football and naturally the thoughts and prayers of everyone at West Ham United are with the families and friends of those who went to a football match and never came home. They will never walk alone.
7.33pm - The West Ham starting XI have headed indoors and are now being followed by the substitutes. Ricardo Vaz Te is the last to leave the pitch, having fired a few last free-kicks into the unguarded net. That would be the perfect way for the No12 to announce his return to competitive action later on, albeit with a goalkeeper to beat!
7.25pm - In his Programme notes, Arsene Wenger believes West Ham are 'comfortable' and can play 'without fear' tonight. Let's hope the Frenchman is right! Wenger also says the Hammers have done a 'remarkable job' to turn their season around and that the visitors have 'bounced back in a convincing way'. All very nice stuff. He also has some comments about West Ham's impending move to the Olympic Stadium, which make for an interesting read. Essentially, Wenger writes that it is important that we create our own history in our new home as quickly as possible.
7.15pm - How much of a bearing will Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final exertions have on tonight's game? Let us know on Twitter using #COYI
7.05pm - So, has Big Sam picked the right team? With Kevin Nolan injured, he had to shuffle the pack in midfielder and has handed Antonio Nocerino a second start for the Club. Mo Diame drops into midfield, with Matt Jarvis given a chance to shine on the wing.
6.50pm - Two changes from Big Sam, with Nocerino and Jarvis replacing Nolan and Taylor. Diame will drop into the midfield three. Noble takes the captain's armband. Arsenal make five changes from the starting XI at Wembley, with Szczesny, Koscielny, Kallstrom, Rosicky and Giroud coming into the side.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen (c), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Arteta, Rosicky, Cazorla, Kallstrom, Giroud
Subs: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ramsey, Sanogo, Jenkinson, Akpom, Bellerin
West Ham United: Adrian, Demel, Armero, Reid, Tomkins, Noble (c), Diame, Nocerino, Jarvis, Downing, Carroll
Subs: Jaaskelainen, Johnson, McCartney, Taylor, J.Cole, C.Cole
6.40pm - The two squads have arrived at the Emirates, a little later than usual. Normally, clubs like to be in their dressing rooms 90 minutes before kick-off, but it was about 6.30pm by the time Arsenal and West Ham had disembarked here. Both coaches parked within easy walking distance of the stadium, I can happily report. We will have the team news for you in about five minutes...
Good evening and welcome to a sunny Emirates Stadium for tonight's Barclays Premier League fixture between Arsenal and West Ham United.
There is plenty of anticipation in the air ahead of this London derby, with both clubs anxious to pick up a victory that would take them closer to their respective targets - a top-four finish for Arsenal and safety for West Ham.
Much has been written about the recent form of both sides, with West Ham collecting 22 points since the turn of the year to give themselves a fantastic chance of staying up, and Arsenal winning just two of their previous eight league matches to drop from top to fifth.
A win for the Hammers tonight would close the gap on tenth-place Stoke City to three points, while the Gunners will go above Everton and back into the top four if they prevail.
Team selection is also contrasting for the respective managers, with Sam Allardyce missing only Marco Borriello and James Collins (both calf), while Arsene Wenger will be without Mathieu Flamini (suspension) and Jack Wilshere (foot), while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin), Nacho Monreal (dead leg) and Lukas Podolski (leg) are doubts and a number of others are nursing tired legs after Saturday's FA Cup semi-final penalty shootout win over Wigan Athletic at Wembley.
West Ham are seeking to win at the Emirates Stadium for the first time since Bobby Zamora's memorable lob on 7 April 2007. Since then, Arsenal have held the upper hand, winning nine of the eleven intervening eleven fixtures, and drawing the other two.
Even more daunting, Arsenal have won the last six games between the two, but runs are made to be ended! Indeed, if you want something to cling to, the Gunners have conceded the first goal in each of their last four league matches.
In the lead up to kick-off, please don't forget to enter our two matchday @whufc_official Twitter competitions #WHULINEUP and #WHUGOAL - you could win a signed prize!
We will have the confirmed teams at just after 6.45pm.
• Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, and as such, both teams will be showing their respect to Liverpool FC and the families and friends of the 96 people who lost their lives on that tragic day.
• Approximately five minutes before kick-off, mascots from Arsenal and West Ham United will emerge from the tunnel carrying a red wreath in the shape of 96. The mascots will then proceed to lay the wreath onto the centre spot before heading back to the tunnel.
• Once the players have walked out onto the pitch and undertaken the customary pre-match handshakes, there will be a period of silence observed before kick-off. After the period of silence, the wreath will be carried off by mascots from the two clubs before being laid in-between the respective technical areas.