Noble takes Arsenal positives

Mark Noble feels West Ham United can take heart from their first half performance in the 3-1 defeat against Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday evening.

Things were looking good for the Hammers after Matt Jarvis nodded them in front in north London with 40 minutes on the clock as the visitors proved to be tough opposition for their top four chasing opponents.

Just four minutes later however, Lukas Podolski dragged the Gunners back level before Olivier Giroud and the German international's second goal of the game condemned the away side to defeat in a disappointing second half.

Noble felt the Hammers gave Arsenal a run for their money on the night, but ultimately came up short.

"To be honest, In spells, I thought we played well on the night," he explained. "We passed it about well. Whenever you lose it's not enjoyable, but as much as you can come here and enjoy it I did, but there's still no points on the board.

"We played really well against Liverpool and didn't get anything and we can't keep playing well against the big teams and not getting anything."

The major talking point during the match came with the scores level at 0-0, when Jarvis nicked the ball away from Bacary Sagna in the penalty area and chose to stay on his feet as the full-back clearly clipped him.

The winger could have easily chosen to go down and play for the penalty, but Noble feels it's not in Jarvis' nature to be dishonest.

"They say about honesty in the game, but I'm pretty sure that if Jarvo had gone down we would have got a penalty. Jarvo's probably the most honest man you'll meet in your life."

The Gunners showed little sign of fatigue following their FA Cup with Budweiser exerts just three days earlier, when they required extra-time and penalties to beat Wigan Athletic.

Noble praised the way Arsene Wenger's side kept the ball on Tuesday night and didn't feel that Arsenal had suffered from their semi-final tie.

"When you've got the ball you've always got energy no matter what team you're playing in and it's not about fatigue. When you keep the ball as well as they do it's enjoyable and you don't get tired.

"They had a lot of the ball, as they did in the semi-final on Saturday. They probably came out here as fresh as anybody, but I thought in the first half we looked like the better team and then it obviously got away from us."

Sam Allardyce's side now switch their focus to Saturday afternoon, when Crystal Palace visit the Boleyn Ground, and Noble is focused on attaining nothing less than three points.

"We're playing at home against Crystal Palace and they're a team that we want to get three points off.

"Our home form has been good, obviously we were unfortunate to lose against Liverpool. We need to rest up, recover and get points against Palace."