Resolute Hammers make it four points from two derbies

Manuel Lanzini

West Ham United 0 – 0 Arsenal
Premier League

West Ham United made it four points from two London derbies in a week as they stood firm against Arsenal at London Stadium on Wednesday night.

Neither side could find a way through as the Hammers again showed the defensive resilience which has served them so well through their run of games at the top end of the Premier League table.

Alex Iwobi hit the post for the visitors in the first half, and Adrian had to save from Alexis Sanchez in the second, but West Ham came so close to taking all three points at the death when Chicharito’s shot thudded against the crossbar and out.

The Hammers named the same eleven who defended so stoutly against Chelsea five days previously and they started with the same diligence against the Gunners.

Alexis Sanchez had a low shot gathered in by Adrian with nine minutes on the clock, but it was at the other end that the first real moment of excitement materialised, as Marko Arnautovic rose to nod home an Arthur Masuaku cross, only to have the goal ruled out for offside.

There was a scare for the Hammers just before the half hour when Jack Wilshere and Sanchez combined neatly in midfield for the latter to slip a pass to Iwobi. He cut inside onto his left foot and shot for goal, finding the outside of the near post with his effort.

Seven minutes before the interval, Aaron Cresswell was brave at the back post to block Olivier Giroud’s overhead kick, but the Hammers would have been happy with how they restricted the Gunners before the break.

Arsene Wenger’s men looked to up the tempo on the game’s resumption and they came close to opening the scoring on 56 when a blocked Sanchez shot fell fortuitously for Mesut Ozil, who prodded wide when well placed.

The Hammers were perhaps a touch fortunate again 14 minutes later when Giroud nodded back unselfishly for Wilshere, only for the midfielder to smash over the bar.

Arsenal’s threat was growing, but Adrian was equal to Sanchez’s 30-yard free-kick three minutes later.

That appeared to be that, until the final minute when Laurent Koscielny’s loose square pass so nearly led to a Hammers winner.

The hosts pounced on the ball, and Mark Noble passed to Chicharito inside the area. His shot beat Petr Cech, crashed off the bar, down on the line and agonisingly away to safety.

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Zabaleta, Noble (c), Obiang, Masuaku, Lanzini, Arnautovic, Antonio (Chicharito 82)

Substitutes: Hart, Collins, Rice, Carroll, Ayew, Sakho

Booked: Lanzini, Reid

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Koscielny (c), Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Maitland-Niles, Ozil, Iwobi (Welbeck 70), Sanchez (Lacazette 82), Giroud

Substitutes: Ospina, Chambers, Kolasinac, Coquelin, Elneny

Referee: Jonathan Moss

Attendance: 56,921