Aaron Cresswell was left frustrated as West Ham United saw a first half lead conclude as a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Boxing Day.
Saïd Benrahma’s penalty - his third goal in five Premier League matches - gave the Irons hope of a first win at Arsenal since August 2015, and with a late Gunners' spot-kick also overturned in the first half on a VAR review – with Martin Ødegaard's shot hitting Cresswell’s face, rather than hands – the Hammers went into the interval with a slender lead to protect.
But in the second half Arsenal proved too strong, as goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah saw David Moyes’ outfit fall to a fourth consecutive top-flight defeat, and after Cresswell left the field, his disappointment with the final result in north London was clear.
“The first half was OK, but it was not good enough in the second half,” said the No3, who was part of the last West Ham team to win at Emirates seven seasons ago. “Once they got their first and second [goals] it was like we were pinned in. The third goal killed the game off. From the position we were in, it is disappointing.”
The Hammers knew a trip to Arsenal represented a tough start to the resumption of their 2022/23 Premier League campaign, with the Gunners moving seven points clear at the top of the table following their 13th win of the season.
And it is clear that the Irons will need to pick themselves up as the festive fixture list continues with Brentford visiting London Stadium for another derby date on Friday 30 December.
“It’s tough at the minute,” added Cresswell. “There are no hiding places now. We have to look at ourselves. It’s the players as a collective – together; it is frustrating and we have to put that right.
“We will work again tomorrow. We have to look at Brentford. It’s a massive game and we need to get back to the training ground and work on things we need to.
“All we can focus on is the next game. It is not where we want to be [in the table] and us as players have to take this responsibility because collectively, we have not been good enough. And we have to move into the next game and get the win.”