West Ham United 3-1 Arsenal
Carabao Cup fourth round, London Stadium, Wednesday 1 November
A magical second-half showing saw West Ham United secure their place in the Carabao Cup last eight with a 3-1 win over fellow Premier League side Arsenal.
Having taken the lead in the first half courtesy of Ben White’s own-goal – headed in from Jarrod Bowen’s corner – the Hammers struck again five minutes into the second half through a sensational strike from Mohammed Kudus.
Bowen added the third for the Irons on the hour mark, powering in an unstoppable torpedo for his seventh goal of the season in all competitions.
Substitute Martin Ødegaard added a consolation for Arsenal with virtually the last kick of the game at London Stadium but, in front of an attendance of 62,154, a League Cup record for West Ham United, David Moyes’ brilliant home side confirmed a spot in the quarter-finals for a second time in three seasons.
A brisk early November chill encompassed London Stadium ahead of Wednesday’s match but literal fireworks minutes before kick-off gave way to a tasty, and warming, London derby.
A ball from Kudus to the on-running Lucas Paquetá certainly got the blood pumping just five minutes in but, with Bowen and Saïd Benrahma available against a back-tracking Arsenal defence, the Brazilian’s ball rolled through to Aaron Ramsdale.
The visitors, while commanding possession, did not look like truly threatening Łukasz Fabiański’s goal in the opening exchanges. A Reiss Nelson free-kick was flicked on by Kai Havertz, which the experienced Pole dealt with.
Edson Álvarez’s searching ball for Kudus in the Arsenal box got a roar of approval from the attending Claret and Blue Army, which led to a West Ham corner. That roar quickly turned into cheers as the Irons opened the scoring from the set-piece.
Bowen’s corner was narrow and, amidst a battle of bodies in the box, White could only divert his attempted clearing header past his own goalkeeper and into the back of his own net.
The England defender looked to right the wrong a few minutes later, seeing his header tipped over the bar by Fabiański, while Eddie Nketiah could only send his effort wide from the resulting corner.
The Arsenal striker will feel he should have done better from Leandro Trossard’s pull-back though. Meeting the ball ahead of Nayef Aguerd, Nketiah could only send his first-time effort over the crossbar.
In a first half of few real opportunities, it was the Hammers who had the advantage.
While there was undoubtedly a touch of fortune about the Irons’ opener in the first half, the second half showed what West Ham’s attacking options could bring.
It only took 30 seconds for the home crowd to get a taste of the chances to come for the Hammers, as Paquetá found Bowen with a clever reverse pass. The forward struck a dinked effort, which Ramsdale instinctively rose his hands to palm away.
The early second-half pressure from the hosts continued though and paid dividends just four minutes later.
And what a goal it was too!
Aguerd’s cross-field diagonal pass was exceptional, and just as exquisite was the touch from Kudus, who superbly controlled with a silky backheel. Knocking the ball into space, the Ghanaian sweetly stuck it into the far bottom corner.
Two goals down, Arsenal needed a change, and the Gunners introduced former West Ham captain Declan Rice from the bench. The midfielder, who recognised the Claret and Blue Army during his warm-up, was warmly greeted with a standing ovation from the home support as he entered the fray alongside Takehiro Tomiyasu.
But four minutes later the Irons had another. The ball fell for Bowen on the edge of the area and the No20 hit a thunderbolt on target. Unable to react quickly enough, Ramsdale’s raised palm could only fall away to Bowen’s seventh goal of the season, and West Ham’s third of the evening.
Desperate to get back into the game, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta introduced Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Ødegaard from the bench, with the latter testing Fabiański with a low drive; the 38-year-old getting down well to deny the effort.
But, even with their more established first-teamers off the bench and on the pitch, Arsenal never truly looked like forcing their way back into the game. Indeed, it was only right at the end when substitute Ødegaard struck a low effort past Fabiański; a consolation at the death.
From the resulting kick-off, the full-time whistle rang, signalling not only an impressive win for West Ham in the London derby but also a place in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.
West Ham United: Fabiański ©, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Souček, Álvarez, Paquetá, Kudus, Benrahma (Ward-Prowse 81), Bowen
Subs not used: Areola (GK), Cresswell, Ogbonna, Kehrer, Fornals, Cornet, Ings, Antonio
Goals: White og 16, Kudus 50, Bowen 60
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Kiwior, Gabriel, Zinchenko (Tomiyasu 57), Jorginho © (Rice 57), Fábio Viera, Havertz, Nelson (Martinelli 66), Trossard (66), Nketiah (Odegaard 80)
Subs not used: Hein (GK), Saliba, Cédric Soares, Elneny
Goal: Ødegaard 90+6
Referee: Simon Hooper