Bowen celebrates

Hammers roar back to claim point against leaders Arsenal

West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal
Premier League, London Stadium, Sunday 16 April 2023, 2pm BST


West Ham United came back from two goals down to earn a valuable point against Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

The Hammers were long odds against to claim a result when goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Ødegaard inside the first ten minutes had them down on the London Stadium canvas.

But they picked themselves up with admirable resolve to land a blow to the Gunners’ title hopes and boost their own battle against relegation.

First Saïd Benrahama converted an ice cool penalty with 33 minutes on the clock to get home tails up.

Then, after Bukayo Saka missed a 52nd minute spot kick, the Hammers took advantage through Jarrod Bowen’s powerful volley.

A breathless game ended 2-2, with West Ham taking a valuable confidence boost into the final stretch of their campaign, both at home and in Europe.

Saïd Benrahma scores against Arsenal

Arsenal arrived at London Stadium with only Manchester City having scored more Premier League goals this term, and their attacking power was immediately evident.

After Rob Holding survived optimistic penalty appeals for handball, when he blocked Benrahma’s shot, it took only seven minutes for the Gunners to establish a lead.

Their movement down the right hand side proved too hot for the Hammers to handle, as Ødegaard slipped a pass down the side for Ben White to meet with an inch-perfect cut back for Jesus to tap home.

Three minutes later it was two, as Gabriel Martinelli took control of the ball on the left and spotted Ødegaard’s run from out to in on the opposite flank, clipping a cross over for the unmarked Norway international to volley home.

West Ham’s task already looked a tall one, with Arsenal seemingly in the mood for more.  The Hammers struggled to lay a glove on their visitors in the first quarter of the contest, but gave themselves a lifeline with 33 minutes played.


Declan Rice was the architect of the opportunity, pressing with intensity to pinch the ball off Thomas Partey high up the pitch. He fed Paquetá in the box, who was clipped by Gabriel as his fellow Brazilian as he dived in. Penalty.

Benrahma did the rest, sending Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way with his calmly-taken, low penalty and all of the sudden West Ham were right back in it.

Michail Antonio had a bouncing header tipped over by Ramsdale, while Paquetá hammered a shot wide from the edge of the box as West Ham ended the half strongly, and the match certainly had a different feel to it as the whistle blew for the interval.

Arsenal were given the chance to effect another mood shift seven minutes after the break when, as the Hammers tried to deal with a corner, Antonio was penalised for handball.

Referee David Coote pointed to the spot for the second time of the afternoon but, unlike Benrahma, Saka’s radar was off as he placed his effort wide of the left-hand post.

Two minutes later, his error was punished as the Hammers dragged themselves level. Vladimír Coufal’s searching long throw was cleared, but only as far as Thilo Kehrer, who lofted the ball back into the box.

Bowen timed his run to perfection as he broke the defensive line to hammer a volley beyond Ramsdale and lift the roof off London Stadium.

Saka shoots

West Ham remained on the front foot as Bowen flashed a dangerous low ball across the face of goal as they hunted for a third.

At the other end, Saka led a quick break in the 71st minute and, with their defence stretched, the Irons were grateful that the England international’s effort lacked the power to test Łukasz Fabiański.

Still West Ham pressed, though, and Antonio was so close to a late winner when he headed Benrahma’s cross against the outside of the post from a tight angle.

The third goal would not come for either team, but West Ham would be delighted with the fight – and quality – they showed to come back for the point they gained.


West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Kehrer, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Paquetá (Downes 87), Bowen, Benrahma (Fornals 90), Antonio (Cornet 87)
Subs not used: Areola (GK), Anang (GK), Johnson, Emerson, Lanzini, Ings

Goals: Benrahma pen 33, Bowen 54

Booked: Cresswell


Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Gabriel, Holding, Tierney (Vieira 85), Xhaka, Partey (Trossard 66), Ødegaard © (Nketiah 90), Saka, Martinelli (Nelson 85), Jesus (Jorginho 66)
Subs not used: Turner (GK), Kiwior, Walters, Smith Rowe

Goals: Jesus 7, Ødegaard 10

Booked: Partey, Jesus


Referee: David Coote


Attendance: 62,475