How Arsenal missed chance to go top of Premier League with 2-0 home defeat to West Ham

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Goals from West Ham's Tomas Soucek and Konstantinos Mavropanos denied Arsenal nan opportunity to return to nan Premier League summit

Michael Dominski and Ed Mackey

December 28, 2023 astatine 7:25 PM EST

How Arsenal missed chance to spell apical of Premier League pinch 2-0 location conclusion to West Ham

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How it happened: Arsenal 0-2 West Ham

And really does nan Premier League apical half look?

And really does nan Premier League apical half look?

(Premier League)

So, we person played half nan games of nan 2023-24 Premier League play and, judging by nan first half of nan campaign, it looks for illustration it mightiness not beryllium a 90+ points tally that brings nan title.

That is, unless Man City deed their straps again.

What changes do you expect to spot successful nan 2nd half of nan season?

What adjacent successful nan Premier League?

The games travel heavy and accelerated successful nan Premier League astatine this clip of nan year.

Fortunately, you person sewage tomorrow to get your activity backmost earlier 4 days of action.

Arsenal person different London derby arsenic they look Fulham astatine Craven Cottage connected Sunday earlier West Ham big Brighton connected Tuesday.

Saturday, December 30

  • Luton vs Chelsea – 12:30pm GMT/7:30am ET
  • Aston Villa vs Burnley – 3pm GMT/10am ET
  • Crystal Palace vs Brentford – 3pm GMT/10am ET
  • Manchester City vs Sheffield United – 3pm GMT/10am ET
  • Wolves vs Everton – 3pm GMT/10am ET
  • Nottingham Forest vs Manchester United – 5:30pm GMT/12:30pm ET (Live sum connected The Athletic)

Sunday, December 31

  • Fulham vs Arsenal – 2pm GMT/9am ET (Live sum connected The Athletic)
  • Tottenham vs Bournemouth – 2pm GMT/9am ET

Monday, January 1

  • Liverpool vs Newcastle – 8pm GMT/3pm ET (Live sum connected The Athletic)

Tuesday, January 2

  • West Ham vs Brighton – 7:30pm GMT/12:30pm ET

The twists and turns successful a Premier League title race

The twists and turns successful a Premier League title race

(Getty Images)

The past fewer days person epitomised what it is for illustration pursuing a Premier League title race.

Firstly, connected Boxing Day, Liverpool laboured somewhat past Burnley astatine Turf Moor, but sewage nan occupation done to return to nan top.

A mates of hours later, Aston Villa looked to move level pinch Jurgen Klopp's broadside but squandered a two-goal lead distant to Manchester United, and now find themselves 3 points adrift.

Yesterday, Manchester City recovered from an early setback to brushwood Everton aside, leaving Arsenal to complete nan line-up of early beforehand runners.

After their disappointment, it is Liverpool starring nan battalion astatine nan halfway stage.

Ignore VAR, Gabriel could person prevented Soucek's goal

Ignore VAR, Gabriel could person prevented Soucek's goal

(Getty Images)

West Ham’s opener will agelong beryllium a constituent of contention owed to nan disorder complete whether nan shot was retired of play, but Arsenal should ne'er person allowed nan business to scope that point.

William Saliba and Declan Rice were alert arsenic nan shot progressed up nan flank, moving to right-back and centre-back respectively. But what caused nan problem was Jarrod Bowen going untracked betwixt Rice and Gabriel arsenic nan transverse was played.

The miscommunication and panic that ensued betwixt nan Brazilian and Oleksandr Zinchenko could person been prevented if nan full protect portion moved arsenic 1 successful that moment. Instead, swipes were taken astatine nan shot and West Ham took advantage.

Preventable goals person been a taxable of Arsenal’s 2023. Throughout nan almanac year, switching disconnected astatine important moments has costs them. These mistakes only go much glaring because Arsenal springiness guidance teams truthful small successful regards to building their ain attacks. But these errors often consciousness for illustration 1 of nan main issues holding them back.

 Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

GO FURTHER

Arsenal 0 West Ham 2: Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

Smith Rowe impressed wherever Trossard struggled

Smith Rowe impressed wherever Trossard struggled

(Getty Images)

Another campaigner for Arsenal's near No 8 position is Emile Smith Rowe and Mikel Arteta has spoken glowingly astir him recently. Ahead of nan PSV draw, he said: “The measurement he’s done his rehab I haven’t seen him do it earlier for illustration really he’s done it this time. You spot nan measurement his team-mates reacted to his comeback which is really affirmative arsenic well. The infinitesimal we tin springiness him chances nan amended we’re going to be.”

Pushed connected whether it was nan midfielder’s beingness aliases intelligence attack he was impressed by earlier West Ham, he added: “Both of them. It wasn’t nan first clip that happened and sometimes it’s not easy to commencement that process again. When he was getting immoderate momentum and looking bully again, he went done that successful a really awesome way. Now it’s astir putting it connected nan transportation erstwhile he gets nan opportunity to do that. To execute and make a quality for nan team.”

Smith Rowe replaced Trossard connected 78 minutes to 1 of nan bigger cheers of nan nighttime and instantly caused an rumor pinch a tally successful down for an Odegaard cross. Havertz will apt travel backmost successful against Fulham, but much thought needs to beryllium put into who fills that slot erstwhile nan German is not called upon.

 Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

GO FURTHER

Arsenal 0 West Ham 2: Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

Trossard can’t dress up for Havertz absence

Trossard can’t dress up for Havertz absence

(Getty Images)

The 1 position of contention for Arsenal this play has been nan left-sided No 8. Kai Havertz has made it his ain pinch improved performances successful caller weeks, but pinch his suspension against West Ham, Leandro Trossard grounded to prime up wherever he near off.

The 29-year-old has been utilized successful that domiciled earlier this season, but very small of what he tried came off. Early connected he took up akin spaces to Odegaard which resulted successful him either miscontrolling passes meant for his skipper aliases rushing shots wide.

Frustration grew arsenic erstwhile he did commencement occupying nan correct areas, his execution fto him down. Midway done nan first half he pulled wide to fto Martinelli drift inside, but he could not dribble erstwhile nan shot reached him later successful nan move.

The infinitesimal that epitomised nan vexation came astatine nan extremity of nan first half, however. After superb activity from Rice to springiness Arsenal a last onslaught successful added time, Trossard was advancing pinch aggregate passing options but changeable precocious and wide.

 Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

GO FURTHER

Arsenal 0 West Ham 2: Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

Arsenal's vexation astatine deficiency of creativity

Arsenal's vexation astatine deficiency of creativity

(Getty Images)

Arsenal showed committedness successful nan opening exchanges.

Martin Odegaard was nan main thrust of this. Within nan first 5 minutes, he had sprinted guardant to regain possession successful nan last third, nutmegged a West Ham defender to support Arsenal successful a promising position and put connected a shooting chance for Bukayo Saka pinch a smart backheel.

But erstwhile West Ham took nan lead, nan Norwegian was nan only 1 who seemed to person immoderate imaginative ideas.

For a group of players who often look to cognize what their adjacent action is going to beryllium earlier nan shot reaches their feet, location was excessively overmuch clip being spent connected nan ball. Multiple touches without going anyplace and passes slowing nan tempo alternatively than counter-attacking disappointment nan Emirates crowd.

Arsenal person proven they tin trim done teams who determine to beryllium heavy and take sides their container (Sheffield United, Burnley and Wolves are examples), but they lacked nan incisiveness of those performances.

 Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

GO FURTHER

Arsenal 0 West Ham 2: Gabriel could person made VAR irrelevant, forwards deficiency cutting edge

Moyes connected Paqueta injury, January transportation window

Moyes connected Paqueta injury, January transportation window

(Getty Images)

David Moyes commented connected Lucas Paqueta's wounded while speaking to Amazon Prime Video aft nan match: "He sewage it successful nan warm-up and erstwhile he came successful we had a determination to make. He conscionable felt thing astatine nan backmost of his knee. I didn't cognize really agelong he was going to last. He is specified a talented subordinate and he makes america specified a amended team.

"It was difficult because we could person astir apt said successful nan dressing room 'we'll make nan alteration now'. Thankfully he came off."

On nan January transportation window: "The injuries will ever play a part. I don't deliberation we person a awesome batch of cash. January is ne'er an easy window. We request to spot really nan model is. It will beryllium a nonaccomplishment for america pinch Mohammed Kudus going to nan Africa Cup of Nations. He has been superb for us."

Odegaard: 'We person to amended successful beforehand of nan goal'

 'We person to amended successful beforehand of nan goal'

(Getty Images)

Martin Odegaard was besides asked astir West Ham's first extremity by Amazon Prime: "I conjecture it was a adjacent call. Hopefully they person made nan correct telephone there. Still aft that we had capable chances to triumph nan game."

Arsenal's missed chances were a communal taxable of his post-match remarks: "It's 1 of those nights. We had a batch of chances and did capable to people immoderate goals, but successful nan container we were not bully enough. We return nan bully things and study from nan things we didn't do well.

"We created capable and had immoderate large chances. We're together arsenic a team. Its not astir immoderate players (not scoring). We person to amended successful beforehand of nan extremity and it's down to nan full squad to do that."

On wherever Arsenal are astatine nan halfway constituent of nan Premier League season: "It's not bad. We're up location and fighting. We are aiming to beryllium amended each day. We learned a batch from past play and gained immoderate experience, and hopefully we tin usage that done to nan extremity of this season."

Arsenal thoughts connected West Ham's arguable opener

Arsenal thoughts connected West Ham's arguable opener

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Speaking to nan BBC aft nan defeat, Mikel Arteta was asked whether West Ham's first extremity should person stood, responding: "It is what it is. The exertion we person astatine nan infinitesimal is not clear capable if nan shot is out."

Arsenal fans connected our discussion page, however, had a different view:

Pascal M: If nan frost framework has nan limb retired and you can’t spot immoderate of nan shot down it, it must truthful beryllium out.

Chris N: If you tin spot nan full statement but not nan ball, surely nan shot has afloat crossed nan line?!

Arsenal's tally successful London derbies yet comes to an end

Arsenal's tally successful London derbies yet comes to an end

(Getty Images)

This was Arsenal's first conclusion successful their past 18 London derbies successful nan Premier League, making love backmost to a 3-0 nonaccomplishment astatine Spurs successful May 2022.

Three consecutive cleanable sheets for West Ham

Three consecutive cleanable sheets for West Ham

(Getty Images)

West Ham's defence has been a stonewall arsenic of late, arsenic they person now won 3 consecutive Premier League games without conceding a azygous extremity for nan first clip since February 2014.

Moyes applauds his side's 'brilliant protect performance'

Moyes applauds his side's 'brilliant protect performance'

(Getty Images)

Without his 2 first-choice centre-backs, David Moyes was fortunate to stumble upon 2 top-drawer performances from his deputies.

Konstantinos Mavropanos and Angelo Ogbonna were nan keystones of a sublime showing from nan full backline.

"Football is played successful galore ways and tonight, we did nan spot that isn't talked astir arsenic much," Moyes told Amazon Prime Sport. "We had a superb protect performance, well-organised and well-disciplined.

"We person to play 50 aliases 60 games successful a play and sometimes you person to watch really you're going to play teams and we did a bully occupation connected Arsenal tonight. They had tons of nan ball, excessively overmuch for my liking, but yet we did a awesome occupation successful stopping them from scoring."

Arteta: 'We deserved overmuch much than what we got'

 'We deserved overmuch much than what we got'

(Getty Images)

A missed opportunity is nan taxable of coming for Arsenal, particularly fixed really galore chances they had. Arteta claimed his players deserved a result, though I wouldn't rather spot his stats!

"They won nan crippled and congratulations (to them), but pinch what happened connected nan pitch, we deserved overmuch much than what we got," nan Arsenal leader told Amazon Prime Video. "We tried and tried and tried, but nan quality was made successful nan boxes. They had 2 shots and scored 2 goals, we had 30 shots and didn't people a azygous goal.

"We had big, big, large chances and that's nan quality successful nan Premier League if you want to triumph games, you person to make nan quality successful nan boxes and we didn't do that. But I person to praise (the players), they tried until nan extremity and they went for it."

The stats show that West Ham attempted six shots.

North London is...claret?

North London is...claret?

(Getty Images)

This consequence goes down arsenic West Ham's first triumph astatine nan Emirates since August 2015. They person now beaten Arsenal doubly successful nan aforesaid play for nan first clip since nan 2006-07 campaign.

Piling much misery connected northbound London, they person besides beaten some Tottenham and Arsenal distant from location successful nan aforesaid convention play for nan first clip since 1993-94!

Ward-Prowse: It's awesome to beryllium portion of a hard-working club

 It's awesome to beryllium portion of a hard-working club

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It was different fantabulous James Ward-Prowse group portion that brought a extremity for West Ham successful nan 2nd half tonight, and he said to Amazon Prime Video aft nan game.

"It's awesome (to beryllium portion of this squad)," he said. "Looking astatine nan nine from nan extracurricular earlier I joined, I've ever associated it pinch a hard-working nine afloat of group who emotion nan club.

"You tin spot nan passion from nan fans and nan determination they've sewage and that marries up pinch nan values I guidelines for arsenic a master footballer. It's awesome to beryllium portion of a group that is consenting to activity hard."

Arsenal had plentifulness of nan shot successful attacking positions

Arsenal had plentifulness of nan shot successful attacking positions

(Getty Images)

Arsenal had 77 touches successful nan guidance container against West Ham coming contempt failing to score.

That full goes down arsenic nan astir connected grounds (since 2008-09) successful a azygous Premier League lucifer for a squad who was unopen out.

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