Arsenal secured their first Premier League triumph of the season as they outclassed West Ham United by a 3-1 scoreline in their home turf. Both teams were defensively vulnerable over the course of the game but the Gunners managed to pick up their first league points of the campaign after making the most of their goalscoring opportunities.
Three things we learned:
Unai Emery’s game-changing substitutions: Arsenal lacked the solidity in the centre of the park during the first period and much of this resulted from Mateo Guendouzi vacating his position to impress the club’s faithful. Following the break, the Gunners looked much better with substitute Lucas Torreira doing the job of anchoring with limited movement out wide. Aside from Torreira, Alexandre Lacazette also made a key impression from the bench after contributing the assist towards Issa Diop’s own goal – which gave the Gunners a 2-1 lead. Surely the pair have made a strong case to start against Cardiff City next weekend.
Arsenal’s defensive woes continue: Despite the signing of Sokratis Papastathopoulos, the Gunners backline has not shown much of an improvement from the previous campaign. Clean sheets were a rarity during the backend of last season and the case has remained the same this term with the Gunners conceding in each of their three matches. Sokratis was guilty of one miskick which could have cost in the form of goal but the major weakness was on the right side of the defence which Hector Bellerin was once again exploited. The Spaniard provided the assist for Danny Welbeck’s and Arsenal’s third goal but Emery should still be concerned with Bellerin’s primary job which remains to defend.
Felipe Anderson with a positive performance: With a third league defeat of the campaign, the Hammers now find themselves at the bottom of the standings. Despite this, there were positives from the Arsenal game whereby they looked threatening every time they had possession off the ball. Part of this may have been assisted by a vulnerable Gunners defence but Felipe Anderson’s workrate and movement was certainly impressive to watch. After creating Marko Arnautovic’s opening goal, the Brazilian was a constant presence on the counter-attack and his pace often took nearby opponents out of the game. His service could have been better in the final third but overall, his performance kept the Gunners’ defence alert throughout the game.
Image – Getty