Arsenal produced a stunning late show to claim a 4-1 win over West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
The Gunners were frustrated in the first half, but took the lead early in the second period as Nacho Monreal scored a splendid left footed volley. However, the Hammers soon levelled as Marko Arnautović powered home from inside the area.
Aaron Ramsey then put his side back in front as Declan Rice failed to deal with his whipped cross, before a late brace from Alexandre Lacazette sealed the win for Arsène Wenger’s men.
As is often the case, Sunday’s match provided a number of key talking points to take away from the action, so here’s four things we learned from the match…
1. Marko Arnautović is a Far More Effective Player Up Front
David Moyes get this fair share of stick these days, but his decision to start playing former winger Marko Arnautović as a striker seems to be an inspired move.
The Austrian powerhouse has the physique necessary to do the job and he frequently caused the Gunners’ shaky defence problems with his aggressive style of play.
His finish to draw his side level was both vicious and composed, and if West Ham stay in the Premier League, Arnautović should arguably be leading the line for the Hammers next season.
2. Alexandre Lacazette Has Got His Mojo Back
Alexandre Lacazette has really stepped his game up in recent weeks, and is finally starting to show the kind of form that saw him light up Ligue 1 with his former club Lyon.
The Frenchman was in imperious form against the Hammers, scoring two excellent efforts to see his side home to victory.
Whoever takes over as the new Arsenal manager will have a tricky conundrum to solve, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is clearly not suited to playing on the wing, and a compromise will need to be met in order to give both quality attackers regular playing time.
3. West Ham Need to Dig Deep to Avoid the Relegation Drop
West Ham were well in the game against Arsenal until late on, but as soon as Ramsey gave the Gunners the lead David Moyes’ side imploded like one of those hollow chocolate spheres under the weight of sweet molten sauce.
Thankfully for the Hammers, the teams around them are equally poor at the moment, if not worse, so the east Londoners may well survive the drop due to the failings of their fellow strugglers.
The Irons still need to play both Manchester sides at home this season, and the big spectacle matches will be ideal opportunities for the club to stay up.
4. There’s an Awful Lot of Love for Wenger at Arsenal…Now He’s Leaving
Ahhhh, football. It’s a fickle game, isn’t it? Now that Arsène Wenger has finally said he’s calling quits on his time at the club in the summer, the big man is an adored figure once again.
The Emirates Stadium was a veritable festival of Arsène Wenger love on Sunday afternoon, as the north Londoners festooned their stadium with Wenger-related paraphernalia and sang their leader’s name to the heavens. The days of heckling at Stoke train stations, and light aircraft baring insulting banners appear to be over.
‘Wengerstock’ is here and it’s here to stay, man. Until the end of the season, that is.