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Rice is right as Hammers beat Arsenal

Declan Rice’s superb second-half goal was enough to give West Ham a vital victory over Arsenal at the London Stadium on Saturday.

Rice, who enjoyed a superb game, first went close on the stroke of half-time, sending a header just wide of the post when unmarked in the penalty area.

But, just two minutes after the resumption of the game, Rice curled a superb effort into the top corner from just inside the area, after a lay-off from the excellent Samir Nasri.

The Hammers then defended diligently throughout the second-half, limiting Arsenal to optimistic shots from range and half-chances.

It was Arsenal who perhaps started the game the better, and they created the first real chance, as Alexandre Lacazette was freed in the box, though he was denied by a solid stop from Lukasz Fabianski.

Rice then blocked the Frenchman in the area as he prepared to shoot, before the Hammers started to gain a major foothold in the game.

Nasri, again at the centre of things, collected the ball on the edge of the box and fed Felipe Anderson, who fizzed an effort wide.

After a near-miss from Matteo Guendouzi, from distance, Rice sent the ball just past the post on the stroke of half-time.

After the midfielder’s excellent goal, the Gunners changed formation and ratcheted up the pressure; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alex Iwobi both went close to equalising.

Nasri was then substituted to a huge ovation by the Irons faithful, along with Marko Arnautovic. The Austrian waved at the fans as he went off, perhaps hinting that his future lies away from the London Stadium.

Arsenal ended the game with the ball in the net, Laurent Koscielny heading a Sead Kolasinac cross past Fabianski, but the Hammers would not be denied a well-deserved three points, with the full-back flagged for offside.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.

4 comments on “Rice is right as Hammers beat Arsenal

  1. Wasn’t expecting Nasri to start today but absolutely delighted he did . Thought he had a great game considering he hasn’t played in the Premiership for over a year . He hasn’t lost it and can only improve . Rice had a enormous game and I am delighted for him . In fact the whole team had a fantastic game apart from Anautovic . ( maybe all the stuff going on is effecting him , hope that’s the situation ) We need him to stay . The LS was buzzing today .
    Our squad can be unbelievable when everyone is fit . Carroll worried Arsenal , no way we can lose him .

  2. Rice was unbelievable again. The ball seemed tied to his laces. Noble lead from start to finish. Diop looked backed to his assured self. Nasri was a massive plus and superb for his 70 mins. Arnautovic is clearly off – his efforts were half hearted and his body language poor. By the time he went off he had lost the crowd. Big problem – new forward needed

  3. Pleased for Rice. I’ve long felt he just has to start adding assists and goals to his game to become the complete player. Today was a good start.

  4. Agree Jonnyd. Watched the game and particularly focused on Arnie. He wasn’t up for it in my opinion, downed tools. Taking into account that we scored 13 goals without him in December when he was injured shows that we can perform well without him. I’m not suggesting that he is not a good player, but we don’t need a toxic situ in the changing room. Take the decent profit on offer and move on.

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