Ghana's No. 1

8/10 Lacazette gets Arsenal going in narrow win

Published on: 19 September 2020

Arsenal came into Saturday's match against West Ham in high spirits, having followed up their Community Shield and FA Cup victories with a Premier League-opening win against Fulham.

Another reason for celebration was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signing his new contract with the club. The Gabon international added more reason for joy, providing a lovely assist for Alexandre Lacazette's opener. However, that was dampened when Michail Antonio got an equaliser for West Ham just before half-time.

It looked as though they would have to settle for a point, but substitute Eddie Nketiah was able to net an 86th-minute winner to secure a 2-1 victory.

Positives

The Gunners looked very comfortable whenever they had time on the ball, moving it around well, which moved West Ham's defence about at times. One trait of Arsenal under Mikel Arteta is that they can get a goal when they are not necessarily at their best and that was the case here, as they managed to score twice when they were not in control.

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Negatives

West Ham have an unmistakable aerial threat, which Arsenal struggled to deal with at times, especially from the first couple of set pieces they faced. They also looked threatened by the away side's counterattacks, eventually paying the price when Antonio scored the equaliser. Arteta will likely be disappointed with the amount of control the away side was able to have in the game, especially during the second half.

Manager rating out of 10

7 -- Arteta opted for continuity in his shape after Kieran Tierney's injury, sticking with the three at the back. His side looked very fluid, especially down the left, which made it hard for David Moyes' men to defend at times. Arsenal were second best for large periods, but his decision to bring Nketiah off the bench paid dividends, as he scored the winner.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Bernd Leno, 6 -- It was a very decisive performance from the Germany international, even if he couldn't stop Antonio's effort. Had a mix up at one point but recovered well.

DF Rob Holding, 6 -- The 24-year-old had a good duel with Antonio, putting up a good fight for the majority. However, he allowed the Hammers front man to lose him for the equaliser.

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DF Gabriel, 7 -- The Brazilian showed that he is up for a battle, even if he did have some uncomfortable moments, where West Ham were looking for a penalty.

DF Sead Kolasinac, 6 -- Came into the side after Tierney picked up an injury in the warmup. He put in a decent performance, but could have put Ryan Fredericks under greater pressure for the opener.

MF Hector Bellerin, 7 -- Showed his intelligence throughout the game, getting forward well and playing some dangerous passes into the likes of Lacazette. He also had a good duel with Arthur Masuaku.

MF Dani Ceballos, 7 -- Having forced his way into the side, the Spaniard looked a bit off the pace at times, giving away needless free kicks. However, he was able to make a big difference in the end, assisting Nketiah's winner.

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring in Arsenal's Premier League win over West Ham. Getty

MF Granit Xhaka, 5 -- Some of his passing was poor. He was lucky to get away with some misplaced efforts in the defensive third.

MF Bukayo Saka, 8 -- The teenager played a vital part in both of Arsenal's goals. In addition to carrying an attacking threat, he helped out defensively.

FW Willian, 6 -- The Brazil international played some very smart passes during the match, though his teammates weren't on his wavelength at times. He seemed to fade out of the game before being taken off just after the hour mark.

FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 -- Scored the opener with a clinical header, showing some good goal-scoring form at the start of this campaign. He also provided great link-up play for his teammates at times.

FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 7 -- Marked his first game since signing his new contract with an assist for Lacazette. He is the type of player that can be on the periphery for long periods of the game but still make an impact, which was the case here.

Substitutes

FW Nicolas Pepe, 4 -- Replaced Willian in the 64th minute and threatened at times, but didn't show much quality in his distribution.

FW Eddie Nketiah, N/R -- Replaced Lacazette in the 77th minute and managed to score the winner.

DF David Luiz, N/R -- Replaced Saka in the 89th minute and helped the Gunners to see out the game.

Source: espn.co.uk

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