Petr Cech errors gift West Ham fine win over Arsenal
Premier League, Emirates Stadium – Arsenal 0 West Ham 2 (Koyate 43′ Zarate 57′)
West Ham pulled off a shock 2-0 victory over Arsenal after Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate exploited two Petr Cech mistakes.
Arsenal got off to a bright start in the first half, and started to increasingly dominate proceedings, with chances for Olivier Giroud, Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey, but West Ham were never out of the running.
They scored first when Dimitri Payet’s curling free kick was headed home by Kouyate, after Cech missed the flight of the ball. It was West Ham’s new star signing who intervened to positive effect, not Arsenal’s.
In the second half, West Ham again made the most of their chances, and Cech made another mistake, when Zarate seized on a loose ball to take an early shot that squeezed past a stunned goalkeeper.
Arsenal threw on their attacking substitutes, including an unready Alexis Sanchez, but West Ham held on with no moments of panic.
11′ – OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN SHOT – Oxlade-Chamberlain runs on to a clearance to slice a volley from outside the box a yard or so wide of the top corner. The closest either side has come so far.
31′ – RAMSEY VOLLEY – Ramsey receives a pass inside from the right wing. The ball flicks up off his chest, and his volley clips Cresswell, and Adrian and the bar combine to keep it out.
39′ – RAMSEY SHOT – Ramsey has room for a shot from distance, and he drags a shot wide of the far post.
43′ – GOAL! Arsenal 0-1 West Ham. Zouyate scores – Cech runs out to reach a curling Payet free kick, and Kouyate gets their first to nod the ball in, with Cech absolutely covered in football pie.
54′ – GIROUD SHOT – Giroud receives the ball just inside the box from Ozil, and his shot on the turn hits the side netting.
57′ – GOAL! Arsenal 0-2 West Ham. Zarate scores – He picks the ball up off Coquelin who can’t control a loose ball, and he spins towards goal and quickly hits a low shot that catches Cech by surprise, and despite being close to him, he can’t dive to his right quick enough.
81′ – ARSENAL CHANCES – Walcott has a shot blocked, and then Oxlade-Chamberlain has a shot from distance, straight into the side-netting.
This was the first game that Arsenal trailed West Ham at half-time since 2007.
Arsenal fans started streaming out of the Emirates after just 84 minutes.
MATCHCAST: FULL MATCH STATS AND COMMENTARY
Petr Cech is still just a man. Over the course of the summer, the excellent Cech was upgraded to a reputation of infallibility. Today illustrated that just as he was capable of making mistakes for Chelsea (don’t forget Jose Mourinho was happy and ruthless to drop him when Thibaut Courtois became available), he will make them for Arsenal. He has, no doubt, significantly improved Arsenal, but he must be one of two or three great signings before Arsenal are to match Chelsea.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United): At 28, he had the chance to make one, possibly two, more big moves before his career ended. The influx of cash into the Premier League means that rather than join one of the bigger sides in Spain or Italy, he’s in the mid-table of the English top tier, but that won’t stop him showing his creative abilities.
Arsenal: Cech 4, Debuchy 5, Mertesacker 5, Koscielny 5, Monreal 6, Coquelin 5, Ramsey 5, Oxlade-Chamberlain 6, Ozil 5, Cazorla 6, Giroud 6. Subs: Walcott 6, Sanchez 6.
West Ham: Adrian 6, Tomkins 7, Reid 7, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6, Oxford 7, Noble 6, Kouyate 7, Payet 7, Zarate 6, Sakho 6. Subs: Nolan 6, Jarvis 6, Maiga 6.
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