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Friday, 25 January 2013

Arsenal come from behind to thrash West Ham

Arsenal returned to form and put in a breath taking second half display to overcome London rivals West Ham on Wednesday night as the Gunners ran out 5-1 victors. It was a vitally important game as it was one that Arsenal had in hand over their top 4 rivals and they got the all important victory through two goals from Giroud, and one each for Podolski, Walcott and Cazorla. The game had struggled to get going in the first half despite two goals but the Gunners came out all guns blazing putting 4 goals past the Hammers in ten minutes. Arsene Wenger made a few changes from the defeat to Chelsea as Podolski returned from illness and started in place of Diaby who wasn't in the squad. Meanwhile Ramsey replaced the injured Coquelin and Oxlade-Chamberlain also returned from illness but he only made the bench.
Lukas Podolski played his best game in Arsenal colours
The first shot on goal came 11 minutes in as Cazorla opened up the chance to have an effort on goal but his strike went high and wide.

West Ham's first chance came through Taylor as his scuffed shot bounced up off Vermaelen and onto the top of the net.

From the resulting corner, the visitors took the lead. Giroud's clearing header could only find Jack Collison who smashed the ball beyond Szczesny and into the back of the net from just outside the box.

Minutes later, Arsenal equalised through a brilliant strike from Lukas Podolski. Cazorla fed Wilshere who then dinked the ball into Podolski. He looked up and then hammered the ball into the far corner.

West Ham came back once more though and had a chance from a corner as Noble picked out Vaz Te but his header cleared the bar.

Just after the half hour mark, Podolski had a great chance to grab his second as Gibbs pulled the ball back into the path of him but he struggled to make good contact with the ball.

Carlton Cole then had a great chance to put West Ham ahead once more. Taylor's deflected shot fell kindly for him but he was to be denied by Ramsey who cleared the ball off the line.

The final opportunity of the half came from a free-kick as Cazorla curled the ball over the wall but Jaaskelainen was there to make the save.

The score at half time was 1-1.

A minute after the break and Arsenal were ahead. Walcott's corner was met at the near post by Giroud who flicked the ball home via the goalkeeper.

Arsenal then made it 3-1 through Santi Cazorla. Giroud flicked the ball over the top into Podolski who then played it into Cazorla to heel flick the ball into the goal.

The Gunners then got yet another goal to extend their lead. Wilshere poked the ball through to Podolski who then slid it over to Walcott to fire past Jaaskelainen for 4-1.

It was turning into a rout as a fifth Arsenal goal was then scored. Podolski was the architect once more as he got down the left hand side and then found Giroud who slid home for his second of the game.

There was then a lengthy stoppage to the game as young West Ham defender Dan Potts was taken off on a stretcher following a collison with Sagna.

Following that, there were 12 minutes of injury time and the first chance during added time came from Walcott after Jaaskelainen gifted the ball straight to him but his attempted chip was saved.

The final score finished Arsenal 5-1 West Ham.

 The teams lineups:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen(58), Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski(70), Giroud(73).
Subs: Mannone, Koscielny(58), Jenkinson, Santos(70), Frimpong, Arshavin, Oxlade-Chamberlain(73)

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel Tomkins, Reid(62), O'Brien, Taylor, Collison(62), Nolan, Noble, Vaz Te(70), C.Cole.
Subs:  Henderson, Potts(62), Diarra(62), Diame(70), Jarvis, J.Cole, O'Neil.

My man of the match: Lukas Podolski

Referee: Andre Marriner
Attendance: 60,081

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