In a London derby at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal suffered a 0-2 defeat to West Ham, a significant blow to their championship aspirations. This comes on the heels of Liverpool's 0-2 victory over Burnley on Boxing Day, making Arsenal's loss even more disappointing as it missed out on the chance to top the league.
Arsenal’s Lackluster Performance
Arsenal's showing was found wanting. The team appeared fatigued and inefficacious, a stark contrast to their usual form. Throughout the game, their gameplay failed to impress.
West Ham’s Clinical Precision
On the contrary, West Ham made a remarkable impact, with their first two shots on target culminating in goals. Soucek opened the scoring at the 13th minute, and Mavropanos doubled their lead in the 55th minute. This impressive display left Arsenal and their supporters in disbelief.
Key Saves by Areola
West Ham's custodian, Areola, deserves a mention for his pivotal saves during the closing stages of the game. His intervention denied Arsenal any opportunity to stage a comeback and secure at least a draw.
Penalty Miss by Benrahma
In the dying seconds of the match, Benrahma of West Ham squandered a penalty. Though his miss did not change the outcome of the game, it would have surely increased West Ham's victory margin.
Aftermath of the Defeat
Despite this setback, Arsenal maintains its second position in the Premier League. However, they lag behind Liverpool by two points. Manchester City, with a game in hand against Brentford, has the potential to supplant Arsenal's position. The race for the title has hence become more intense.
Acknowledgement from Arsenal
Arsenal (@Arsenal) took to Twitter on December 28, 2023, to acknowledge their defeat at the Emirates Stadium.