West Ham United managed to throw away a three-goal lead in the first half to eventually draw 3-3 with Arsenal at the London Stadium. It was truly a game of two halves, with both the Hammers and Arsenal demonstrating their attacking capabilities respectively. However, the show was ultimately stolen by some incredibly poor refereeing from John Moss.
The Hammers were without Pablo Fornals again due to the Spaniard being ruled out due to injury.
West Ham started brightly and had an early chance through Vladimir Coufal when the Czech found himself free on the edge of the box, but the right-back fired his wild volley well over the bar. The Hammers kept up the pressure and had another chance through Tomas Soucek, the Czech midfielder connecting with Aaron Cresswell’s teasing cross – but he too sent his effort wide.
West Ham’s attacking start paid off in the 15th minute when the in-form Jesse Lingard opened the scoring and showed exactly why he is back in the England squad after a year long absence. The 28-year-old loanee smashed his half-volley from the edge of the box, past a helpless Berndt Leno and straight into the top-right corner to make it 1-0 to West Ham.
The Hammers didn’t stop there, adding a quick second after some very quick thinking from Lingard. After Michail Antonio was fouled on the edge of Arsenal’s penalty area, Lingard caught Arteta’s defence napping and played a quick free kick through to Jarrod Bowen who snuck his low shot past Leno to make it 2-0 to West Ham within 17 minutes.
Despite being 2-0 down, Arsenal didn’t seem to wake up and they were punished in the 30th minute when Soucek tapped home Antonio’s headed effort to make it 3-0 and to consolidate West Ham’s blistering start.
After the third goal, Arsenal seemed to finally wake up and they hit back in the 38th minute through Alexandre Lacazette. At first it seemed to be a nicely taken goal but it was deemed to have taken a slight deflection from Soucek to send it past Lukasz Fabianski, and was awarded as a Soucek own goal.
The Gunners nearly got another goal back just before half time through Bukayo Saka, but he was denied by some great defending from Declan Rice.
Arsenal started the second half brightly and again nearly pulled another goal back when Lacazette chipped the ball over Fabianski, but the Polish keeper’s blushes were saved by a superb acrobatic goalline clearance from Issa Diop to protect West Ham’s lead.
The Gunners’ dominance in the second half controversially paid off in the 61st minute when Craig Dawson’s attempted clearance was sent smashing past Fabianski to reduce West Ham’s lead to one goal.
Kieran Tierney fouled Bowen in the build-up as the winger was breaking on the counter attack, but the foul was given against West Ham. As a result, Arsenal then went down the other end and scored their second goal. It really shouldn’t have counted, and it wasn’t even checked.
The Hammers nearly restored their two-goal lead in the 77th minute when Benrahma weaved through Arsenal’s defence and fired a low driven ball across goal. Antonio connected with the cross but smashed his effort agonisingly against the bar from close range.
West Ham were then made to pay for Antonio’s missed chance in the 82nd minute when Lacazette headed home Arsenal’s equaliser following a cross from Nicholas Pepe.
West Ham managed to hold on to the point, but it was poor second half as well as an incredibly poor performance from the referee. It will be two points very much dropped.
West Ham will be hoping to put this result behind them when they travel up to Molineux to face Wolverhampton Wanderers on the 5th of April.