Arsenal Hammer West Ham: Giroud Scores First League Goal
By IBTimes Staff Reporter | October 7, 2012 5:07 PM EST
Arsenal secured only the third win of the league season after beating West Ham United 3-1 in a game that should encourage fans across the world. The Gunners were forced to come back from an early goal but rather than allowing that to discourage them, the north London club stayed the course and goals from Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Santi Cazorla made Mohamad Diame's first half strike irrelevant.
Arsene Wenger started the game with Gervinho on the right. The Ivory Coast international has been in excellent form this season, particularly when playing through the centre but he was shifted out to accommodate Frenchman Giroud. Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla retained their places in the attacking half. Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey patrolled the midfield, while German international Per Mertesacker was brought in to counter the aerial threat of on-loan striker Andy Carroll.
The game started at pace and positively for the visitors with the 25 year old Giroud forcing an early save out of Hammers' goal keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. The former Montpellier forward has struggled to score since he transferred to Arsenal but it is becoming increasingly clear that is merely down to a lack of confidence... his movement off the ball was brilliant all through the game.
Meanwhile, over at the other end, newly-promoted West Ham weren't allowing Arsenal to run away with the game. Sam Allardyce was fortunate to be able to include Carroll and the tall England international's presence in the Arsenal box allowed the home side to play their natural game - with the Liverpool striker as a target man to hold the ball up. Carroll and Kevin Nolan formed quite an effective partnership at the front for West Ham.
The opening minutes were all about the pressure Arsenal was building on the West Ham goal, which is why it was a surprise when West Ham took an unlikely lead after 21 minutes. George McCartney worked the ball down the left for Mohamad Diame, who cut back inside Aaron Ramsey to curl it in from a near impossible angle.
Arsenal struck back at the end of the first half though, after brilliant work from Podolski found the outstretched boot of Giroud. The Frenchman prodded the ball home for his first league goal for the club.
The Gunners continued to press in the second half but the hosts were now beginning to look a little dangerous, particularly with Carroll creating problems for Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen. Unfortunately for West Ham, the injury to Ricardo Vaz Te, who is believed to have dislocated his shoulder, shook them up and the Gunners came back in with 20 minutes remaining.
Substitute Theo Walcott fired home from wide on the right of the Hammers' box after being put through by Cazorla on an Arsenal break and the Spaniard then sealed three points with an absolutely wonderful long range strike that curled into the top corner.
Arsenal are now in fifth place in the league, with 12 points from seven games. They are four points behind early leaders Chelsea. The Gunners will next play Norwich City at Carrow Road on 20 October before returning to London to host German side Schalke 04 in a Champions League group stage match on 24 October.
West Ham United drop to eighth after this result and have 11 points from their seven games. The newly promoted outfit will look to keep this excellent start to the season (this result apart) going, when fellow newcomers Southampton visit on 20 October.
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