Aaron Ramsey and Alex Lacazette scored late on to give Arsene Wenger three points in his penultimate Premier League home game as our manager.
Nacho Monreal put us ahead with a fine volley from Granit Xhaka’s corner but Marko Arnautovic smashed home an equaliser as the visitors hit back.
Ramsey’s attempted cross found its way into the net and Lacazette rifled in from a narrow angle before scoring again to settle this slow-burning London derby.
There was a real buzz around the Emirates as Friday’s news of Wenger’s imminent departure continued to sink in. But, for all the extra attention on the boss, the game initially struggled to ignite.
Laurent Koscielny nodded a corner just wide but West Ham carved out some decent chances of their own, David Ospina denying Joao Mario and Arnautovic and Cheikhou Kouyate’s looping header bouncing onto the crossbar.
Danny Welbeck was our most assertive forward and went close with a low effort from 20 yards before scuffing a presentable chance from slightly closer in.
It was all a bit humdrum - especially compared to the drama of recent days - but we went up a gear in the second half and took the lead through Monreal’s sixth goal of the season.
Indeed, the defender now has three in his last seven Premier League games - as many as he scored in his first 153 games in the competition.
West Ham fought back and will feel they deserved their equaliser, but from our perspective we didn’t do enough to track the eventual goalscorer after Ospina punched clear under pressure from Arnautovic.
Joe Hart tipped a Xhaka shot past the post and pulled off an even better save to keep out Welbeck’s curler.
But in the end it was Ramsey who nudged us back in front when his cross eluded Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, deceived Hart and bounced into the net.
Lacazette had the last word, firing past Hart from a tight angle and then beating the England goalkeeper again from close range.
HOW IT HAPPENED
WHAT IT MEANS
We stay in sixth place in the Premier League, six points behind Chelsea.
Burnley are four points behind us in seventh after drawing 1-1 at Stoke City on Sunday. But the Clarets have played a game more.
We’ve got a huge game on Thursday - Atletico Madrid are heading to London for the first leg of our Europa League semi-final.
Our next Premier League game is next Sunday against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Our fans have been tweeting their tributes to the boss since the announcement on Friday that he’ll step down at the end of the season. Here’s a selection:
You are a legend and an icon. You have inspired me in many different ways. I've grown up watching you and your football. Your philosophy and morals will forever stay with me. #MerciArsène
I was raised on your compassion, your intelligence, your perseverance, your wit, and your uniqueness. #MerciArsène
Thankyou for everything Boss. We are forever in your debt. You are and always will be a legend. You will remain in our hearts for the rest of our lives #MerciArsène
Thank you for providing so many beautiful and unforgettable football moments. You’re Invincible to us.
You really lived for this club and dedicated your life to @Arsenal. Fans will never forget. Thank you #OneArseneWenger #MerciArsene
The one I've looked up to the most my entire life. A true gentleman. The one who made me love football. I honestly don't know if I'll be able to fully enjoy the beautiful game again. Love you, always. And thank you. #MerciArsène
Thank you for everything you have brought to this club. The players, style of football, everything. We will be forever in your debt. A great human being, you deserve a proper send off. #MerciArsène
By far, the best educator I've ever had in my life. I'm glad to be part of people who witnessed The Invincibles. Even more so, grateful that Arsene Wenger's Arsenal was the team I grew up with. Thank you for everything. #MerciArsène
For the trophies, for the Invincibles, for the football, for the way you have conducted yourself and represented the club, for everything over the years. Whatever your future brings may it be happy and healthy. #MerciArsėne
#MerciArsène For being above all a role model who taught us to keep our values, principles, class intact even in adversity. To be loyal to the cause that you believe in.
Thank you Arsene for making a kid from Pakistan fall in love with football, you taught us the right way to play and you laid the foundation for the future of this great club #MerciArséne
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