We claimed our first three points of the Unai Emery era with a hard-fought victory against West Ham at Emirates Stadium.
With both sides desperate to get off the mark after returning empty-handed from their first games of the season, the match got off to a frenetic start as the visitors fought to keep us from establishing early dominance.
Aaron Ramsey had an early goal ruled out for offside, but that was as good as it got in the opening exchanges as the Hammers began to make inroads by catching us on the counter.
After Marko Arnautovic twice threatened with efforts from the edge of the area, the Austria international finally broke the deadlock after the visitors broke at speed once more.
We were struggling to get our passing game going, but when it did fall into place we equalised through Nacho Monreal at the end of a 16-pass move, much to the relief of the Emirates faithful.
Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would both try their luck before the interval, while Petr Cech was called into action to make a smart save to deny Robert Snodgrass on the stroke of half time.
Shkodran Mustafi tested former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski after the break with a looping header, before the dangerous Arnautovic volleyed wide at the other end.
With Alex Lacazette – on for Alex Iwobi at the break – giving us an additional threat going forward, we upped the ante in search of another goal and the France international brought a good save out of Fabianski.
But West Ham remained a threat, and twice tested Cech through Arnautovic and Felipe Anderson before we grabbed the lead through an Issa Diop own goal after fine work from Lacazette.
The visitors twice nearly caught us out just before the end, but Danny Welbeck’s injury-time eased the tension as we claimed a hard-earned win to get us up and running for 2018/19.
four things we learnt
HOW IT HAPPENED
We travel to south Wales next Sunday to take on newly-promoted Cardiff City, who we last faced at the Cardiff City Stadium back in November 2013, sealing a 3-0 victory.
Before that we will find out our opponents in the third round of the League Cup and who we will face in the group stage of the Europa League, with both draws taking place this week.
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