We were held to a frustrating draw against West Ham on Sunday after the hosts rallied from 2-0 down to take a point.
Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard helped us make the perfect start with two-well worked team goals, but Said Benrahma pulled one back from the spot.
Bukayo Saka then went on to miss a penalty, before West Ham went up the other end and equalised through Jarrod Bowen.
We remain unbeaten in our last nine Premier League fixtures, and are four points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table, having played one game more.
LIGHTNING FAST START
Aggressive and front-footed from the start, we opened the scoring inside six minutes with a wonderful blend of patient, yet incisive attacking play. Working the ball around the edge of the area, four players combined before Odegaard slipped Ben White through down the right side of the penalty area, squaring for Jesus to finish at the far post.
Our tails were up and moments later we doubled our lead through our captain. This time the killer final pass arrived from the left wing with Gabriel Martinelli switching play for Odegaard to finish with a side-foot volley.
PENALTY BOX PRESSURE
Mikel Arteta’s side looked in complete control both in and out of possession, but with one mistake, we were punished against the run of play.
Thomas Partey lost possession on the edge of the penalty area and allowed West Ham to break, resulting in a lunged tackle from Gabriel on his compatriot Lucas Paqueta. The referee pointed to the spot and Benrahma sent Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way.
Despite our early dominance, West Ham finished the first half with more than twice as many shots at goal, nine to our four.
Following the restart, we had the chance to restore our two-goal advantage as the ball was cleared to Martinelli on the edge of the area and his volley was blocked by the outstretched arm of Michail Antonio. Saka stepped up and aimed for the top left corner, but his curling effort sailed wide.
Just two minutes later, West Ham drew level. Thilo Kehrer played a searching pass over the top of our defence and Bowen was on hand to fire past Ramsdale on the volley.
As we entered the final 30 minutes, both sides continued to search for a later winner with counter-attacks becoming increasingly regular.
First, Kieran Tierney’s driven cross was narrowly missed by Jesus at full stretch, before Saka charged forward on the break and forced a save from a promising position.
At the other end of the pitch, Antonio met a cross at the far post and saw his header bounce behind off the woodwork.
We made a number of late changes with Eddie Nketiah making his full return from injury and pushed forward in hope of creating one last chance, but we were unable to cut through the Hammers’ defence again.
What it means
Facts and stats
West Ham came from two goals down to avoid defeat in a Premier League match for the first time since drawing 3-3 at Tottenham in October 2020, and first at home since beating Huddersfield 4-3 in March 2019.
We went 2-0 up inside the opening 10 minutes of a Premier League away game for the first time since February 2011 against Newcastle United, a game we ended up drawing 4-4.
Bukayo Saka missed a penalty for the first time in five attempts for us in all competitions (excluding shootouts), while it was the first time one of our players missed the frame of the goal from a Premier League penalty since Santi Cazorla v West Brom in November 2015.
Gabriel Jesus has never lost any of the 54 Premier League games in which he has scored (W49 D5), the joint-most games in which a player has scored in the competition without losing one, along with James Milner (W43 D11).
Martin Odegaard has scored eight goals away from home in the Premier League this season, the most by an Arsenal midfielder in a single season in the competition.
Four of Said Benrahma’s five Premier League goals this season have been penalties. Indeed, only Julian Dicks (5 in both 1995/96 and 1996-/7) has ever scored more penalties in a single Premier League season for West Ham than Benrahma this term (4).
Jarrod Bowen has scored 84.6 per cent of his Premier League goals at home (22/26), including all five this season. Among players with 20+ goals in the competition, only Georginio Wijnaldum (85.2 per cent) has had a higher share come in home games.
There are now just seven games remaining this season. We’re back at Emirates Stadium on Friday night as we prepare to host Southampton, who are currently bottom of the Premier League table with 23 points.
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