We were eliminated from the Carabao Cup with a 3-1 defeat against West Ham United at London Stadium on Wednesday night.
An unfortunate Ben White own goal saw the home side go into the half-time break with a one-goal lead, before Mohammed Kudus scored early in the second half for 2-0. Jarrod Bowen added a third with half an hour to go. Martin Odegaard netted a consolation late on.
Our best chance of the first half came in the ninth minute as Reiss Nelson's free-kick was headed towards goal by Kai Havertz in a crowded penalty area, but Lukasz Fabianski was on hand to tip the ball over the bar.
A touch of misfortune
A dangerous ball forward from Edson Alvarez saw Gabriel stretching to head it behind for a West Ham corner, and it was from the following set-piece that the home side took the lead.
Bowen's delivery, a curling inswinger, was headed into our net by White for an own goal. Replays showed Aaron Ramsdale's shirt being pulled by Tomas Soucek, but VAR was not in use in the competition to have another look.
Looking to show a response
There was almost a moment of redemption for White when, moments later, he headed another Nelson free-kick towards goal, but the looping ball was parried behind by Fabianski for a corner kick.
Eddie Nketiah got his head on the end of it at the near post, shooting wide onto the roof of the net.
At the other end, another Bowen corner caused trouble with a goalmouth scramble at the far post. Ramsdale was able to get a hand on it though to push the ball away despite being pushed into the post.
Nelson, who looked like our most dangerous outlet throughout the first half, saw a shot blocked behind for another Gunners corner, which Fabio Vieira sent into the penalty area and Havertz headed wide of the far post.
Oleksandr Zinchenko spotted a pocket of space to run into and Leandro Trossard picked him out. The former crossed for Nketiah who struck over the bar on the volley as we went into the break behind.
All to do
West Ham almost doubled their lead immediately after the break as Lucas Paqueta put Bowen through on goal. Ramsdale closed the angle to make the save and White cleared the danger, but in the 50th minute, West Ham did go two up.
A long ball over to Kudus on the right was taken down well and he cut inside before picking out the bottom left corner.
Declan Rice and Takehiro Tomiyasu came on for Jorginho and Zinchenko respectively in the 57th minute as we looked for a way back into the game.
But, with half an hour remaining, Bowen struck towards goal with the outside of his right foot and, courtesy of a deflection, the ball ended in the back of the net for 3-0.
Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka were introduced in the 66th minute in an attacking change, replacing Trossard and Nelson.
Martin Odegaard came on as Nketiah made way with just over 10 minutes to go, before Kudus struck wide of the post as West Ham looked for another.
Odegaard lined up a long-range strike in the game's dying embers and, although it took a slight deflection, Fabianski was able to gather the ball comfortably. Our number eight then hit the wall with a free-kick before scoring with a shot into the bottom right corner for 3-1.
We return to Premier League action with a trip up north to take on Newcastle United at St. James' Park. It's a 5.30pm kick-off on Saturday and we could go top of the table with a win.
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