West Ham 1-0 Arsenal

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Press conference

Emery on ‘a bad result’ and Mesut Ozil

Unai Emery was always going to be asked about Mesut Ozil’s omission from our squad for Saturday’s game at West Ham United - especially after we dropped points.

Read on for his answers to those press conference questions, plus Unai’s assessment of our performance.

on the performance…
I think the result is a bad one. We lost a great opportunity to take three points and get closer to Chelsea and the other top-four teams. But we lost. We wanted to do a better match but we couldn’t control the match like we wanted to. Looking at the chances in the 90 minutes for them and us, I think maybe the result is not what we deserved. In the gameplan, in the control, we need to improve our ideas. We could not do that. We didn’t concede a lot of chances but we conceded metres on the pitch and these metres gave them a lot of corners. From one corner, they scored, and then the match changed. We needed to attack more and better but today, defensively we needed to work well. We created chances but it wasn’t enough to win. Maybe in the first 20 minutes when we created some chances, that was the moment where we thought we could win the match, but then after it was difficult because we didn’t impose all the things we wanted.

on Mesut Ozil’s absence…
We had enough players to win today and impose our gameplan, and impose our tactical quality against them. We also respect them and they have good players. With their supporters here, they feel stronger. Maybe for the bench, some attacking players could have helped. But I think we had enough with these players.

on why he didn’t use Ozil…
We decided that the players here were the best for this match. We’ve won with him, we’ve lost with him. No one player makes the difference between winning and losing the game.

on understanding the interest in Ozil not being in squad…
Yes, but I can say he’s working with us normally this week. Like I said to you, we’ve won and lost with him. Today the players who were here are the players who deserved to be in this match. We could have won or lost, like we can with him. We continue working with every player because they are all important, but today the decision was to come with these players.

Post-Match Report

West Ham 1-0 Arsenal: How it happened

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

WHAT HAPPENED

Our top-four hopes have suffered a sizeable setback thanks to Declan Rice’s first-ever goal for West Ham.
 
The teenager fired Samir Nasri’s pass beyond Bernd Leno early in the second half and, despite plenty of possession and chances, we couldn’t find an equaliser.
 
We started this London derby on the front foot, conjuring up five shots in the first 15 minutes with Alex Lacazette especially to the fore.
 
But the shots dried up for us and West Ham edged their way into the game. Indeed, only last-ditch interventions from Laurent Koscielny and Sokratis kept them at bay.
 
Former Gunner Nasri - making his Premier League debut for the Hammers - was an increasing influence, and he set up Felipe Anderson for a shot that fizzed just wide.
 
We needed to regroup and half-time gave us that opportunity, but it was West Ham who started the second half on top.

Iwobi and Kolasinac

Iwobi and Kolasinac

 
We invited pressure, in fairness, giving away a free-kick and then a corner. And it was from the latter that West Ham eventually took the lead after a poor defensive header allowed Nasri to pick out Rice for a first-time finish.
 
Unai Emery brought on Lucas Torreira and Aaron Ramsey in an attempt to turn the tide, and there were certainly gaps in the West Ham defence to exploit.
 
A ricochet nearly did the trick, Lukasz Fabianski just getting back to grab the ball before it crossed the line.
 
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed a good chance after collecting a low pass from Sead Kolasinac.
 
And Alex Iwobi shot just wide after a delightful flick from Ramsey.
 
But that was as close as we got.

HOW IT HAPPENED

 
See how our London derby unfolded with our play-by-play commentary.

WHAT IT MEANS

 
This result keeps us in fifth place, three points behind Chelsea and three points ahead of Manchester United.
 
Both of those sides were due to play later in the weekend.
 

TEAM NEWS

 
We were unchanged from the side that started our last Premier League game against Fulham - but there were a couple of tweaks to the squad.
 
Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, back in full training after injury, were among the substitutes.
 
Lucas Torreira was also on the bench, but there was no place for Mesut Ozil in the squad.

WHAT’S NEXT

 
We’ve got a huge Premier League game next Saturday, against Chelsea at Emirates Stadium.
 
That’s followed by another big one at home - Manchester United in the Emirates FA Cup.
 

Quotes

'We need to stay together and keep fighting'

Laurent Koscielny was disappointed after our defeat to West Ham United, but stressed the importance of the squad staying unified.

Afterwards, our club captain spoke to the media to discuss the performance, missing some chances and our recent away form.

This is what he said:

on a poor result..
We came here to win because for us the three points was very important, and next week as well to play against Chelsea. We tried to play, we did well in the first half but didn’t have a lot of chances in the final third. We need to keep calmer in the final third and find the final ball, but in the second half we didn’t start well and conceded early. After that we tried to push for the rest of the game, we had some chances and we didn’t score so it is difficult to come back with no points but we need two continue to fight to make the top four.

on the lack of chances…
Strikers sometimes have just one opportunity and they [are expected to] score, but sometimes you do it and sometimes it is more difficult. We are all together, it is not down to] one or two players, we are a group and we need to stay together and to push more for the next game.

on our recent away form…
No [it is not becoming an issue], we don’t think about this. We take it game after game, today we worked well during the week to prepare and we had the ambition to get the three points. But in football you don’t know, you have your opponent and I think they played well with quality. We need to keep our confidence and continue to work together and the results will come.

Video

Match video: West Ham United v Arsenal

We slipped to a 1-0 defeat at West Ham United's London Stadium on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, Declan Rice made the difference, firing into the top corner to ensure all three points remained in east London.

Click ‘Play’ on the video above to watch the key moments from London Stadium, plus full-match replay below:

Fixtures

Premier League
Ticket Info
The Emirates FA Cup
Ticket Info

Results

Premier League
The Emirates FA Cup