Declan Rice, still only 19, was both star man and match-winner as the Hammers deservedly saw off the Gunners.
Rice won’t be 20 years of age until next week. He really does look the part already, though. And here he celebrates with a wide smile playing across his face, after a match-winning performance against Arsenal. There aren’t too many West Ham players who have enjoyed one of those in the last decade. The win moves West Ham up into eighth spot, on 31 points, while Arsenal remain stuck in fifth on 41, now within reach of revived hunters Manchester United. The rest of this weekend’s Premier League card promises to be very fascinating indeed.
This Declan Rice, eh?
90 min +3: West Ham hearts are in mouths as Kolasinac bursts down the left and crosses for Koscielny, who plants a diving header into the bottom right! But Kolasinac was well offside, and the flag goes up.
90 min +2: Arsenal have scored in each of their last 20 Premier League matches. Is this fine run over?
90 min +1: The first of three added minutes. Iwobi reaches the byline on the left and pulls one back. Rice – the man of the match – slices wildly behind for a corner. Torreira loops the set piece straight down Fabianski’s throat.
90 min: Anderson romps down the left. He’s got Snodgrass completely unmarked in the middle, but doesn’t spot him and passes to the nearby Noble instead. There goes a fine chance to wrap this up.
88 min: Noble slips a pass down the right for Snodgrass, who looks for Carroll in the centre. Carroll can’t get on the end of the cross, caught in two minds between a header and a spectacular overhead kick. “It’s almost as if Arsenal seem stumped and could really use the sort of tricky player able to create a bit of magic,” observes Matthew Schofield. “Shame they don’t have one on the bench.”
87 min: It’s beginning to look that way, as Carroll embarks on a dribble, Anderson bursts down the left, and Rice conducts a little triangular keepball. This is impressive game management.
85 min: West Ham knock it around the back awhile. They’re in control of this match; can they see out their 50th Premier League game at the London Stadium?
83 min: Arsenal walk the ball in the goal, 2002 style, Ramsey chipping the ball down the left to release Kolasinac, who rolls a cross for Aubameyang to tap in. But Kolasinac was a mile offside, play having stopped long before the net rippled.
82 min: West Ham make a final, defensively minded change, replacing Antonio with Obiang.
81 min: Arsenal’s passes aren’t sticking. On the touchline, Emery cuts a frustrated figure.
79 min: Arsenal keep hold of the ball, but fail to do a great deal with it. West Ham look fairly comfortable at the moment.
77 min: Ramsey, out on the right, hooks a cross into the West Ham box that’s easy for Fabianski to collect. He shakes his head in frustration, as Arsenal continue to toil.
75 min: Snodgrass makes ground down the left, and his cross to the far post very nearly finds Antonio. Koscielny does well to eyebrow the ball away from danger. Both West Ham subs already in the thick of the action.
74 min: Carroll is already giving Sokratis something to think about. His mere presence panics the Arsenal defender into dragging him down by the shirt on the halfway line.
72 min: Ramsey’s corner arcs straight out of play. Not worth waiting for.
71 min: Before it can be taken, Nasri is replaced by Snodgrass, while Arnautovic makes way for Carroll. As he departs, he spins through 360 degrees and ostentatiously applauds. A goodbye to the fans?
70 min: Kolasinac slips one down the left wing for Ramsey, who wins a corner.
69 min: Bellerin comes on for Maitland-Niles.
68 min: Guendouzi has another long-distance effort. This one is well gathered by Fabianski.
67 min: Arsenal are beginning to create chances. Ramsey flicks a pass to Iwobi down the left. Iwobi arrives in the area and zips a fine shot across Fabianski and inches wide of the right-hand post. Not sure the keeper had that covered.
65 min: And now Aubameyang spurns another chance, as Kolasinac crosses low from the left and releases the striker into the box. He’s one on one with Fabianski, but faced with a slight angle on the left, hesitates, allows Cresswell to slide across him, and blasts wildly over the bar.
63 min: Maitland-Niles robs Anderson near the right-hand corner flag, and tees up Ramsey to the side of the West Ham box. Ramsey drops a shoulder, makes for the byline, and dinks one to the far stick, where Aubameyang heads over from close range. Chance.
62 min: The resulting free kick isn’t up to much. A moment for Arsenal to regroup.
60 min: Antonio threatens to burst down the right wing. Kolasinac comes across in the agricultural style and hacks him down. A no-brainer of a booking, and Arsenal’s left back would do well to simmer down.
59 min: A double change by Arsenal, who hook Xhaka and Mustafi and replace them with Torreira and Ramsey.
58 min: Felipe Anderson’s free kick-cum-corner finds the head of Ogbonna, who flashes wide left of the goal.
57 min: Felipe Anderson wins yet another corner for West Ham with an entertaining dribble. Nothing much comes of it, but then Noble holds up the ball near the flag. Aubameyang clatters into the back of him, conceding a free kick right by the corner. Before it can be taken, Kolasinac gets up in the linesman’s grille, and is lucky to escape censure.
56 min: West Ham’s sixth corner of the game, out on the right. Felipe Anderson takes. Antonio attempts a mid-air pirouette and flick at the near post. Leno gathers easily.
54 min: Guendouzi latches onto a very poor Antonio pass and looks for the bottom-left corner from 25 yards. It’s not far wide, but Fabianski always had that covered. “Arise Sir Declan Moore!” chirps Brian Withington. “Is it too soon/heretical to detect more than a passing resemblance between Declan Rice and a young Robert Moore? Their tackling and interceptions similarly effortless too. Please God/Gareth let him pick England.”
52 min: Only Fulham (28) and Bournemouth (23) have conceded more goals away from home this season than Arsenal’s 22. Imagine what bother they’d be in if they started letting them in from corners as well.
50 min: The joy on Rice’s face was something to behold there. That really meant something. And what a fine finish, calmly dispatched into the top corner. Arsenal respond well. First Lacazette drives down the left, and there’s a bit of pinball before Fabianski gathers. Then Aubameyang wins Arsenal’s first corner of the afternoon down the right; Xhaka’s set piece bounces straight through the box and out for a goal kick.
Anderson comes straight back at Arsenal with a scamper down the right. He reaches the byline and tugs the ball back. Xhaka’s attempted clearance is no good. Nasri intercepts and tees up Rice, who pearls his first goal for West Ham United into the top right! He wheels away in sheer delight! What a moment for the young man!
47 min: Cresswell’s delivery is headed over his own bar by Kolasinac. Yet another West Ham corner, out on the right. Anderson doesn’t beat the first man. Arsenal half clear. But …
46 min: Some loose control from Guendouzi gifts Anderson a run down the left. Mustafi slides across and nearly gets the ball, but nicks the man instead. That’s the game’s first booking, and a free kick in a very dangerous position near the Arsenal area.
Arsenal get the second half underway. No half-time substitutions. “Honoured to make it into the MBM,” writes Zubin Mistry, the good doctor of 41 min fame. “But I didn’t mean to invoke the ‘Dr’. Damn you, email signature. Unless, of course, that’s why I made the cut and I can finally persuade my family that doing a PhD in medieval history really was worth it (beyond somehow jamming an academic job that means I’m at work on Saturday following the MBM instead of watching the game live).”
Half-time reading. Arsenal’s men won’t be winning the title this season. But their women might.
Related: Arsenal’s Joe Montemurro: ‘I’m of Italian descent but I don’t park the bus’
It hasn’t been a classic, but both sides have had their chances. However it remains goalless in this London derby. Look on the bright side: it’s perfectly poised for a great second half. Stay tuned!
45 min: Another corner for West Ham down the right. Rice flashes a header wide left from six yards. Arsenal’s proud record, and Gary Naylor’s first draft, should be in tatters. But both remain intact.
43 min: Arsenal hog possession, but don’t really go anywhere. Maitland-Niles briefly threatens to burst down the right, but that’s it. The atmosphere is a bit flat now, this game having never quite sparked into life.
41 min: Zabaleta romps forward and slips a ball wide right for Antonio, who has three men in the middle to find. But instead of crossing, he opts for a spectacular curler towards the top left. Nope! “I’d quibble with your fate-tempting reference to Arsenal’s record on corners this season,” writes Dr Zubin Mistry. “We’ve definitely looked defensively vulnerable from our own corners this season, and I’m sure we’ve conceded a few on quick breaks from them. Worth a mention in the chapter on playing against Arsenal in that tactics textbook Gary Naylor is re-writing.”
39 min: Nasri really didn’t do an awful lot there. It looks as though Gendouzi hurt his shoulder as he fell awkwardly. A sore one, but he looks good to continue.
37 min: Guendouzi is brought down by Nasri as he plays the ball out of defence. There wasn’t much in that, but the Arsenal man’s not getting up quickly.
35 min: Guendouzi drops a shoulder to make himself some space down the inside right. He creams a shot towards the top right; it flies inches wide of the post. Fabianski wasn’t getting to that. The Arsenal section thinks it’s in; the home support take great pleasure in explaining the error of their ways.
34 min: The game’s got a little scrappy of late. Moves of more than two passes are at a premium. It’s all a bit pinball.
32 min: Noble’s long ball down the middle finds Arnautovic free! But he can’t dig the ball out from under his feet, so slips a pass to Noble, who in turn tees up Felipe Anderson, 25 yards out and charging down the inside right. Anderson creams a low shot across Leno and inches wide of the left-hand post. Arnautovic looked well offside initially, but had in fact checked at the last second and timed his run to perfection.
30 min: Iwobi slips a pass to Maitland-Niles, who briefly threatens to skin Cresswell and romp into the West Ham box. But Cresswell passes the test.
28 min: A third corner of the match for West Ham, this time out on the right. Filipe Anderson one-twos with Nasri, and his cross is then deflected into the arms of Leno. Arsenal’s proud record at corners etc. “With so few goals resulting from corners for the attacking side these days, do more goals come for the defending side, breaking against defenders and midfielders upfield and out of position? If so, why not concede more corners to allow more such opportunities?” Gary Naylor there, rewriting the tactical textbooks. Step aside, Wilson, a new man’s in town.
26 min: Twice in the matter of a minute, Arnautovic drops a shoulder down the inside-left channel to make some space. The first time he can’t get a shot away; the second he feeds Nasri on the overlap. Faced with a tight angle, Nasri ripples the side netting. But that was a very decent move by West Ham, who look reasonably lively in attack themselves this afternoon.
24 min: Nasri fights with great determination down the left and wins a corner out of a not particularly promising position. But the set piece is wasted and Arsenal’s grand record at corners this season is maintained.
22 min: Iwobi flicks a gorgeous pass round the corner to send Kolasinac away down the left. Kolasinac enters the box and pulls back for Lacazette, who is cocking his leg back to shoot when Rice comes in to scupper his plan. Great play all round.
21 min: Iwobi, who is beginning to look a real player this season, drifts in from the left and slips a cute pass into the area for Aubameyang. But the flag goes up for offside. Arsenal look like they could do damage every time they go forward.
19 min: Aubameyang and Iwobi combine to release Lacazette into the West Ham box from the right. But Lacazette has been tugging shirts in order to get a jump on the West Ham defence, and the referee blows up accordingly.
18 min: Arnautovic is sent into acres down the right by Zabaleta, but his cross, needlessly delivered first time, is a panicked nonsense. There’s nobody in the middle, and it’s an easy gather for Leno. Patience, dear boy.
16 min: West Ham respond well, Arnautovic probing down the right, but unable to find Nasri in the middle. Then Cresswell tears down the left and sends a dangerous low cross into the box. Leno gets down to smother. After a slow start, this is developing into an interesting match.
15 min: Arsenal suddenly look very dangerous. Lacazette and Guendouzi swarm the West Ham back line; the latter should release Aubameyang into the box on the right, but his pass down the channel is too strong.
13 min: Aubameyang turns in the centre circle and bursts upfield. He slips a pass inside to Iwobi, who in turn finds Lacazette bombing down the inside-right channel. He enters the box and lashes hard towards the bottom right. Fabianksi parries brilliantly, and Lacazette blazes the rebound over the bar; it was a difficult chance.
11 min: … nothing much happens. Arsenal still haven’t conceded a goal from a corner this season. Felipe Anderson retrieves the ball from the right wing, sashays infield, and looks to curl one into the top left. Always high and wide.
10 min: Nasri feeds Cresswell down the left, and West Ham earn the first corner of the game. From which …
9 min: Lacazette finds space easily down the middle of the park, sent scampering into it by Xhaka. West Ham offer him far too much time, and he’s able to have a dig from 25 yards. He looks for the top right, but the effort is always curling wide.
8 min: Nasri bursts down the inside-right channel, Arsenal not offering much resistance. But there’s nobody in the middle for him to cross to. The move peters out. Nasri is getting pelters from the away support that once doted on him, much as you’d expect.
6 min: The match comes to life. Iwobi bursts down the inside-right channel but can’t find the killer pass to send Guendouzi clear into the box. Then Antonio tightropes his way down the right touchline, a brilliant run that sets up Nasri and Noble for a one-two across the face of the Arsenal box. Noble eventually sends a pearoller into the arms of Leno.
4 min: Arsenal push West Ham back. Ogbonna is forced to play a nervous pass out of defence from deep, and Xhaka nearly takes up possession 25 yards out. Rice does very well to get his body in the way and draw a foul that takes the pressure off.
2 min: Guendouzi nearly takes advantage of a heavy Rice touch, but the West Ham midfielder recovers well to win the ball back before Arsenal can launch a dangerous attack. Just as well, because West Ham were light at the back there.
And we’re off! The hosts get the ball rolling, and stroke it around the back awhile. Everyone gets a touch. The home crowd belt out a fine rendition of the club anthem.
The teams are out! West Ham are in their world-famous claret and blue, while Arsenal sport third-choice green. It’s a drizzly, overcast day in the East End, but the atmosphere in the London Stadium is derby-day fine. Both sets of fans giving it plenty. Pretty bubbles in the air. We’ll be off before you know it!
William Hargreaves was here. “Wot no Ozil? Particularly after he has advertised his full training all week and availability on Twitter etc. And this with three at the back, admittedly still with defensive frailties. I suspect that, with the club not feeling able to offer Ramsey a hefty new contract, and Emery’s weekday words on loans only, no purchases, that Mesut’s eye-watering take-home is stifling Unai’s ability to mould the team in his own likeness. And he’s showing this with his being incalcitrant over Mesut. Tough at the top.” Yes, it’s increasingly looking like a love affair not likely to last. That’s the Rumour Mill kept busy for the next few weeks/months.
Unai Emery talks! “For us it is very important for the table, and it is a derby. We will play with great motivation in the hope of making the top four. There is a chance for us today to play a good match and show everyone we are well. We can be better.”
Manuel Pellegrini speaks! “Marko Arnautovic is important. He has trained with the squad and the team; we are not thinking about other things. I know Samir Nasri very well, he played in the cup last week which was important for him after being out for a long time. He may not be ready for 90 minutes every week. I hope today we will be balanced and aggressive, we will go for the three points.”
Arsenal may have the upper hand in the Premier League … but West Ham will always have the 1980 FA Cup. Any old excuse to pop up a picture of a cup final from Wembley’s sun-kissed golden age.
West Ham make three changes to the team named for the 2-2 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion, their last Premier League game. Mark Noble and Michail Antonio return, while Samir Nasri makes his debut for his new club in the League. Dropping down to the bench: Robert Snodgrass, Pedro Obiang and Andy Carroll.
Arsenal meanwhile name the same side picked for the 4-1 win over Fulham. Plenty of changes from the team selected at Blackpool, of course, but that was the FA Cup and in the Premier League you know exactly what you’re getting with Arsenal these days.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Zabaleta, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Noble, Rice, Antonio, Nasri, Felipe Anderson, Arnautovic.
Subs: Carroll, Snodgrass, Adrian, Obiang, Masuaku, Lucas Perez, Diangana.
Arsenal: Leno, Koscielny, Papastathopoulos, Mustafi, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Aubameyang, Lacazette.
Subs: Cech, Bellerin, Ramsey, Torreira, Lichtsteiner, Monreal, Nketiah.
West Ham United did the double over Arsenal in the 2006-07 season. Marlon Harewood settled a 1-0 win for the Hammers at Upton Park; Bobby Zamora secured the same scoreline at the Emirates. Heady days. But since then, their record over their illustrious London rivals hasn’t been too great. They’ve subsequently played each other 23 times, Arsenal winning on 18 occasions, West Ham just the once. Those Hammers fans slightly longer of tooth won’t be looking forward to this.
And yet West Ham shouldn’t give up hope just yet. They may have lost their last three matches against Arsenal, but those games were all held at the Emirates, and the last time they met at the London Stadium the game ended in a goalless draw. Perhaps more pertinently, they’ve taken 16 points out of the last 24 on offer. They’re beginning to hit their stride under Manuel Pellegrini.