Arsenal 6-0 West Ham: Player Ratings and Reactions

Arsenal inflicted a humiliating 6-0 defeat on West Ham at the London Stadium on Wednesday, with many fans and analysts calling it the finest performance of the season. Here is a breakdown of the match report and the reactions to the electrifying game.

Overview

Arsenal

  • The Gunners dominated throughout, controlling possession (71%) and chances created (20 to 6).
  • They scored all six goals in the space of 27 second-half minutes, with the first coming in the 32nd minute from a corner.
  • Four different players scored for Arsenal, with Bukayo Saka scoring a penalty and providing two assists.

West Ham

  • The Hammers were without several key players, including Michail Antonio, Maxwel Cornet, and Pablo Fornals.
  • They were punished for individual errors, with Said Benrahma, Kurt Zouma, and Emerson Royal particularly underperforming.

Goals and Highlights

West Ham forwards Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio both squandered chances early on, but it was the away side that struck first.

1-0 (£32nd minute)

  • Rice whipped in a corner that was met by the head of William Saliba, who scored his first goal for Arsenal to put them ahead.

2-0 (41st minute)

  • After being brought down in the area, Bukayo Saka scored a penalty to double Arsenal's lead.

3-0 (44th minute)

  • Rice scored another assist, this time with a free kick met by the head of Gabriel to put the game further out of reach just before halftime.

4-0 (45th minute)

  • A goal from Hakim Ziyech's replacement, Danny Welbeck, was disallowed for offside, but it was fellow substitute Emmanuel Dennis who made an immediate impact. He passed to Mohamed Elneny, who in turn played through Granit Xhaka. The Swiss international picked out the run of Trossard, who curled an excellent finish past the goalkeeper to make it 4-0 just before the break.

5-0 (63rd minute)

  • Bukayo Saka started and finished a fine team move, receiving a pass from Martin Odegaard and slotting the ball past the goalkeeper after a quick one-two with Eddie Nketiah.

6-0 (65th minute)

  • Another assist from Rice, this time from a free-kick, was headed in by white to score against his former club.

Reactions

With the score at 1-0, West Ham's Interim Manager, Steve Potts, opted to replace Benrahma and play more defensively. This move did not pay dividends, as the Irons continued to concede goals and were punished for individual errors. After the match, an exasperated Potts said, "We weren't good enough, and we haven't been good enough for some time."

A number of Arsenal players shone, with Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard linking up well throughout the match. William Saliba, Gabriel, and White were strong in defence, while Thomas Partey excelled in midfield. It was former West Ham player Rice, however, who stole the show with his two assists and stunning goal. Speaking to Amazon Prime after the game, Rice said, "I loved it, it's a stadium I know well, and I guess it was my night."

Fans and analysts praised Arsenal's performance, with many suggesting that the result banished any remaining doubt about their top-four credentials. With Liverpool losing to Manchester United on Tuesday and Arsenal scoring their 8000th goal in the process, Arsene Wenger's record of most goals in the Premier League was eclipsed. Speaking to BBC Sport, Arteta said, "We were ruthless, ruthless and ruthless - and that's how we want to be."

This win puts Arsenal in contention for a Champions League place, with some suggesting they could even finish in the top three. The team's performance was universally praised as one of their best this season, with many confident they can build on this result.

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