Arsenal’s trip to West Ham this evening saw the club’s host of attacking talent finally come up trumps, as an explosive 10-minute stretch in the second-half guided the Gunners to a much-needed 3 points.
Arsenal steady the ship
The north Londoners visited capital rivals West Ham a short time ago, for the club’s latest Premier League outing.
Arsenal headed into proceedings absolutely desperate for a victory, on the back of a dismal recent spell of form.
This evening’s visitors were winless in their last 9 fixtures across all competitions, a run which cost Unai Emery his job two weeks ago.
Interim boss Freddie Ljungberg’s early fortunes, though, had not proven much better than those of his predecessor, with the club legend having overseen a 2-2 draw with relegation-battling Norwich, and a 2-1 defeat at home to Brighton.
As such, before kick-off at the London Stadium, Arsenal sat in the bottom half of the English top-flight, just 4 points clear of the relegation zone.
When the 90 minutes were said and done, though, the Gunners finally managed to turn things around.
West Ham actually took the lead in the clash, courtesy of Angelo Ogbonna’s deflected header shortly before the interval.
An absolutely scintillating 10-minute stretch just past the hour mark, though, saw Arsenal go on to find the net 3 times, to eventually secure all 3 points.
Gabriel Martinelli, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were all on target, as the class of the visitors shone through when they needed it most.
43 – Since his Premier League debut in February 2016, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored 43 goals in the competition, a joint-high along with Jamie Vardy. Marksman. pic.twitter.com/Euhk0FX89b
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 9, 2019
Arsenal’s attackers make the difference
In truth, Arsenal’s display over the last couple of hours actually left a lot to be desired.
The Gunners were absolutely atrocious throughout the first-half, looking lethargic, lacking in ideas and, overall, disinterested.
The opening quarter of an hour following the interval proved a similar story, with Freddie Ljungberg’s men having looked there for the taking for their hosts.
This all changed, though, on the back of one flowing move down the away side’s left.
Lucas Torreira set substitute Sead Kolasinac free with a perfectly-weighted pass, before the marauding Arsenal star picked out youngster Gabriel Martinelli.
And, as he has showcased on numerous occasions over the early months of the campaign, summer signing Martinelli knows exactly where the back of the net is, with the Brazilian having gone on to pick out the bottom right-hand corner of the West Ham goal in confident fashion.
1 – At 18 years 174 days old, Gabriel Martinelli is the youngest player to score for Arsenal on their first Premier League start. Starlet. pic.twitter.com/wgqtDqdEgx
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 9, 2019
Martinelli’s opener was then swiftly followed by the goal of the evening, from another of Arsenal’s summer additions.
After another intricate Gunners move eventually saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slip Nicolas Pepe in down the right, the Ivorian international, who looked dangerous throughout the 90 minutes, cut inside, before whipping a sumptuous effort into the far top corner.
The away side finally appeared to have found their swagger, and within minutes, the clash was all but ended as a contest.
Another slick foray forward saw Aubameyang and Pepe switch roles, as the former notched his 11th goal of the Premier League season.
Pepe’s deft dinked ball over the top sat up perfectly for Aubameyang, with the Gabonese hitman’s volleyed finish from 8 yards having been too much to handle for the helpless David Martin.
As such, evidently, when all was said and done, it was Arsenal’s front-3 who made the difference.
The trio of Martinelli, Pepe and Aubameyang, backed by Mezut Ozil, looked irresistible over the aforementioned 10-minute spell at the London Stadium, finally providing a glimpse into what they could be capable of on a weekly basis, if Ljungberg, or whoever comes in to replace the Swede, can manage to find the right balance in the Gunners’ starting XI moving forward.