Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Arsenal 2 West Ham 0

Parker and Solano failed to recover for today's game but Ljungberg, despite the West Ham official site claiming he was not in the squad, did start. Pantsil and Ferdinand also made the starting line-up.

West Ham made a disastrous start to the game conceding a minute after the kick off. Eduardo scored the Arsenal opener when he met a Fabregas cross with a left footed volley from around the penalty spot that beat Green to his left.

The game then set into a familiar pattern for West Ham away games, with West Ham soaking up pressure and trying to hit Arsenal on the break. In the next twenty minutes, even though Arsenal enjoyed the better of the possession, West Ham created the better chances.

In the 6th minute Noble shot from 18 yards which just missed the right post. Then in the 13th minute Cole shot from 18 yards and his shot was deflected just wide of the post for a corner. Ferdinand rose to the resulting corner but Clichy just managed to clear the header off the line.

In the 17th minute a Ljungberg left footed shot from just inside the box forced Almunia to tip the ball around the post. From the corner Lucas Neil knocked the ball down for Upson but Upson fired his shot over the bar.

Almost immediately Arsenal broke up field, Adebayor just beat Green to a Clichy cross and from a very tight angle near the byline managed to knock the ball across the goalmouth and score off the far post.

Despite being two goals down West Ham still managed to carve out some chances for themselves. In the 31st minute a cross by Carlton Cole was met by John Pantsil, who tried a spectacular overhead kick from the centre of the penalty area and just missed the right post.

In the 37th minute Ljungberg was forced off and reserve captain Jack Collison replaced him. In the 42nd minute Spector seemed to handball in the box but this week he got the luck as a penalty was not given.

The second half, despite West Ham keeping a clean sheet, belonged to Arsenal. Whereas West Ham were able to carve out a few chances in the first half they struggled to get anywhere near the goal in the second.

In the 62nd minute McCartney chested down the ball and tried a left footed half-volley from just outside the box which missed the left hand post by a couple of yards. in the 67nd minute an isolated Cole won a long ball and quickly shot from 25 yards but missed three yards wide of the right post.

Curbishley brought on Ashton and Camara for the last twenty minutes but West Ham never had a sniff of a goal.

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