Arsenal’s title hopes were dealt a blow on Sunday afternoon as they were held to a 2-2 draw by West Ham at the London Stadium.
Many expected a procession after the visitors raced into an early 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard, but complacency seemed to creep into Arsenal’s performance and West Ham halved the deficit before half-time from the penalty spot.
The Gunners had a great chance to restore their two-goal advantage early on in the second half when they were awarded a spot-kick of their own, but Bukayo Saka sent his effort wide.
The Hammers quickly made Saka pay as Jarrod Bowen restored parity before the hour.
A third was vital for Arsenal’s title hopes, but it was West Ham who looked the most threatening as Mikel Arteta’s side struggled to break down a stubborn Irons block. Michail Antonio came ever so close to giving the hosts the lead, but his header tickled the crossbar and went behind.
Desperate to claim an imperative three points, the Gunners huffed and puffed in the closing stages with Arteta making a whole host of changes. However, that big chance never arrived and the visitors were forced to settle for a point on the road.
West Ham 2-2 Arsenal player ratings
Here are the Arsenal player ratings from the London Stadium
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 5.5/10 – Probably should’ve done better with Bowen’s effort.
Ben White (RB) – 6/10 – Assisted Jesus after a perfectly-timed run and cross. Didn’t venture forward too much thereafter, and wasn’t tested too much defensively.
Rob Holding (CB) – 5/10 – This was probably the first time since his injury when William Saliba’s absence was hard felt. Antonio’s physicality caught Holding out on occasions, and he struggled to have any impact on Arsenal’s build-up.
Gabriel (CB) – 6/10 – Relished the battle with Antonio, and probably came out on top… just. The West Ham forward was a proper nuisance throughout. While he did foul Lucas Paqueta for the penalty, others were certainly more at fault.
Kieran Tierney (LB) – 6/10 – The Scot never looked comfortable in Oleksandr Zinchenko’s inverted role, and it was no surprise his role was simplified somewhat after the break. Made a big challenge to deny Bowen at 2-2.
Continued on the next slide…