An early second-half goal by Declan Rice which was set up by former Arsenal man Samir Nasri was enough to earn West Ham United a 1-0 win over the Gunners in the Premier League on Saturday. Arsenal boss Unai Emery decided not to name Mesut Ozil in his matchday squad and the move backfired as the Gunners lacked coordination at the London Stadium.
The result sees West Ham jump to eighth on the Premier League table with 31 points from 22 games, ahead of the remaining fixtures on Saturday which could see the Hammers drop out of the top half of the league. Meanwhile, Arsenal on their part now lie in danger of losing fifth place to Manchester United should the Red Devils win by three goals or more at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Following a goalless first half, Rice was put through on goal by Nasri who intercepted a poor Granit Xhaka clearance to set up the teenager for the Hammers’ winner after 48 minutes. Matteo Guendouzi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Alex Iwobi had chances to draw Arsenal level but failed to make the most of their opportunities and be helpless to keeping the Gunners from defeat.
Fourth placed Chelsea could open a six point gap on the Gunners with a win at home to Newcastle United in the evening kick-off on Saturday. Meanwhile, Liverpool could open a seven-point lead at the top of the league should the Reds win at Brighton & Hove-Albion who have named Nigerian defender Leon Balogun on the bench for the game.