Arsenal produced an impressive comeback from 3-0 down to earn a point against West Ham in a hugely entertaining London derby.
West Ham started by far the brightest, and after just 15 minutes, they would take the lead, Michail Antonio driving down the left channel before cutting the ball back to Jesse Lingard on the edge of the box. The on-loan Manchester United man took a touch to set himself, before smartly firing past Leno.
Two minutes later and a quick bit of thinking from Lingard triggered the Hammers second, the 28-year-old playing a quick free-kick down the side of the Arsenal defence into Jarrod Bowen, the former Hull City winger drilling the ball under Leno with visitors not able to get themselves set.
West Ham looked to be on their way to a superb win as they further extended their lead just after the half-hour mark, Michail Antonio getting on the end of Vladimir Coufal’s inviting cross, with replays showing his header took a touch of Tomas Soucek before finding its way into the back of the net.
The Gunners gave themselves hope of a comeback before the interval in what was a breathtaking first half, a Callum Chambers cross being controlled by Alexandre Lacazette before the Frenchman’s effort clipped off the foot of Soucek to leave Fabianski helpless to keep it out.
Chambers was involved again as the north Londoners pulled another back just after the half-hour mark, his drilled cross following a quickly taken free-kick seeing Craig Dawson putting the ball into his own net for a second successive game.
West Ham had a couple of excellent opportunities to restore their two-goal advantage, Chambers putting in a vital block to deny Lingard, while Antonio saw an effort crash back off the post following a cross from Benrahma.
Calum Chambers attempted more open-play crosses (8) than any other player on the pitch and made more clearances (6) than any Arsenal player vs. West Ham.
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 21, 2021
The Hammers would come to regret those missed opportunities as Arsenal completed their comeback with eight minutes remaining. Mikel Arteta’s side once again found joy down the right side as Nicholas Pepe put a ball in with his weaker right foot for Lacazette to nod home at the back post.
The result leaves Arsenal down in ninth, nine points off the top four places, and speaking afterwards, manager Mikel Arteta said that some of his side’s play was ‘unacceptable’.
“Hard to explain, we knew the game we would face against West Ham, they can create problems for any team,” he told Match of the Day. “The first goal is something they do really well – the second and third goal, and the chance at the end, is unacceptable. We didn’t look at the races.
“That is the level we can show, the other is top level and probably the best we play all season – we could have scored six or seven goals and won the game, but we cannot have two faces.
“We stuck to the plan we had because we were getting further away from that, we started to play much better and I have faith in the boys they are not going to give the game away. We had the belief we could do something.
“This game is going to give me a few nightmares because it is really difficult to stop some of the things we have been doing to hurt ourselves.”
Next up for Arsenal after the international break is a home game against Liverpool.