The Gunners back in fourth place after beating West Ham

With goals from Rob Holding and Gabriel, Arsenal defeated West Ham 2-1 to maintain their Premier League title hopes.

Despite Tottenham’s 3-1 win against Leicester earlier in the day, the Gunners were able to clinch a critical three points in their Champions League qualifying fight and keep off their nearest opponents.

As a result of their Europa League semi-final obligations and lack of defenders, West Ham performed well despite the absence of the likes of Aaron Cresswell, Andy Carroll, and Winston Reid.

Debutant Declan Rice began in place of star attacker Michail Antonio, who was benched after being forced off the field in the second half of Thursday’s 2-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Kurt Zouma was West Ham’s only fit center-back due to injury and suspension, and he seemed to still be limited by his recent ankle injury at times.

For a while, they seemed like the better team, but finally, surrendered to a loss that effectively ended their hopes of securing a spot in the Champions League play-offs in fourth place.

When Aaron Ramsdale was called upon to deal with Bowen’s inswinging corner in the opening minutes of the game, West Ham came out firing.

During Arsenal’s promising assault, Saka was eager to make something happen.

Even though the Hammers were in control, there were few exciting moments. Holding’s bizarre pass into touch summed up the game’s lackluster start.

After Vladimir Coufal’s ball rebounded off Nuno Tavares and fell to Manuel Lanzini in the 30th minute, Holding had to make a strong stop to keep the Argentinian from scoring.

Rice’s attempt was saved by Ramsdale, but shortly after Nketiah was the trigger for the Gunners as they fought back against the flow of the game.

Holding scored his first Premier League goal after Nketiah wove his way into the area and drew Fabianski into a save.

Ramsdale had to make an excellent stop out of Rice to keep West Ham in the game at half-time, but it was Rice who set up the goal that put them back in it.

For Bowen’s goal, Gabriel’s shot was deflected in by Czech defender Coufal after an excellent pass into the area had been received by Coufal.

In the second half, West Ham’s breathless period came to a sudden end as Arsenal scored a second goal, resulting in a yellow card for Bowen for simulation.

Gabriel Martinelli’s cross found his unmarked and fellow Brazilian Martinelli for a diving header that past Fabianski at the far post from a corner again.

Nketiah missed a great opportunity as Arsenal broke incisively after a flare was thrown from the away supporters’ section and removed off the field.

As Nketiah’s wasted day continued, he missed his greatest chance yet, but the visitors had already done enough to secure the victory despite West Ham’s late efforts.

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