After a disappointing loss at the Emirates against Chelsea, it was a return to winning ways against an in form Olympiakos in the Champions League midweek. Our general form this season had shown signs of improvement, a more exciting team than last season, new players playing well, and the return of some others has seen us with a more balanced squad. The only problem is that we’ve only won 2 of our 6 Premier League games. We’ve played some hard teams, but now we go into a period where we play West Ham (today), Norwich, QPR and Reading – and it’s the period where we have to win all our games.
Today’s line up was:
Jenkinson – Mertersacker – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Arteta – Ramsey
Gervinho – Cazorla – Podolski
With a bench of Martinez, Koscielny, Santos, Coquelin, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin.
It was a battle, that’s for sure, with West Ham playing well when they had possession, Diame impressive in midfield for them and Andy Caroll always a threat. Despite some very early pressure that saw Giroud have two shots deflected, it was West Ham that went ahead through Diame when he nutmegged Aaron Ramsey and was left in acres of space in the box to finish with aplomb.
But then, before half time, there was the moment every one was waiting for. Giroud picked up the ball in midfield and fed Podolski, who motored down the left and then crossed back in for Giroud to prod it in the back of the net with pace. His first Premier League goal and and excellent move.
It was 1-1 at half time, and the second half was a matter of being patient. West Ham had their chances, and we should have had a penalty when Aaron Ramsey was upended in the box. It could have been a talking point, but thankfully not due to the quality of Cazorla. First, he put Giroud through from deep who fed Theo through to make it 2-1 – Walcott speeding in from the right and tucking the ball around the West Ham keeper.
And then Cazorla made it 3-1 with an excellent strike from distance. What a goal, from left to right with his left foot. An amazing strike and a goal he’s deserved.
Arsene spoke after the game and said:
We weakened a bit physically in the second half but overall it was a very important test for us today. We expected a difficult game. We were not disappointed – a game with a lot of pace, where both teams went for it in different styles. It was a good test mentally as well, because we went 1-0 down with their first shot on goal. We came back and won this game. You could say that we had a good performance today overall.
And the boss also commented on Giroud contribution…
In similar situations he nearly scored like that against Olympiacos on Wednesday night. He was good today. He had the physical presence and scored the goal. That will help him a lot I think to adapt very quickly.