Arsenal cruised to a win at Upton Park this evening as they comfortably beat West Ham 3-0 in what appears to be Avram Grant's final game in charge. Van Persie scored two goals, with Walcott getting one too, as the Gunners strolled to another away win and a crucial 3 points.
There isn't much point in doing a full match review as Arsenal were dominant for the entire 90 minutes, something I honestly wasn't expecting before the match. I still thought we would, and should, win the game but going to Upton Park and coming away with a win isn't an easy task, as Man United found out this season in the Carling Cup. So it was a relief to see us win with such ease and in some style too, as West Ham pretty much rolled over for us and the Hammers are in total free-fall right now. The board, the players, the staff and the manager are a complete mess so I'm glad Arsenal took advantage of the situation and didn't slip up. We need to beat the teams lower down the table if we are to stand any chance of competing for the title, so it's good to see Arsene Wenger's men get the job done.
It was fantastic to see van Persie get on the scoresheet, with a goal from open play too. In the 13th minute Robin connected on Walcott's low cross with his right foot (after a nice dummy by Nasri), smashing the ball past Rob Green into the corner for an early 1-0 lead. Exactly the start to the game we needed, and it settled some early nerves for sure. Just before half time, van Persie squeezed in a cross from the byline across West Ham's penalty box, and Theo was quick enough to get on the end of it before the defence could react. He blasted the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 and it was pretty much game over then and there. In the second half Arsenal continued their dominance and never let the home side into the game. To be fair, the 3-0 scoreline could have been a lot more, if it weren't for some fantastic saves by Green (the save from Wilshere towards the end of the game was just one example). In the 77th minute, Walcott was brought down in the box by Wayne Bridge and van Persie converted the spot kick to end the game for good, sending a lot of unhappy West Ham fans home early as the stadium started to empty out.
Arsenal needed this result after some rather limp performances against Championship opposition recently, and it feels good to win again. Up next is Leeds on Wednesday for the 3rd round replay in the FA Cup. Hopefully this evenings win should give the Gunners a boost of momentum ahead of the trip to Leeds, where I'm expecting a much better performance from Arsenal than what we saw at the Emirates a week ago. It is crucial we stay in the competition as we can't afford to pass up a chance at a trophy so easily. I'll be hoping to watch it, but the Mrs might be dragging me to the cinema... we'll see eh?
Thanks for reading.