London, UK | THE INDEPENDENT | Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to grab a late winner as Arsenal made it two wins out of two at the start of the season.
In truth Arsenal were below par for much of their opening home game of the campaign, despite taking the lead through Alexandre Lacazette’s thumping header.
Lacazette’s goal was actually Arsenal’s first attempt on goal after a fairly soporific opening 25 minutes. Angelo Ogbonna had actually gone closest to opening the scoring for the away side early on, but could only direct his tame header straight at Bernd Leno.
From then Arsenal struggled to turn our possession into chances, until Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang just about beat the offside trap before standing up an inviting cross for the arriving Lacazette to head home from six yards out.
It was the Frenchman’s second goal in two games at the start of the season, and his 50th overall in an Arsenal shirt.
Bukaya Saka nearly added a second just afterwards, but blazed over from inside the area.
Just at the end of the half the Hammers hit back, springing a rapid counter-attack which ended with Michail Antonio sliding in from close range.
Arsenal needed to improve after the break, and although they continued to see plenty of the ball, the cutting edge was missing.
Leno got down well to keep about Antonio’s bundled effort on the line and Gabriel sliced a clearance just wide as West Ham increased the pressure.
They continued to send in dangerous high crosses from the flanks and nearly got their reward when Antonio headed against the bar.
Arsenal were living dangerously but finally went ahead when Dani Ceballos got free in the area and cut the ball back for Nketiah – not long on the pitch as a sub – to convert from close range.
Two games, two wins to kick off 2020/21, but this one was far from straightforward.
SOURCE: Arsenal.com | By Josh James | Adapted