Arsenal beat West Ham United 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, as the Gunners put in a classy display to cruise past their London rivals and win a fifth-straight Premier League match.
[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]
Olivier Giroud scored right on the stroke of half time to set them on their way, and the Frenchman had a wonderful game as he set up Aaron Ramsey for the second late on after the Hammers had looked dangerous on the break.
Matheiu Flamini added some much-deserved gloss to the scoreline with a tap in, as the Gunners warmed up for their UEFA Champions League showdown in Monaco on Tuesday in perfect fashion.
With the win Arsene Wenger’s side stay in third place on 57 points, while the Hammers are now without a win in eight in the PL and remain in 10th place on 39 points.
[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]
Early on Theo Walcott had a great chance for the Gunners but he squandered it, then Adrian denied Alexis Sanchez header with a fine save around the post. Just before the half hour mark Calum Chambers cut in from the right and Ramsey almost directed his effort into the net but Adrian tipped it over the bar.
The Hammers came back into things as Matt Jarvis got in down the left flank but the east Londoners couldn’t make the most of it. Before half time Walcott was again played in after some wonderful build up play, but the English winger hit his shot straight at Adrian as another chance went begging. Ramsey clipped a cross to the back post which Sanchez hammered towards goal but Adrian once again saved West Ham.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
On the stroke of half time Arsenal finally went ahead as a flowing move found Giroud in the box and the French international hammered a shot in off the post. 1-0 to the Arsenal.
In the second half the Hammers continued to look dangerous on the break as Diafra Sakho was causing plenty of problems, while Jarvis lashed a great chance over as West Ham fought their way back into the game. Referee Chris Foy then had to limp off the pitch and was replaced by fourth official Anthony Taylor. “You’re not fit to referee” was the chant from both sets of fans.
Late on Ramsey dragged a volley wide when Mesut Ozil inexplicably passed him the ball instead of showing, while Danny Welbeck created plenty of problems after coming off the bench. Late on the Gunners continued to ooze class as Ramsey made it 2-0 following a classy one-two with Giroud as the Welshman slotted home in the 81st minute.
Flamini then finished off the win in style, as the Frenchman came off the bench and scored with his first touch as Giroud and Santi Cazorla combined sublimely before Cazorla crossed for Flamini to tap home. 3-0, as Arsenal continues to roll toward a top four finish.
Arsenal: Ospina, Chambers, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Ramsey, Walcott (Cazorla, 72′), Ozil (Flamini, 83′), Sanchez (Welbeck, 65′), Giroud
Goals: Giroud (45′), Ramsey (81′), Flamini (84′)
West Ham United: Adrian, O’Brien, Collins, Kouyate, Cresswell, Song, Noble (Nene, 82′), Nolan, Jarvis (Amalfitano, 75′), Downing, Sakho