West Ham 3-3 Arsenal: Draw helps neither in enthralling London derby

Leave a comment
  • Carroll scores 8-minute hat trick
  • Arsenal led 2-0
  • Gunners title hopes all but over

Arsenal and West Ham United drew 3-3 at Upton Park on Saturday in a breathtaking London derby.

The Gunners raced into a 2-0 lead as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez scored but then Andy Carroll — making his first start in over three months — scored a hat trick to put the Hammers ahead amid jubilant scenes.

However, Laurent Koscielny made it 3-3 late on and despite both teams going for the win neither could grab all three points.

Arsenal stay in third place and have 59 points from 32 games with their title race fading, while West Ham’s top four hopes took a hit as they have 52 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

West Ham started brightly as Aaron Cresswell‘s volley in the opening minute was nodded just wide by Manuel Lanzini but the Argentine was in an offside position.

Soon after Carroll picked up a needless booking as he scythed down Koscielny cynically, then Lanzini knocked home after Carroll’s acrobatic effort but he was once again flagged offside but this time Hector Bellerin kept him onside and it was a bad decision from the linesman.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Arsenal grew into the game and Ozil gave them the lead in the 18th minute as he looked to be slightly offside but dispatched Alex Iwobi‘s through ball clinically. 1-0 to the Arsenal. But the Hammers were correct to feel aggrieved.

It was 2-0 before half time as confusion in the West Ham defense saw Iwobi lob the ball to Sanchez and his sublime first touch and calm finish but the Gunners 2-0 up. Carroll had a low shot saved at the second attempt by David Ospina but then right on half time the game turned on its head.

First Carroll headed home Cresswell’s perfect cross right on half time to make it 2-1 and in first half stoppage time he volleyed home acrobatically with his left foot to make it 2-2. A remarkable three minutes at the end of the first half saw West Ham surge back from 2-0 down to make it 2-2. Game well and truly on.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half a major flashpoint arrived as Carroll wrestled with Koscielny in the box and Opsina came out to grab the ball but it fell to Payet who slotted home. However, the referee whistled for a foul by Carroll.

Carroll was in the thick of things once again moments later and he headed home at the back post for his and West Ham’s third goal. Pandemonium among the home fans in east London.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Arsenal pushed hard for an equalizer after getting over the initial shock of falling behind and substitute Aaron Ramsey went close, then from the following corner Lanzini cleared Monreal’s shot off the line to keep the Hammers ahead.

With 20 minutes to go the equalizer arrived as Ozil’s pull back in the box found Koscielny in the right place at the right time and slotted home. 3-3.

Late on Payet and Cresswell forced Ospina into sprawling saves and Olivier Giroud headed wide, but that was the closest either team came to snatching all three points in a breathtaking encounter in the final London derby at Upton Park.

Jota takes super sub to new level in Wolves win

Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sometimes the phrase “game changer” is used a bit too loosely, but there’s no debating Diogo Jota fit the bill to a ‘t’ on Thursday.

Wolves scored four times in 11 minutes, three coming courtesy Jota, as the Premier League side buried Besiktas 4-0 in Europa League play on Thursday.

Jota entered in the 56th minute, scored in the 57th, and completed his hat trick in the 68th.

Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men had already clinched a place in the knockout rounds before the match day, and finish one point below Braga in Group K.

[ MORE: Who can Wolves draw in UEL? ]

Jota has five goals in five days after scoring twice against Brighton on Sunday. The 23-year-old had an up-and-down season to start but has been mostly good over the past half-dozen games.

He has 37 goals in 107 matches with Wolves, including nine in all competitions this season. He scored nine times last season after a 17-goal campaign in the Championship.

Leander Dendoncker had Wolves’ other goal, with the day’s assists going to Oskar Buur, Joao Moutinho, and Pedro Neto.


Who can Premier League clubs draw in Europa League?

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Group winners Arsenal and Manchester United will avoid a loaded batch of seeded teams, while runners-up Wolves can draw a bevy of powerful teams in the Europa League Round of 32.

Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo can find himself drawn against former club Porto, but also could have to match wits with Ajax’s Erik ten Hag, Inter Milan’s Antonio Conte, or Red Bull Salzburg’s Jesse Marsch.

[ MORE: Man Utd pounds AZ ]

Speaking of Marsch, the Salzburg boss could go from meeting Liverpool to squaring off with Steven Gerrard and Rangers.

Gerrard could also, of course, go up against hated playing days’ rival Manchester United.

Seeded teams
Inter Milan
Istanbul Basaksehir
Manchester United
Red Bull Salzburg

Unseeded teams
APOEL Nicosia
AZ Alkmaar
Bayer Leverkusen
Club Brugge
CFR Cluj
Eintracht Frankfurt
Ludogorets Razgrad
Shakhtar Donetsk
Sporting Lisbon

Who can Premier League teams draw in the Round of 32?

Arsenal: APOEL Nicosia, AZ Alkmaar, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge, Copenhagen, CFR Cluj, Ludogorets Razgrad, Olympiacos, Rangers, Roma, Wolfsburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting Lisbon

Manchester United: APOEL Nicosia, Bayer Leverkusen, Club Brugge, Copenhagen, CFR Cluj, Eintracht Frankfurt, Ludogorets Razgrad, Olympiacos, Rangers, Roma, Wolfsburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sporting Lisbon

Wolves: Ajax, Basel, Benfica, Celtic, Espanyol, Gent, Inter Milan, Istanbul Basaksehir, LASK, Malmo, Porto, Red Bull Salzburg, Sevilla

Four-star Manchester United wins Europa League group

Manchester United Mata Greenwood
Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United is in fine feather and showing it, smashing AZ Alkmaar in a stylish 4-0 win at Old Trafford in Europa League play on Thursday.

Juan Mata had a goal and set up two others, while Mason Greenwood scored twice after Ashley Young opened the scoring in a group-claiming victory.

[ MORE: Saka leads Arsenal comeback ]

United wins the group with 13 points, conceding just twice in six matches.

The Red Devils have won three-straight matches, as AZ joins Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur in the loss column. Up next is a Sunday visit from Everton in the Premier League before Wednesday’s League Cup quarterfinal visit from Colchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed starts to James Garner, Brandon Williams, and Axel Tuanzebe, bringing youngsters Ethan Laird and Tahith Chong off the bench.

Greenwood, 18, now has six goals in 22 senior appearances, while Mata, 31, gets on the score sheet for the first time this season.

For his career, the award-winning Spaniard is doing okay, though: 125 goals and 149 assists in 542 senior appearances.

Ljungberg hails ‘amazing’ teen Saka after game-changing performance

Photo by JOHN THYS/AFP via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal phenom Bukayo Saka‘s big day spurred the Gunners to a top seed in the Europa League knockout rounds.

Arsenal went behind on two deflected goals in the second half’s first 25 minutes, but Saka answered with a goal and an assist in three minutes to take a point from Belgium in a 2-2 draw at Standard Liege.

[ RECAP, VIDEO: Standard Liege 2-2 Arsenal ]

Saka was at the heart of it of all good things Arsenal, the 18-year-old handed plenty of responsibility. despite his tender age.

“He was amazing,” said interim manager Freddie Ljungberg. “He was a bit upset with me before the game that he had to play wing-back and full-back. He’s a tremendous talent.”

Saka had four key passes to go with his goal and assist, winning six of eight duels while producing two tackles and an interception.

Ljungberg said Arsenal hasn’t sent its young players on loan enough, though that hardly applies to Saka given he was 17 until September.

The injured Gunners used Konstantinos Mavropanos, Emile Smith-Rowe, Joe Willock, and Reiss Nelson in the Starting XI, and brought Gabriel Martinelli off the bench.

“I feel sorry for our young players,” he said. “A lot of them haven’t been on loan, they’ve not had that exposure to men’s football. Some of them made mistakes but they’ll learn from those mistakes and won’t do them again.”

Smith-Rowe was loaned to RB Leipzig last season and Nelson starred on loan at Hoffenheim. Mavropanos played first team football for Greek Super League side PAS Giannina in his late teens.

Arsenal joins Premier League sides Wolves and Manchester United in the knockout rounds, having lost the Europa League final to rivals Chelsea at the end of last season.

The Gunners beat West Ham on Monday and host Manchester City at 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday.