Arsenal VS West Ham final LIVE Football Score 16 Dec 2021
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta will have plenty of questions about the team’s mentality and their status as a top team in the division. While the manager has manoeuvred the team out of their early-season slump, Arsenal are yet to perform well against a top-four team. Defeat to the Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea this season has brought in scrutiny, with the Gunners being labelled as a flat-track bully. They might have bounced back from a two-game losing streak to win comfortably against Southampton at the weekend, but a real test awaits at the Emirates when West Ham United come visiting on Wednesday.
The game’s result will significantly impact the top-four race as Arsenal are chasing the Hammers for their spot on the table. However, with many off-field issues marring Arteta and his short term plans, he will be hoping to set the record straight with a win over David Moyes. Incredibly enough, Moyes has never won an away league game to Arsenal in 17 attempts. First, his Everton and now West Ham sides have found it hard to get a result against the Gunners, although he will be hoping to change that record. The last time these teams played, the game ended in an incredible 3-3 draw, despite the Hammers racing to a 3-0 lead.
West Ham have found it difficult to stitch together a consistent run of wins of late. After defeating Liverpool, they went on a three-game winless run, and a similar pattern seems to be developing. The Hammers have gone two games without winning in all competitions since beating Chelsea. On Sunday, they could not break down a stubborn Burnley side at Turf Moor. The result meant they dropped two valuable points to allow their closest rivals to close them down in the race for the top four. A good result against the Gunners will let them race ahead, although more dropped points will raise questions over their credentials.
Mikel Arteta is expected to keep the team’s shape after their win over Southampton and maybe make one or two essential changes. Sead Kolasinac is the only confirmed absentee through injury, although the club will assess the fitness of Emile Smith Rowe before the game after he made the bench on Saturday.
With games coming thick and fast, Arteta might hold the temptation of risking Smith Rowe from the start against West Ham. If the manager names him in the lineup, Gabriel Martinelli, who has been very good in the last two matches, might be sacrificed.
Since being dropped entirely for the Southampton game, captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been the trending topic after Arteta said it was a disciplinary action. He has since been stripped of the captaincy and remains unavailable for selection against West Ham.
For a short while, it appeared that Arsenal’s misery was set to continue as Southampton shone at the Emirates, but Mikel Arteta’s side proceeded to dominate on home soil once Alexandre Lacazette’s effort found its way into the top corner.
Martin Odegaard scored for the third Premier League game in a row to put the Gunners 2-0 to the good before half time, and having been a rock at the back throughout the afternoon, Gabriel Magalhaes added his side’s third during a comfortable success.
Such a result slightly eased the pressure on Arteta’s shoulders as Arsenal returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion, with that result seeing them move back above Tottenham Hotspur into sixth, but they are only one point clear of the Lilywhites having played two games more.
Only two points now separate the Gunners from fourth-placed West Ham ahead of this battle, and with Manchester United’s clash with Brentford supposedly in danger of being postponed, Arsenal could very well end the midweek round in the top four of the table.
It remains to be seen if the COVID-ravaged United squad will play in midweek, but Arsenal welcome West Ham to the Emirates as the league’s joint-best performers at home this term alongside Manchester City – winning each of their last four on home turf in all competitions without conceding once.
While their London rivals were easing to another three points, West Ham’s efforts at Burnley proved futile, as Sean Dyche’s relegation candidates held the top-four chasing Hammers to a point at Turf Moor on Sunday afternoon.
Declan Rice came close for the visitors, but the Nick Pope and Ben Mee-inspired Burnley defence stood firm to once again dent the Hammers’ chances of Champions League football and cap off a difficult week for Moyes and co.
The Hammers had suffered an inconsequential Europa League loss to Dinamo Zagreb before coming up short at Turf Moor and have only won one of their last five in the top flight, but they are clinging on to that fourth and final Champions League spot – one point clear of Man United.
For all of their away day specialities in the early stages of the season, West Ham have now taken just one point from their last three top-flight games on the road, and neither club nor manager particularly enjoys trips to the red side of North London.
Indeed, Moyes has faced Arsenal 17 times away from home as a manager without winning, and the Hammers have suffered defeat in 10 of their last 11 trips to the Gunners, including a 2-1 loss at the Emirates in the 2020-21 campaign.