Arsenal went into this on the back of their game against Liverpool where they surrendered a two-goal lead.
It was going to be interesting how the team would react to the events the previous week. If they would come out and prove that it hadn’t affected them or they would show signs that Manchester City’s pressure was finally begin to have an effect on them
This was a match that they had to win if they were going to stay ahead of Manchester City and show that they are able to deal with the pressure.
The team started off well and for the first few minutes were the better team. They were 2-0 ahead after 10 minutes with goals from Gabriel Jesus and Odegaard. Arsenal continued to lay well, but the intensity of the first ten minutes seemed not to be in their play. The team continued in that manner for about 30 minutes, dominating the home team, but they could not extend their lead. Their excellent play deserved more goals, but like at Anfield the previous week they were not able to score a third goal that could have killed off the match as a contest.
The home side eventually got into the match and began to create chances, and took one of their chances just before half time. West Ham were awarded a penalty after Gabriel brought down Lucas Paqueta. Said Benrahma scored the penalty. The first half ended 2-1 to Arsenal.
Arsenal began the second half well and were awarded a penalty for a handball by West Ham striker Michail Antonio. Arsenal regular penalty taker, Bukayo Saka stepped up to take the penalty. He has been excellent on penalty duties this season. Unfortunately, on this occasion he put his penalty wide.
The miss proved costly. Two minutes after the miss West Ham equalised to make it 2-2 through Jarrod Bowen. Arsenal were not at their best, but still had enough about them to take all three points from this match. They had further chances to score. Two of the best chances fell to Gabriel Jesus and Bukayo Saka, but neither of them were able to concert their chances
It seemed like Anfield was repeating itself. The team could not build on their good start and either through complacency, fatigue or pressure they could not respond in the way they had so many times in the earlier parts of the season. Michail Antonio hit the bar in the closing minutes of the game. The match ended 2-2. This was another two points dropped from a winning position.
This second draw in a week means that if Manchester City win their two games in hand they will have the same number points as Arsenal, but with a better goal difference. It makes Arsenal’s next match against Southampton a must win match. Anything less than a win will mean that Arsenal will be behind Manchester City by two points, assuming City win all their matches in hand. One of those games is with Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
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