West Ham United vs. Arsenal  1 - 3


Cazorla prioritises Premier League

7 October 2012 15:45

Arsenal off-season signing Santi Cazorla has set his sights on winning the Premier League title with the Londoners.

The Spaniard scored his second league goal for Arsene Wenger's side in a 3-1 away win over West Ham on Saturday and wants to carry on his good early form with a push for glory, having already won two European Championships with his national side.

He told The Sun: "Arsenal is one of the big clubs in Europe so we are obliged to fight for titles.

"Within their means the club has been putting together a very good squad over the last two years and it's clear we now want to change that dynamic of not winning anything.

"We haven't won anything for seven years but I believe Arsenal always show passion and are a team of winners.

"I am here to fight for the league title. We have a good squad and I think that we can (win the league)."

The 27-year-old also thanked his family for their support during his transition from Spain to London, explaining: "My family was the key because they've always supported me. My brother Nando is my biggest fan.

"The death of my father was a hard moment for me and it pains me that he did not see my success in the Euros with Spain. I always dedicate my victories to his memory."

Cazorla also talked about the challenge of playing in London and transferring to a new squad but has thanked team-mate Mikel Arteta for making his transition to English football a lot easier.

"Mikel Arteta is very important for me in all the aspects, not only from a footballing point of view. From my arrival he supported me in the dressing room and made it easier for me to connect with my team-mates," he said.

"Gunners fans love the Spanish players."


´Relieved´ Giroud never lost confidence

7 October 2012 07:03

Olivier Giroud has revealed his relief at netting his first English Premier League goal for Arsenal in their 3-1 win over West Ham.

The Frenchman netted in the 41st minute to cancel out Mohamed Diame's opener, and went on to assist Theo Walcott's goal with a fine through ball before Santi Cazorla added a late third.

Giroud told ESPN: "I'm so happy tonight to score my first goal and to assist my friend Theo. I'm very happy, I feel relieved now and I hope so many goals come after.

"Everyone talked to me about this goal, everyone said 'There's a goal coming soon, don't worry, we trust you,' and I keep confident, and I keep going, concentrate on the work in training and the game. So I keep confident."

Walcott hailed Arsenal's resolute defensive display, and hopes to have proven his worth to Arsene Wenger after starting most of the season on the bench.

"It's always going to be a tough battle here," he said. "We haven't been here for a couple of years now. West Ham are always strong under Sam (Allardyce), and we showed good qualities, not just going forward, but defensively we were very strong.

"Maybe (we were) quite nervy in the first 10-15 minutes but the second half was much stronger. The true Arsenal, definitely.

"You've got to be patient in the game at times. I've always said I wanted to play, and that's the best way to answer your critics and hopefully now I can try and get a nice run in the team.

"The team is looking very strong and I'll be happy to be part of it."

Arsenal climbed up to fifth after their win at Upton Park, and the winger believes they have enough quality to sustain their push towards the top of the Premier League this term.

"We just (take it) step-by-step, every game as it comes, but we know where we want to be this season. We want to be hopefully right up there come the end of the season," Walcott said.

"We've got some great players like I said before that have come in and I think the way we came back today, I think we can definitely have a good push now."


Wenger hails Cazorla display

7 October 2012 01:10

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with Santi Cazorla's performance during his side's 3-1 away win over West Ham.

Mohamed Diame opened the scoring for West Ham early on, but goals from Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott put the Gunners back in front, with Cazorla sealing the victory late on.

Cazorla joined Arsenal during the close season and has made seven appearances since leaving Spanish outfit Malaga, scoring two goals in the process.

"(Cazorla) had another outstanding performance," Wenger told ESPN. "You can just admire him if you love football. Just watching him play, it's a delight to watch him.

"(I'm) very happy, because it was a game played with a high tempo, where our nerves were tested of course.

"With the first shot on goal they scored a great goal. From then on we had to not concede a second one, knowing they are always dangerous in the box, and get our game going, and we did that in a very convincing way.

"I feel we have a strong spirit, a good team, and we came out of losing the game last week with two 3-1s, so we responded well in a strong way, and it's interesting."

West Ham coach Sam Allardyce revealed striker Ricardo Vaz dislocated his shoulder after colliding with Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone in the second half.

"Ricardo Vaz Te has a shoulder dislocation by looks of it so that's not so good," Allardyce said.

In more bad news for the West Ham boss, Guy Demel suffered a thigh strain during the defeat, while Winston Reid experienced back spasms.

"Guy Demel looks like a thigh strain and Winston Reid had a back spasm but we could not bring him off, so that's a little worrying for us," Allardyce said.


Premier League: West Ham United 1 Arsenal 3

6 October 2012 20:45

Arsenal moved up to fifth in the English Premier League after coming from a goal behind to beat West Ham United 3-1 on Saturday.

Mohamed Diame opened the scoring for hosts West Ham against the run of play at Upton Park, beating Aaron Ramsey and curling into the top corner before Olivier Giroud displayed his predatory instincts by stabbing home Lukas Podolski's low cross.

And he later turned provider by threading Theo Walcott in on goal for the 23-year-old to put the Gunners ahead, before Santi Cazorla thundered home a 20-yard effort to seal all three points.

Arsene Wenger shuffled his pack following Wednesday night's 3-1 win over Olympiakos, recalling Giroud and Aaron Ramsey as well as bringing Per Mertesacker in to help counter the threat of Andy Carroll, who was given a start ahead of Carlton Cole by Sam Allardyce.

Giroud, who was still chasing his first Premier League goal, tested Jussi Jaaskelainen at his near post in the second minute and this early chance fostered a dominant opening 20 minutes for Wenger's team.

However, on a rare break forward for the hosts, George McCartney advanced from left-back and rolled a pass into Diame's feet.

The powerful Senegalese midfielder sized up Ramsey before knocking the ball past him as the Welshman pressed too tightly.

From close to the byline and inside the box, Diame's next touch was of the highest quality as he bent a rising shot past Vito Mannone and into the top corner.

Diame picked up a booking for celebrating with the home support, and was fortunate not to receive his marching orders in the 28th minute as he clattered into Mikel Arteta in midfield.

The 25-year-old did survive a potential dismissal but soon became the villain as he tried to pluck the ball out from the sky on the halfway line.

Arteta pounced and Giroud swept a pass wide to Lukas Podolski, who took a touch before delivering a splendid low cross into the six-yard box for the waiting Frenchman to poke home.

The half-time break helped West Ham regain their lost momentum and although Arsenal remained in control of possession, the Hammers appeared more direct and threatening.

Matt Jarvis half-volleyed over the bar before Carroll leapt above Mannone but could only nod wide of an empty goal when he should have scored.

The game was pockmarked by injuries to Ricardo Vaz Te, Guy Demel and Per Mertesacker and it was a wonder Mannone came away unscathed after several bruising collisions.

But he will be pleased to have witnessed the closing stages as Arsenal turned the screw.

First, Giroud sent substitute Walcott in on goal, leaving the England international the space to calmly slot low past Jaaskelainen with 13 minutes remaining.

As the Hammers pressed for an equaliser, Walcott stole possession and handed the ball to Cazorla, and the Spaniard composed himself before rifling an unstoppable 20-yard shot into the top corner.

With that, Wenger's team had averted a potential banana skin and sealed a valuable three points in an impressive comeback.


Premier League preview: West Ham v Arsenal

4 October 2012 11:36

Arsenal face another tough physical contest in the English Premier League when they travel to promoted West Ham United on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's would-be title challengers suffered their first defeat of the league season last weekend, going down 2-1 at home to Chelsea, who have set the pace early in 2012/13.

Wenger's men bounced back on Wednesday with a 3-1 win against Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League, although the scoreline perhaps flattered the home side as they struggled at times in the match at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey blamed the below-par showing in midweek on their exertions in a gruelling contest with Chelsea.

Expect there to be no respite again for Ramsey and company, as they travel to east London to take on West Ham and their manager Sam Allardyce.

Allardyce has sought to marry a potent blend of technique and raw aggression at Upton Park, recruiting the likes of winger Matthew Jarvis from Wolverhampton Wanderers and bringing Israeli playmaker Yossi Benayoun back to the club on loan from Chelsea.

But the star recruit of West Ham's first season back in the top flight is England centre-forward Andy Carroll, brought in on loan from Liverpool in a major coup for the Championship playoff winners.

Carroll made an immediate impression in his first appearance for West Ham, as they downed Fulham 3-0 at home on September 1.

The former Newcastle United man picked up a hamstring injury in his debut which sidelined him until Monday, when he appeared off the bench in West Ham's 2-1 win at Queens Park Rangers.

That victory saw West Ham climb to a lofty seventh place in the league table, in unfamiliar territory two points above perennial Champions League qualifiers Arsenal.

If he starts, expect powerful centre-forward Carroll to be a major threat to Arsenal's inconsistent backline.

Laurent Koscielny was arguably culpable for both of Chelsea's goals at the Emirates Stadium, and the French centre-back may well be dropped in favour of Germany international Per Mertesacker, who had made an impressive start to the campaign alongside Belgian Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsenal lost powerful midfielder Abou Diaby to injury against Chelsea, depriving Wenger of one of the few players capable of matching it with West Ham's rugged midfield brigade.

The Gunners' third-choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone will continue to deputise for the injured Wojciech Szczesny (ankle) and Lukasz Fabianski (shoulder).

Fullback Bacary Sagna (broken leg) and midfielders Jack Wilshere (ankle) and Tomas Rosicky (leg) are all nearing a return to first-team action.

By contrast, Allardyce's only potential absentee is midfielder Jack Collinson, who has been tipped to return from a knee problem early this month.

Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +43 89
2 38 +32 78
3 38 +36 75
4 38 +35 73
5 38 +20 72
6 38 +15 63
7 38 +28 61
8 38 -4 49
9 38 -4 46
10 38 -8 46
11 38 -17 44
12 38 -10 43
13 38 -11 42
14 38 -11 41
15 38 -22 41
16 38 -23 41
17 38 -13 39
18 38 -26 36
19 38 -30 28
20 38 -30 25