Premier League Match Report: Gunners soar after Giroud finds his feet

West Ham United 1 Arsenal 3: Misfiring Frenchman finally shows signs of true value with blistering finish to spark comeback

Upton Park

Arsenal's supremacy over West Ham goes back a good way in terms of results and League position and a ninth successive game against them without defeat carried the North London side back above their East End rivals after a vibrant derby.

With Andy Carroll proving a handful on his return, Sam Allardyce's side were briefly in front, only to be pegged back by Olivier Giroud and then overwhelmed in the last quarter of an hour. Giroud, having his best game for the club, set up substitute Theo Walcott for a fine finish, and with eight minutes left the ever excellent Santi Cazorla ensured West Ham's first home defeat since promotion.

As Arsène Wenger pointed out, Arsenal have recovered well from last weekend's home defeat by Chelsea to record successive 3-1 wins, first against Olympiakos and now here. "We started with a lot of questions raised around the team this season," Wenger said. "Overall it was a very important test for us and it was a convincing performance." Wenger – the object of tasteless abuse from West Ham fans during the match – admitted it was "impossible" to control Carroll for 90 minutes, although for the first 20 the big striker, starting for the first time in a month, was as busy heading away corners as feeding off what few scraps there were at the other end. He even had to block one fierce drive by Giroud from one of Arsenal's seven first-half corners, so it was all the greater a shock when West Ham took the lead.

The goal followed good work by George McCartney down the left, although there seemed no great danger until Mohamed Diamé suddenly turned inside Aaron Ramsey and swept a delicious shot across Vito Mannone into the far corner of the net. Booked, absurdly for an over-exuberant celebration, Diamé was treading a thin line and should technically have been dismissed when he clattered into Mikel Arteta with under half an hour played.

It would have been too much had West Ham doubled their lead, which they almost did when Carroll's firm header from a corner flew straight at a grateful Mannone. Instead, justice was done five minutes before half-time. Shortly after failing to direct his header from Per Mertesacker's flick on target, Giroud produced the sort of finish for which Arsenal paid some £10 million in the summer. The Frenchman began the move himself by sweeping a pass out to Lukas Podolski down the left, and then lunged forward to meet the cross with the equaliser.

The home side might have been ahead at the interval as a result of the revived partnership between great friends Carroll and Kevin Nolan. A long free-kick was nodded down effectively by the big striker and as the ball sat up his former Newcastle team-mate (and briefly landlord) could not quite set himself properly to guide it the right side of the post.

In the second half West Ham's early momentum was halted by a rash of substitutions. Arsenal lost their left-back Kieran Gibbs, who Wenger described as "very doubtful" for England's forthcoming World Cup games with a thigh injury. Andre Santos replaced him, but there was no evident injury to Gervinho, who had been playing down the right despite his recent scoring run of goals from centre-forward. Walcott came on for him. Next Ricardo Vaz Te suffered a dislocated shoulder after Mannone dived at his feet and be out until Christmas.

West Ham continued to look for Carroll at every opportunity and were almost rewarded when he climbed above the goalkeeper to reach McCartney's long cross, holding his head as the ball drifted wide. It was a key moment, as was the instant when Diamé lost possession and Giroud sent Walcott through for what he later called an answer to his critics. Cazorla has no critics, only admirers, and he rewarded them with a glorious third goal.

West Ham (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Demel (Tomkins, 73), Reid, Collins, McCartney; Noble, Nolan, Diamé (Cole, 82), Jarvis; Vaz Te (Taylor, 64), Carroll.

Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs (Santos, 56); Arteta, Ramsey; Gervinho (Walcott, 61), Cazorla, Podolski (Koscielny, 85); Giroud.

Referee: Phil Dowd

Man of the match: Giroud (Arsenal)

Match rating: 7/10

Suggested Topics
News
people'It can last and it's terrifying'
Sport
Danny Welbeck's Manchester United future is in doubt
footballStriker in talks over £17m move from Manchester United
Sport
Radamel Falcao
footballManchester United agree loan deal for Monaco striker Falcao
Sport
Louis van Gaal, Radamel Falcao, Arturo Vidal, Mats Hummels and Javier Hernandez
footballFalcao, Hernandez, Welbeck and every deal live as it happens
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballFeaturing Bart Simpson
News
Kelly Brook
peopleA spokesperson said the support group was 'extremely disappointed'
Sport
Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
TennisWin sets up blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Djokovic
News
i100
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand performs live
music Pro-independence show to take place four days before vote
News
news Video - hailed as 'most original' since Benedict Cumberbatch's
Arts and Entertainment
booksNovelist takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor