Hartson's swift end to hostilities

West Ham 0 Arsenal 1 (Hartson 2) Attendance: 24,217

JOHN HARTSON recently claimed in a tabloid newspaper that he was being "treated like a dog" by Arsenal. Well, every dog has its day and this was his.

Released from kennels for the first time since 6 January because of Ian Wright's hamstring injury, he popped in a goal within two minutes and went on to harry West Ham to such good effect that an addition to their five successive Premiership victories rarely looked likely.

Hartson's belligerent attitude even extended to an early challenge on Julian Dicks severe enough to earn a booking. Arsenal are not Dicks's favourite opponents: sent off at Highbury when West Ham lost in September, he passed up an opportunity to equalise at an important stage of the game yesterday by missing a second-half penalty.

Arsenal, even without Tony Adams and Steve Bould, defended with their old cussedness to record a fifth win in six visits to Upton Park. On a pitch too sticky for their passing game, West Ham relied on Iain Dowie's aerial ability. His header two minutes from time appeared to have saved the match, but a linesman's flag said otherwise.

West Ham lacked width, especially down the right, which John Harkes could not provide on his own from full-back as Danny Williamson and Michael Hughes were preoccupied by the elusive Paul Merson. "We gave them a terrible, diabolical goal," Harry Redknapp, the West Ham manager, said. "Julian was suffering from double vision when he took the penalty, his left foot is normally like radar."

Harkes, who was responsible for Arsenal taking the lead, could not blame the pitch for the casual nudge back towards his goalkeeper that Merson collected, eluding Steve Potts and picking out Hartson.

The home team's response did not bear the stamp of a side in form, such troublesome moments as there were for David Seaman tending to stem from mishit crosses rather than anything more purposeful.

Despite Arsenal's two cup defeats and only one victory in six previous games, there was not a hint of anything resembling panic in their manager Bruce Rioch's approach to the game. Hartson's inclusion was the only change following Wednesday's Coca-Cola Cup semi-final disappointment, with Martin Keown, Andy Linighan and Steve Morrow retained in the centre of defence.

Not until half-time was anything altered, David Platt coming off the substitutes' bench to replace David Hillier, who had strained a calf. His initial duties were defensive as West Ham piled forward in the rain.

The penalty was awarded, without significant protest, as Dowie played the ball in for Tony Cottee, who was bundled over by Keown. Seaman fell to his left to parry Dicks' kick and held the follow-up from Harkes, who soon made way for Dani, but this was not a day, or a pitch, for subtle Latin skills.

News
peopleTop Gear presenter and all-round controversialist is at it again
Sport
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after opening the scoring in Arsenal's win over Hull `
sport
News
peopleActress speaks out against historic sexual assault claims, saying things have 'gone quite far now'

Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
tvReview: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Life & Style
Guests enjoy food and cocktail parings by Chefs Jimmy Bannos, Jimmy Bannos Jr, Daniel Rose and Mindy Segal with mixologists Josh King and Alex Gara at Bounty & Barrel: A Jack Daniel's Single Barrel Dinner Series at Heaven on Seven on April 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois.
food + drinkSprinkle Palcohol 'on almost any dish' for 'an extra kick' firm says...
Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
News
politicsLabour launches the 'completely hollow' Easter Clegg
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
sport Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Arts & Entertainment
Last, but by no means least, is Tommy Cooper and the fez. This style of hat became a permanent trademark of his act.
comedyNot Like That, Like This centres on alleged domestic abuse
Arts & Entertainment
Oxegen in Ireland has been axed as promoters decide it is 'no longer viable'
arts + ents Promoters have axed the event as it is 'no longer viable in current form'
News
The troubled star is set to give fans the biggest insight into her life away from the headlines
people Star made the announcement during the final episode of the programme, entitled Lindsay
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Geography Teacher

£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...

Do you want to work in Education?

£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...

Private Client Senior Manager - Sheffield

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...

Day In a Page

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter: The man who could have been champion of the world - and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him

The man who could have been champion of the world

Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter and the Bob Dylan song that immortalised him
Didn’t she do well?

Didn’t she do well?

Miranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money

In Iraq, mafiosi already run almost the entire oil output of the south of the country
Before they were famous

Before they were famous

Can you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is genius

Martin Freeman’s casting in Fargo is a stroke of genius

Series is brimming with characters and stories all its own
How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players