Arsenal saw their Premier League title endeavours derailed on Thursday night as they whimpered to a shock 2-0 defeat against West Ham at the Emirates Stadium. And Gunners trio Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli were shown up by Hammers star Jarrod Bowen, who laid on an assist for the opening goal of the evening.
Arsenal went into their showdown with West Ham aiming to leapfrog Liverpool and return to the top of the Premier League table. The Gunners had won 12 of their first 18 matches of the campaign and were fresh off the back of a 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Anfield just before Christmas.
But the match didn’t go the Gunners way as Tomas Soucek netted the opening goal 13 minutes in, before Konstantinos Mavropanos headed home 10 minutes after the interval.
Arsenal had a hatful of chances throughout the clash as the likes of Saka, Jesus and Martinelli attempted to make things happen in front of goal. But the hosts were unable to find a way past Hammers goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who was in inspired form.
Bowen has now assisted two goals in the Premier League this season but had already found the back of the net on 11 occasions before Thursday’s encounter. And those stats are embarrassing for Saka, Jesus and Martinelli as the deadly trio have only scored 10 goals between them since the campaign got underway in August.
Arsenal haven’t exactly struggled for goals this season as they have racked up 36 in the Premier League. But their inability to take their chances against David Moyes’ side could be a worry, with only two teams in the top nine scoring fewer goals this season.
The Gunners were once again on the end of VAR controversy after various camera angles couldn’t conclusively prove if the ball had gone out of play in the lead up to the Soucek’s opener. Bowen got his foot to the ball as it was crossing the byline and there were no overhead camera angles to show if the ball had stayed in play or gone out.
“We want to be at the top and today we are very, very disappointed,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told the BBC after the clash. “We had so much dominance in the game. We are in a really good position. Today is a disappointing night.
“The technology we have at the moment is not clear enough if the ball is out. We dominated for 100 minutes. When we had big situations, we had players inside the box totally free. I think the players put an enormous effort in. It’s a difficult dressing room right now but we have another game [against Fulham] in 72 hours. This is football, we have to improve in certain areas.”