Having stormed into a two-goal cushion, Arsenal capitulated in true Gunners’ fashion – and Laurent Koscielny was luckily on hand to salvage a point from a game in which they really should’ve taken all three.
Gunners get off to very promising start
Laurent Koscielny‘s second-half equaliser saved the Gunners‘ blushes in a match they really should’ve won: having stormed into a two-goal cushion before the half-time whistle at Upton Park. A hat-trick in the space of ten game minutes from Andy Carroll left the north Londoners on edge after a seemingly perfect start to proceedings against their London rivals, on Arsenal‘s final visit before West Ham make the lucrative move to the Olympic Stadium.
Goals from Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez were both well-taken, after inviting passes made by 19-year-old forward Alex Iwobi – notching up two assists in the process. The visitors were 2-0 up after 35 minutes, and many had suggested it’d be a routine victory from then on. You’d have assumed after their dreaded opening day defeat against Slaven Bilic‘s side, Arséne Wenger‘s men had learned to curb their attacking enthusiasm and stay defensively resolute under pressure.
But soon enough, all falls to pieces
However, they managed to somehow find themselves going into the interval with their lead obliterated before their eyes after Carroll netted twice in quick succession on the stroke of the referee’s half-time whistle. The Hammers were pressing high toward the Arsenal backline, and eventually got their reward for it. Carroll latched onto a teasing cross by Aaron Cresswell, beating Nacho Monreal to the ball at the far post.
Then, after his initial shot was blocked, an acrobatic effort left Ospina’s dive hopeless as the strike flew into the corner. Dimitri Payet‘s goal was disallowed after Carroll was correctly adjudged to have fouled Koscielny moments earlier, before the Englishman headed home to seal his hat-trick with aplomb. He managed to get the better of Gabriel for the third, flicking goalwards past a helpless David Ospina to complete his hat-trick in the 52nd minute.
Koscielny hands Arsenal point – but they could’ve had much more
Koscielny was in the perfect place at the right time to tap home from close-range at the end of a well-worked passing move in-and-around the West Ham area, but there was definitely an underwhelming feeling of disappointment stemming from the travelling Arsenal supporters. After such a promising start they capitulated dramatically, something which sums up their season: one that they had the potential to run away with at the Premier League summit.