• Date: Sat 20 March 2010
  • Venue: Emirates Stadium
  • Ref: Atkinson, M
  • Attendance: 60,077


Denilson (5)

Fabregas (83) P

2 - 0

Arsenal vs West Ham United

Team Lineups


Manuel Almunia
Thomas Vermaelen
Gael Clichy
Sol Campbell
Cesc Fabregas
Samir Nasri (Bacary Sagna, 75)
Pereira Neves Denilson
Alexandre Song
Andrey Arshavin (Da Silva Eduardo, 84)
Emmanuel Eboue
Nicklas Bendtner (Vassiriki Abou Diaby, 58)

West Ham United

Robert Green
Matthew Upson
Jonathan Spector
James Tomkins
Fabio Daprela
Radoslav Kovac (Mark Noble, 70)
Valon Behrami
Junior Stanislas
Luis Guillermo Franco (Carlton Cole, 57)
Ahmed Hossam Mido (Benni McCarthy, 75)
Alessandro Diamanti

Match Report
Ten-man Arsenal moved back to the summit of the Premier League with a 2-0 home win over West Ham United. Thomas Vermaelen had been controversially sent off at the end of the first half, but the Gunners continued to outplay their guests from East London and a first-half goal from Denilson and a late penalty from Cesc Fabregas saw Arsenal move above Manchester United and Chelsea. The Gunners stormed to an early need just over four minutes into the game with a strike from just inside the area from Denilson. The midfielder first received the ball in a central position on the edge of the area and looked to have let the opportunity pass, but some quick feet saw him finding Nicklas Bendtner, who in turn returned the ball for the Brazilian to drill a low shot past Robert Green into the right side of the net. West Ham did well following the goal to take the sting out the game and keep the Gunners from really further testing Green for much of the remainder of the first half. Their tackling was strong, occasionally straying into the realms of excessive, measured by the fact that Arsene Wenger rarely took his seat. Alessandro Diamanti was a bit of a thorn in Arsenal's side, his unpredictability and invention being at the heart of most of the visitors' best moves. Manuel Almunia was rarely tested and the first shot on target of note came in the 41st minute from Junior Stanislas and even that was easily claimed by the Spaniard. The Irons were handed a massive opportunity with a decidedly questionable penalty and sending off of Vermaelen. The Belgium international was adjudged by referee Martin Atkinson and his assistant Phil Sharp to a have pushed over Guillermo Franco. Diamanti stepped up to despatch the spot-kick, but Almunia guessed right and dived to his left to parry the well-struck effort. While undoubtedly pleased by the save, Wenger was furious and waited at pitchside at half-time to remonstrate with the referee, giving him both barrels as he followed him down the tunnel. The second half began with Alex Song moving back into defence, with Denislon sitting just in front of the back four as the main anchor. In response, Gianfranco Zola pushed his attackers further up the pitch, clearly now keener to take advantage of a depleted Arsenal. Almunia had to be at is sharpest in the 52nd minute when he reacted quickly to catch Fabio Daprela's deflected shot before it crept in at his near post. Despite being down to ten men and the introduction of Carlton Cole and soon after Benni McCarthy, the Gunners continued to control the game and pose the bigger threat. Sol Campbell and Andrey Arshavin forced decent saves out of Green. Cole's nimble turn and shot in the 77th minute beat Almunia, but struck the outside of the right post, to the relief of the home fans. Late on Atkinson gave his second penalty of the game, this time to Arsenal and this time it was converted. Former Gunner Matthew Upson, already on a yellow card, handled the ball in the area. Fabregas sent Green the wrong way and the Emirates erupted as the ball nestled in the bottom left corner of the net with seven minutes of regular time to play.
Live Text Commentary
Full time

The final whistle is blown. West Ham missed a real chance to aid their relegation fight and Arsenal survived some nervous moments to hit the top of the league table.


Three minutes of stoppage time will be played.


West Ham know they are beaten and it is Arsenal who are again bossing possession.


Da Silva Eduardo replaces Andrey Arshavin.


Fabregas tucks home the penalty. Arsenal can relax now.


Upson handles as Fabregas bursts into West Ham's box.


West Ham are nearly level - Cole wriggles free from Song and fires a low left-footed shot off the edge of Almunia's righthand post.


Good work by Diaby releases Arshavin, but the Russian's shot is weak and straight at Green.


A good cross by Spector is met by McCarthy, but his header is well off-target.


Bacary Sagna comes on for Samir Nasri.


Mido is replaced by Benni McCarthy.


Campbell heads at goal from a Nasri free-kick, but is penalised for a foul on Mido.


A free-kick 30 yards out is rather wasted by Fabregas - his chipped cross is easily headed clear.


Radoslav Kovac makes way for Mark Noble.


A fine pass by Diamanti to Mido gives West Ham a sight of goal, but Junior Stanislas is crowded out from Mido's lay-off.


West Ham are enjoying their best spell of the match but cannot create a clear chance.


Fabregas fires the free-kick well wide.

Yellow Card

A fine weaving run by Eboue is ended by Matthew Upson, who deservedly goes into the book.


Diamanti curls a low shot towards Almunia's nottom right hand corner from 20 yards, but it is a regulation save for the Arsenal keeper.


Arsene Wenger responds with a defensive move, sending on Vassiriki Abou Diaby for Nicklas Bendtner.


Gianfranco Zola makes the first change as Carlton Cole replaces Luis Guillermo Franco.


Denilson lets fly from 30 yards and wins a corner via a Jonathan Spector block. The corner is eventually claimed by Green.


A good surging run by Fabio Daprela takes him into Arsenal's box where he goes down, but he won't get the penalty he is looking for.


Valon Behrami is caught late by Arshavin and takes some time to get back to his feet.


Song is capable of playing centre half and is currently filling in alongside Campbell.


The first chance of the half is Arsenal's, Arshavin heading over from an Eboue cross. He should have done better.

Second half

There are no changes at the break as the game restarts.

Yellow Card

Radoslav Kovac is booked for a foul on Fabregas.


Almunia appeared to be off his line in saving the penalty, adding more controversy to the match's main talking point.

Half time

A dramatic end to the half means there is much to play for after the break. Arsenal should be in full control but are somehow relieved to be one up after the penalty save.

Red Card

Vermaelen is off for an early bath but Diamanti's spot kick is well saved by Almunia!


Thomas Vermaelen brings down Franco in the Arsenal box and sees red for a professional foul.


Clichy and Fabregas combine well down the left wing and another inviting ball across drifts across the West Ham six yard box.

Yellow Card

Sol Campbell hacks down Junior Stanislas and goes into the book.

Yellow Card

Alessandro Diamanti is booked for fouling Nicklas Bendtner.


Good work by Nasri wins Arsenal a corner but a foul by Campbell means it comes to nothing.


Bendtner feeds Eboue through the inside right channel and a low cross nearly finds Arshavin arriving late at the back post.


The match has got a bit scrappy, which will perhaps suit West Ham - the visitors are happy to play on the break.


West Ham have a better foothold in the game now having managed to restrict the space available to Arsenal's midfielders.


Fabregas feeds Nasri with a quick free-kick but the Frenchman overhits a pass with Bendtner clean through.


Superb one-touch interplay nearly gets Fabregas in, but the final pass from Bendtner is a poor one.


Emmanuel Eboue picks up a loose ball and is in two minds after being allowed to enter the West Ham box and eventually scuffs a weak shot wide.


Samir Nasri is trying to run-off a knock he picked up early on but seems fine to continue at the moment.


Robert Green palms away a Fabregas free-kick from the Gunners' left flank.


Poor positioning by Campbell lets in Junior Stanislas and a good low cross nearly finds the sliding Mido at the back post.


Andrey Arshavin does well to cross from the Arsenal left, but James Tomkins beats Bendtner to the ball to clear.


Arsenal are bossing possession and are camped in the Hammers' half.


Considering their poor away record West Ham might have a long evening ahead of them against in-form Arsenal.


Alessandro Diamanti's effort from the resulting free-kick is a decent one, the ball flying a yard over Manuel Almunia's crossbar.


Sol Campbell fouls Luis Guillermo Franco in a dangerous area.


Arsenal score with their first attack, Denilson pouncing on a loose ball and curling home after a sharp one-two with Nicklas Bendtner.


West Ham have held their own in the early stages, showing a desire to get forward.


Referee Martin Atkinson gets play underway at the Emirates.

Awaiting Kickoff

Arsenal are aiming for a sixth straight league win and are unbeaten in their last five league matches against West Ham.

Awaiting Kickoff

Gianfranco Zola makes four changes, Alessandro Diamanti, Junior Stanislas, James Tomkins and Luis Guillermo Franco all coming back in.

Awaiting Kickoff

Arsenal know a win will take them to the top of the Premier League table and are able to recall captain Cesc Fabregas. Alexandre Song also returns.