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  • Denilson (5), Fabregas (83 pen)
  • Date:2010-03-20
  • Kick-off:17:30
  • Venue:Emirates Stadium
  • Attendance:60077
  • Referee:Atkinson, M

Live Commentary

90mins

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.

90mins

Three minutes of stoppage time will be played.

88mins

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

85mins

Da Silva Eduardo replaces Andrey Arshavin.

83mins

Fabregas tucks home the penalty. Arsenal can relax now.

81mins

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

78mins

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.

77mins

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

76mins

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

74mins

Bacary Sagna comes on for Samir Nasri.

74mins

Mido is replaced by Benni McCarthy.

72mins

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

70mins

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

70mins

Radoslav Kovac makes way for Mark Noble.

68mins

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.

65mins

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

63mins

Fabregas fires the free-kick well wide.

62mins

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

60mins

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.

58mins

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

57mins

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

55mins

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

53mins

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.

51mins

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

49mins

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

47mins

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

45mins

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

45mins

Radoslav Kovac is booked for a foul on Fabregas.

45mins

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

45mins

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.

45mins

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

44mins

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

41mins

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

39mins

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

38mins

Alessandro Diamanti is booked for fouling Nicklas Bendtner.

38mins

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

35mins

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

32mins

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

28mins

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

25mins

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

22mins

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

21mins

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.

19mins

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

17mins

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

16mins

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

15mins

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

12mins

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

10mins

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

8mins

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

7mins

Sol Campbell fouls Luis Guillermo Franco in a dangerous area.

5mins

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

2mins

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

0mins

Referee Martin Atkinson gets play underway at the Emirates.

0mins

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

0mins

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

0mins

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.

Match Preview

Arsenal and West Ham United meet in a London affair in the Premier League at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday evening and it will be the home side that will be striving to continue their title charge with another resounding victory.

The Gunners have lost just twice on their own backyard this term - to fellow high-flyers Chelsea and Manchester United - and Gianfranco Zola's men may be in for a long shift.

To make matters that little bit more ominous, Arsene Wenger's classy outfit have racked up five successive wins in all competitions.

They sit just two points adrift of the Red Devils, who top the table, and sit in third behind Chelsea, virtue of goal difference as they continue to surprise many with their efforts this term.

Zola and his players are continuing to disillusion their fans as they fail to find any form of consistency.

The Hammers picked up valuable wins against Birmingham City and Hull City last month, but three successive defeats away to Manchester United, Bolton Wanderers at home and at Chelsea have left the Upton Park club in the thick of it at the wrong end of the table.

Burnley, who occupy the third and final relegation zone position, are three points behind their fellow Clarets and West Ham are certainly not out of the woods yet.

With one win on their travels all season, a home win looks to be the only scenario, with Arsenal picking up 37 out of a possible 45 at their base in the north of the capital.

Wenger must once again do without a number of first-team stars for the weekend derby clash.

Defenders Bacary Sagna (ankle), William Gallas (calf), Johan Djourou (knee) and Kieran Gibbs (metatarsal fracture) are all missing.

Striker Robin van Persie is nearing a return after his lengthy ankle problem with Tomas Rosicky (groin) and captain Cesc Fabregas (hamstring) struggling for fitness.

Aaron Ramsey, who suffered a horrific leg break at Stoke City last month, will not make a return until next season.


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.

Arsenal

West Ham United

Corners

42

Fouls

1027

Goal attempts

98

Shots off target

54

Offsides

12

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