How many times have you heard the saying, 'we would have drawn or lost that game last season' and there is alot of truth in that statement in this case.
Arsenal have not won at Upton park since 2000/2001 which seems quite crazy really. If there was a time for us to break that sequence it was this season. We are currently on the top of our game and full of self confidence.
Arsene had some decisions to make before the game. Hleb was back in the team and Arsene could have played him on the left wing and drafted in Eboue on the right but Arsene decided to go with continuity and keep Diaby on the left wing after his blockbuster last weekend against Derby.
It took us about 57 seconds to get into the game and a swift counter attack saw Van Persie flight a cross field pass to Diaby who was on the left wing, Diaby played it into Adebayor who had time to bend the ball into the far corner, snatched at his shot and hit it wide.
Freddie Ljungberg playing for the first time against his former club had a great chance to score when Ashton 'done a Dennis' and flicked the ball on the spin into Ljungberg's path who was met by an onrushing Almunia who pounced on the ball.
Almunia had a big game and didn't put a foot wrong. On 22 minutes Almunia came and claimed a cross with West Ham bodies flying in towards him, stuff that Lehmann would of had nightmares about.
Arsenal took the lead in the 12th minute after good work between Adebayor and Hleb who supplied the cross to Van Persie who leapt above the West Ham defenders to head past Robert Green. 1-0!
West Ham's tactics were pretty obvious. Don't give them time and space and rattle them whenever you can. Bowyer went through Flamini early on but Marc Noble's 'tackle' on Hleb was an utter disgrace. Being a young English player its highly unlikely that it will be mentioned in the press. The Match of the day panel conveniently forgot to mention it. Interesting.
Arsenal worked hard as a unit and broke forward whenever we could. Arsenal started the second half well and on 54 minutes Van Persie hit the post with his right foot after wonderful quick feet.
Dean Ashton was causing Arsenal problems all afternoon and really should have done better when he headered a chance straight at the Spanish keeper.
West Ham did put the ball in the net and it was typical Ljungberg, making a diagonal run across the defence and he finished well but was harshly judged offside. When your lucks in, it really is in.
Robert Green made a number of high quality saves and Adebayor was guilty of missing alot of chances.
West Ham piled on the pressure and improved in the second half but we held firm and defended as a team.
The Arsenal machine keeps rolling on and with two home matches coming up against Sunderland and Bolton we could quite possibly go to Anfield still top of the league.