Arsenal went into the London derby against West Ham hoping for three points in order to keep the pressure on league leaders, Chelsea, who’d just beaten Manchester City 3-1.

Arsenal were the brighter team in the first half with Alexis and Theo Walcott both making runs forward within the opening minutes. Concerningly, the Chilean, who had come off during the warm up and taken a while to return to the pitch, continued to stretch what appeared to be his groin when off the ball.

West Ham, however, had problems of their own.

Meanwhile, when the Hammers did manage to probe our defence, Laurent Koscielny was on hand (foot?) to coolly mop up any mess.

Nacho Monreal was getting all sorts of joy down the left hand side and consistently got behind the West Ham back line so he could slot the ball across the box to Alexis, who was always there. It was fantastic to see Monreal back to something resembling his best after not the best season so far.

West Ham defended valiantly though, blocking shots from Walcott and Alexis early on. Although, the Gunners did their bit and were characteristically wasteful when given a chance.

Arsenal continued to play some lovely, flowing football, particularly in midfield, with Alexis who had been ‘struggling’ before looking every bit the world class forward he is.

Despite this, West Ham continued to threaten by getting corner after corner. If they were going to score, it was likely going to come from a set piece so allowing them to do this was more than a little naive.

Finally, in the 24th minute, Arsenal managed to break through the deadlock. Superb pressing from Francis Coquelin led to Alexis skipping off with the ball and slotting it across the box for a simple tap-in for Mesut Ozil. His eighth of the season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain managed to keep finding himself in great positions but continuously mis-kicked or wasted the ball. However, his ball to Alexis when the Chilean went one-on-one with the keeper was lovely.

There was concern for Gabriel towards the end of the first half when he landed awkwardly on his knee during a West Ham corner but he came on in the second half and seemed fine.

The second half saw Arsenal still being wasteful and West Ham warming into the game more and more. Luckily, we have Koscielny, who kept us in the game on more than one occasion.

Meanwhile, Gabriel continued to get kicked about the pitch as the Hammers began to really burst into life.

Despite this, Arsenal still looked deadly on the counter, with Theo surging forward… before getting taken off for Aaron Ramsey in the 66th minute.

Sooner after, the Gunners finally got their second goal to seal the win via a beautiful goal from Man of the Match Alexis. Shout out to Shkodran Mustafi for a lovely assist.

Alexis was completely unplayable and continued to threaten, with Ramsey’s fresh legs helping him down the wing, and scored a third – his second of the game – in the 80th minute with a stunning left-footed finish.

Andy Carroll managed to get a consolation goal but it was too little too late for West Ham as the Ox came back seconds later to score Arsenal’s fourth with an absolute worldie of a curl.

It wasn’t over though. Alexis completed his hattrick minutes before the final whistle. The man is on fire. Let’s ignore the fact that it was offside…

Arsenal are now just three points behind Chelsea in second place.

 

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