West Ham 1-3 Arsenal: 4 Stats & Facts Including Theo On Fire + Slippery Szczesny

By on December 27, 2013

Arsenal came from a goal down to beat West Ham 3-1 on Boxing Day to regain top spot in the Premier League. Here, Gunner333 gives us some stats and facts from the game.

Theo Walcott

The Gunners visited Upton Park for this year’s Boxing Day fixture knowing that a victory for them and defeat for Liverpool in the afternoon, would put us top of the league.

After a tense start from both sides, Theo Walcott had the first opportunity of the match but could only put his effort wide of goal from Aaron Ramsey’s pass over the top.  A similarly welcoming chance came when Mesut Ozil pulled one across the goal- face, only for Giroud to stutter and the chance went begging.

Shortly after half-time and the Hammers took the lead. An error from the away side allowed Nolan to hit a dangerous half-volley which Szczesny could only fumble straight to the feet of Carlton Cole who made no mistake for 1-0.

West Ham piled on the pressure and could have added a second but Arsenal’s response was a goal surrounded by great fortune as keeper Adrian’s vision was blurred by a mass of West Ham bodies, as Theo’s bobbling effort found the net for 1-1.

Moments later and Walcott pounced again, a seldom-seen header from him firing the Gunners into the lead from a superb Lukas Podolski cross. It was in-fact Theo’s first ever career headed goal.

The Hammers were well and truly silenced from here-on-in as the Gunners went 3-1 up. Lukas Podolski restored some attacking fire-power since joining the pitch and got his own personal reward when he fired an outside-of-the-boot effort past Adrian.

So yet another Arsenal victory and we return to the top of the tree after Liverpool’s slip up at Man City. Here I will analyse four stats and facts from the game.

1) Theo On Fire

What a game this was for previously-absent forward Theo Walcott. An efficient brace turned the game on it’s head and incredibly this included his first ever headed goal. This perhaps could suggest Theo is growing in stature to become our first choice striker in future.

Overall, it was a rather sickening day for Olivier Giroud who, once again, consistently miss-fired in front of goal whilst Lukas Podolski showed his team mate how it should be done as he found the back of the net within minutes of his return.

2) Slippery Szcszesny 

Wojciech Szczesny has been excellent for most of the season but his rather unsettling month continued against West Ham. The Pole was at fault for their goal as he spilled a Noble shot straight to Cole who poked home. We got away with it yesterday but against better opposition, this error could have cost us vital points.

Szczesny has lacked an assertive confidence in goal in recent weeks and has been seen to come rushing off his line all too often. It hasn’t cost us a goal yet, but on another day it just might and the boss needs to have a word with the keeper to get him back on top form.

3) Dominant Duels – 77% of Aerial Battles Won 

Against a team with West Ham’s physicality, most will expect to come second on the aerial battles front, unless your Stoke City of course. However, Arsenal were victors in the air – winning 77% of aerial duels throughout the game – and at both ends were clinical with either testing Adrian in the air or clearing their lines from free-kick’s.

4) No Hammer Corners

In this game we created ten corners to West Ham’s none. This is an extra ten opportunities on our oppositions goal and by restricting them to no corners it obviously limited the threat of conceding from a set-piece. No matter how much we may have improved in the air, defending set-pieces is still considered a flaw of our’s, so it was vital to keep the corner count down and we did that well.

Thanks for reading, Happy New Year and COYG!!

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