Arsenal’s winless run had many fans wondering whether or not they’d be looking more towards a relegation battle than a surge for the top four. Their Monday Night Football game against West Ham United threatened to increase the pressure on the club, but as reported by BBC and The Guardian, they pulled off a comeback that many would’ve thought improbable at London Stadium.
Angelo Ogbonna gave the Hammers the lead in the first half, in a game that was the definition of dull and lethargic. The visiting fans couldn’t really see a way back for their side, but in the end, they made some magic happen in a hectic nine minute spell.
Gabriel Martinelli equalised for the Gunners before Nicolas Pepe finally got himself back on the scoresheet with a lovely finish. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then made it three, confirming the win for Arsenal.
Arsenal caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg was understandably pleased with his team’s performance.
“The players have belief and tried to move the ball with more tempo. West Ham got tired.
“The players ran their socks off and fought. I believe in them. When I could see them put their shift in, I could see the quality. I thought ‘it is here for the taking’.
“Martinelli did amazingly. He is like a Duracell battery, he keeps going. Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] is a tremendous player but I had to make a tough decision.”
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini, on the other hand, is understandably under pressure.
“For 60 minutes there was just one team on the pitch. But football can be like this.
Getting the job done
“We made mistakes in moments of defending. The problem was a lack of patience and quality to decide the game with a second goal and we made important mistakes in defence.
“The pressure for me is exactly the same if we win or lose. When you don’t have results things are more difficult. If I had not seen the team play the way they did in the first 65 minutes, I might have doubts [about his ability to turn things around].
“After Southampton at the weekend we have a break. We must try to recover as quickly as we can and we must try to win those three points.”
It could well and truly go any way for Pellegrini and the same could be said for Ljungberg, but one thing is for sure – this is going to be viewed as a vital moment in the season of both clubs.
Arsenal will now travel to Belgium in order to take on Standard Liege in the Europa League, before returning back to England to host Manchester City at the Emirates.
West Ham have a vital clash against Southampton coming up, but some are questioning whether or not Pellegrini is actually going to be able to make it that far.
The next time these two clubs meet there’s a very good chance they could both have new managers, which could end up breathing new life into both clubs.