Los 40 USA
Sign in to commentAPP
spainSPAINchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA


Arsenal let two-goal lead slip at West Ham as title race hots up

Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard gave the Gunners an early lead at London stadium but the leaders came away with just a point for their efforts.

Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard gave the Gunners an early lead at London stadium but the leaders came away with just a point for their efforts.
MATTHEW CHILDSAction Images via Reuters

For the second game in succession, Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead, dropping points that could ultimately cost them dear in their quest for the Premier League. In a repeat of last week’s game at Anfield, Mikel Arteta’s team were ahead on the scoreboard in this afternoon’s trip to West Ham, only to fade in the second half, ceding a two-goal advantage once again. Adding to the pain, Bukayo Saka missed a penalty that had he converted, would have put the visitors 1-3 up. The result means that in the space of seven days, the Premier League title race has been thrown wide open.

Two goals up within the first 10 minutes

Gabriel Jesus tapped home the opener after just six minutes at London stadium, scoring his fourth goal in the team’s last three games. Martin Ødegaard followed that up with a superb volley to double the lead three minutes later, sending travelling supporters wild with delight.

But the Hammers were back in contention on the half hour after Gabriel Magalhães gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Lucas Paqueta. Said Benrahma stepped up to tuck home from the spot to make it 1-2 on 33 minutes.

West Ham, needing points themselves to stay away from the relegation zone, were transformed although Bukayo Saka had the chance to restore Arsenal’s two-goal lead early in the second half only to blaze a penalty wide. The goal seemed to knock the wind from Arsenal’s sails, and inspired David Moyes’ team, who went close through Michail Antonio, Tomás Soucek and Kurt Zouma.

Arsenal took a one-goal cushion in at the break and had the chance to restore their advantage when Michail Antonio handled in the box and a penalty awarded. Saka was left ruing his missed spot-kick after when Jarrod Bowen volleyed West Ham back level on 54 minutes.

Title race heats up

That equaliser only served to up the pressure on Arsenal and increase their anxiety during the final half hour of the game. The pressure on the Gunners to clinch their first title since 2004 intensifies and after basement club Southampton’s visit to north London next weekend, they will face what could well be a decisive clash with their closest rivals Manchester City, who are now breathing down their necks.

Arsenal remain top on 74 points from 31 games with defending champions Manchester City four points behind on 70 with a game in hand. The top two meet at the Etihad Stadium on 26 April in what could be a title decider. Meanwhile, the result slightly alleviates West Ham’s relegation fears - they are 15th on 31 points and among nine teams who are fighting to stay alive in the division.