Arsenal ended a nine-match winless streak in all competitions as they registered a 3-1 league victory over West Ham United on the road on Monday night.
The north London side played with a slow tempo during the course of the first half and they struggled to make any impression in the final third.
Ultimately, that cost them prior to the interval with Angelo Ogbonna scoring with a header which went in after a deflection from Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
In the second period, the Hammers started as the better side but the momentum shifted at the hour mark with the Gunners scoring three goals in the space of nine minutes.
Gabriel Martinelli led the comeback by bagging his maiden Premier League goal in his full debut in the competition and six minutes later, it was Nicolas Pepe’s time to shine.
The Ivorian scored his first Gunners goal from open play with a sublime curling effort which beat goalkeeper David Martin at the far post and few moments later, he came up with an assist.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was the recipient of Pepe’s cross which was slightly deflected and he ensured the win for the Gunners with his 11th goal of the top-flight campaign.
Here are three things we learned from the game:
Gabriel Martinelli continues to shine: The young Brazilian was a relatively unknown when he was purchased from Ituano during the summer but he has certainly become a household name among the Arsenal fans this term. Prior to Monday’s game, Gabriel had scored seven times from just six starts and he was able to continue the trend of impressing after he was handed with his full Premier League debut at West Ham. Martinelli played with a high intensity as he regularly closed down the opposition players and he was eventually rewarded for the work rate as he was in the right place to score the equalising goal. Elsewhere, he was also impressive on the defensive scale with three successful tackles and that was the joint-most by any Arsenal player in the game.
Nicolas Pepe’s night to remember: The Ivorian has struggled since his record move to the north London giants and there has recently been criticism from a section of the supporters. Against West Ham, Pepe was ineffective in the opening half, where he could not provide anything useful in the final third but he managed to turn things around after the interval. Pepe bagged his first-ever Arsenal goal from open play with a delightful curler which found the top corner in the far post and that was quite impressive, given the fact that it was his first and only shot in the entire game. Soon after, he was able to contribute the cross which led to Aubameyang’s goal. This performance should undoubtedly boost the 24-year-old’s confidence and it remains to be seen whether he can replicate the showing in the next league game against Manchester City.
Calum Chambers should be a permanent centre-back: Arsenal did not have the perfect defensive display on Monday night but they managed to keep out the Hammers threat for most of the second half, where Calum Chambers played his part. The England international stood out in the defence by winning each of his six aerial duels while completing a couple of tackles. He was also winning to push forward and he managed to successfully deliver five long balls. Chambers has largely played on the right side of the defence this season where he has occasionally been outsmarted due to his limited pace while tracking back. However, in the central defence, he has looked a lot more comfortable with his positioning without the need to romp forward and hopefully, he can develop a permanent partnership with Sokratis.
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