Substitutes Alexandre Lacazette, Danny Welbeck ignite Arsenal vs. West Ham
Unai Emery recorded his first win as Arsenal manager as the Gunners eventually beat a stubborn West Ham side 3-1.
Arsenal initially fell behind to a Marko Arnautovic strike, but managed to equalise through full-back Nacho Monreal. The half-time introduction of Alexandre Lacazette brought the Arsenal attack to life, and shortly afterwards he forced an own goal from Issa Diop. Danny Welbeck then came off the bench to put the seal on the victory with a left-footed strike.
Emery will just be relieved to have a first win under his belt. After losing to Manchester City and Chelsea in his opening two games, the result was vital today. Arsenal finally have some points to show for their steady progress under the Spaniard.
The new head coach will also be encouraged by Lacazette's impact. Just as against City, he emerged from the bench to give the side a focal point and physical presence in the final third.
On this evidence, Arsenal's defending is still very much a "work in progress". West Ham found it far too easy to get in behind the Arsenal defence, and Emery will have been alarmed by how disorganised the back four looked at times.
The coach is also likely to face questions over Mesut Ozil, who was absent with yet another "illness". After his poor showing at Stamford Bridge, fans will be forgiven for speculating over why he missed out.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Credit where it's due: Emery made the substitutions necessary to change the game. The half-time introduction of Lacazette had an immediate impact, while bringing Welbeck on brought the Gunners a third goal.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Petr Cech, 7 -- So far, Cech has justified his selection ahead of summer signing Bernd Leno. He was certainly kept busy today, and stood up to the task well enough. His distribution also appears to be improving, which is vital if he wants to keep his place in Emery's system.
DF Hector Bellerin, 6 -- Much like his performance against Chelsea, Bellerin was far better going forward than in defence. Arsenal's backline was all over the place in this game, and Bellerin's positioning was particularly poor. He had promising moments in the final third though, and created the late goal for Welbeck.
DF Shkodran Mustafi, 5 -- It is remarkable that Arsenal's new management structure looked at the German's performances last season and decided to persist with him in 2018-19. His partnership with Sokratis looks like the weak link in Emery's Arsenal team.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6 -- It's difficult to assess Sokratis as an individual when he's part of such a dysfunctional defence. Arguably the best thing he did was commit a cynical late foul to prevent a West Ham counter-attack.
DF Nacho Monreal, 7 -- Last season, Monreal developed a habit of popping up with vital goals, and fortunately for Arsenal it looks as if that is set to continue. On a day when Arsenal struggled defensively, he was certainly the best of the back four.
MF Granit Xhaka, 6 -- Another season, but it's the same old Xhaka. His passing is still outstanding, but his defensive ability sorely lacking. He did improve in the course of the game -- hopefully that's a sign that he's on the way out of this latest slump.
MF Matteo Guendouzi, 6 -- The teenager has been one of the bright spots for Arsenal this season, and was typically energetic against West Ham. However, Emery decided to substitute him relatively early to bring on another new signing, Lucas Torreira.
MF Aaron Ramsey, 6 -- After being dropped for the match at Stamford Bridge, Ramsey was recalled to replace the sick Mesut Ozil. On his day, the German can carve defences open like a scalpel. Against West Ham, Ramsey resembled something like a battering ram. There was plenty of effort but not enough guile.
FW Alex Iwobi, 6 -- After a promising performance at Stamford Bridge, Iwobi will be disappointed to have been substituted at half-time in this game. However, he would have to concede he did not enjoy a particularly strong first half.
FW Henrikh Mkhitaryan, 6 -- With Ozil absent, much of the creative responsibility was placed on Mkhitaryan. However, he was unable to deliver anything more than a patchy display. It was actually quite surprising he made it through the 90 minutes without being substituted.
FW Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, 6 -- The striker's wait for his first goal of the season goes on. He was very quiet in the first half, but looked energised by the half-time introduction of Lacazette.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 8 -- Came on for Iwobi (45) and provided a much-needed focal point. Emery should consider starting with both his star strikers in the next game.
MF Lucas Torreira, 6 -- Introduced for Guendouzi (56) to help steady the Arsenal midfield.
FW Danny Welbeck, N/R -- Came on for Aubameyang (75) and took his goal well.