Arsenal’s Premier League title dreams took a blow on Sunday, as they got held to a frustrating 2-2 draw by West Ham United at the London Stadium. In an eerie repeat of what happened against Liverpool at Anfield, the Gunners surrendered a two-goal lead and were not helped by a missed penalty from Bukayo Saka in the second half.
Here is the complete timeline of everything that happened in the entertaining London Derby, which could have major repercussions for both sides of the Premier League table.
6’: West Ham started the game confidently and were not looking to frustrate Arsenal by sitting back and soaking pressure early on. Instead, they pounced forward in numbers and had a penalty shout a few minutes after kick-off. Lucas Paqueta managed to get in a shot from outside the box that seemingly struck Rob Holding’s arms. However, neither referee David Coote nor VAR were interested in awarding a penalty with replays showing his hand being in a natural position.
7’: Arsenal took the lead in the 7th minute, silencing the excited West Ham fans immediately after that penalty shout. They moved the ball swiftly down the right wing. Saka managed to pick an overlapping Ben White into the box. The right-back managed to slip in a low cross for Gabriel Jesus to tap in from close range – giving his side the lead.
10’: Three minutes after taking the lead, Arsenal made it 2-0 within the first 10 minutes of the game. The Gunners gained a lot of confidence from the opener and started dominating the game with some slick passing football. A brilliant passing move saw a cross from Gabriel Martinelli find an unmarked Martin Odegaard in the far post, with the Arsenal captain scoring a superb volley to double his side’s lead.
33’: Arsenal slowed the tempo down after doubling the lead, trying to frustrate West Ham and force mistakes. However, a sloppy moment saw Thomas Partey robbed of possession near his box by Declan Rice. He passed it into the box to Paqueta, who got tugged down by Gabriel Magalhaes. West Ham were awarded a penalty, which Said Benrahma finished impressively to make it 2-1 and bring the energy back into the London Stadium.
38’: West Ham gained confidence from the goal and kept pushing at the vulnerable Arsenal backline. They troubled Arsenal with two quick set-pieces, almost coming close to scoring before Aaron Ramsdale punched it away.
52’: Arsenal started the second half brightly and pushed for a third goal. They had a golden chance to put the game to bed when a shot was blocked by a Michail Antonio handball to give Arsenal a penalty. Bukayo Saka, who has been so reliable with penalties this season, ended up putting his penalty well wide of the goal – giving West Ham and their home fans a boost in confidence.
54’: It only took two minutes for West Ham to make Saka regret his penalty miss. Vladimir Coufal’s throw-in was somehow scurried off by Arsenal defenders, only for Thilo Kehrer to smartly chip the ball over the defensive line to Jarrod Bowen – who brilliantly finished past Ramsdale’s near post and make it 2-2.
57’: Arsenal got rattled by the equalizer and Bowen almost made them pay minutes after the goal. He managed to get into the byline and send in a great low cross into the box, which none of his teammates were able to tap in.
64’: Jesus tried to rally his teammates and linked up well with Kieran Tierney, sending him through the left. The Irishman whipped in a perfect cross into the box, which Jesus just couldn’t connect from close range.
77’: Bowen again troubled the Arsenal backline, linking up well with Paqueta before going through on goal. However, the English winger’s shot was ultimately blocked by Tierney.
82’: Arsenal fans had their hearts in their mouths as West Ham struck the bar! Benrahma left Holding for dead to swing in a great cross to Antonio in the middle, but the forward’s header could only hit the bar!
Player of the Match: Jarrod Bowen
While Martin Odegaard got the official Player of the Match award, we’d give ours to Jarrod Bowen. The Englishman was in fine form against Arsenal and showed no sign of intimidation against the league leaders.
He made clever off-the-ball runs, disorganizing the backline and troubling Tierney. He scored the equalizer with a brilliant run and impressive finish to light up the London Stadium. Bowen kept pushing forward with his speedy runs and was a real thorn in the side of the Gunners.