Arsenal vs West Ham LIVE Football Score 26/12/2022

Arsenal vs West Ham LIVE Football Score 26/12/2022

Arsenal face West Ham United in the Premier League on Boxing Day, in what is their first competitive fixture in 44 days. After Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Wolves in the last round of Premier League games before the 2022 World Cup break, the Gunners extended their lead at the top of the league table to five points following Manchester City’s surprising 2-1 defeat against Brentford. The pause to club football probably came at the wrong time for Arsenal, with Mikel Arteta’s side suffering a major injury blow during the World Cup.

On international duty with Brazil, Gabriel Jesus suffered an injury that required surgery, ruling out the striker for a few months. Star defender William Saliba will also likely be absent for the clash with West Ham, with the 21-year-old part of the French squad that reached the World Cup final. Arsenal picked up where they left off in the Premier League, with the Gunners in full control at the Emirates Stadium. Arteta’s side looked fluid in attack and solid at the back, and they took the lead after 27 minutes through Gabriel Martinelli.

As West Ham enjoyed a period of possession, Arsenal exposed their high line, with a long ball forward setting Martinelli free down the left. One-on-one with Thilo Kehrer, the Brazilian twisted the defender inside-out before breaking into the box and curling his effort into the top corner of the net.

It was a deserved goal for the Gunners, but against the run of play, David Moyes’ side found an equaliser at the beginning of the second half when Kehrer’s header from a free-kick looped over Aaron Ramsdale and into the net. It was the Hammers’ first shot of the game, but Arsenal responded perfectly, regaining the lead with 25 minutes to go.

Arsenal’s biggest threat all game, Martinelli broke forward down the left before drilling a cross into the centre of the box. Eddie Nketiah dummied the ball through his legs which saw the pass fall to the feet of Martin Odegaard, and the midfielder drilled his shot into the bottom corner from close range to send Arsenal ahead.

Nketiah struck the post with a delicate flick with just under 10 minutes to go, and with just one goal separating the sides, the visitors started to throw bodies forward. Arteta’s side were able to withhold the pressure, and they secured the three points in the 89th minute with a great counterattacking goal.

We know we’ll head into the game top of the table after moving five points clear after beating Wolves in our last league outing on November 12, while the Hammers are just a point ahead of the bottom three in 16th, having won just once in their last six games.

They have not enjoyed their trips to Emirates Stadium over recent times, losing 11 of their last 12 visits, while David Moyes has never tasted success as an opposition manager on the road to us in 21 previous attempts. The first period of the season was a frustrating one for the Hammers, who collected 10 of their 14-point haul during a purple patch in October that saw Moyes’ side beat Wolves, Fulham and Bournemouth.

Aside from that, there hasn’t been too much to cheer for the east Londoners, who lost their opening three games and went into the World Cup break in similar form, suffering defeats to Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Having suffered a Carabao Cup exit at the hands of Blackburn Rovers, at least the Europa Conference League has brought some joy, with eight wins coming from eight games and seeing the Hammers top their group ahead of Anderlecht, Silkeborg and FCSB. The Hammers had five players at the tournament, Declan Rice starting all five of England’s games in Qatar, while Alphonse Areola was a member of the France squad but didn’t feature in the tournament.

Thilo Kehrer suffered a disappointing exit with Germany, while Lucas Paqueta reached the quarter-finals with Brazil. Nayef Aguerd meanwhile enjoyed a historic run to the semi-finals with Morocco, but missed the latter stages after being forced off in the quarter-final victory against Spain.

Back in England, Cambridge United were beaten 4-2 before a trip to Italy where Udinese were dispatched 3-1. Last weekend saw another London derby as they travelled to Fulham, where they played out a 1-1 draw with Jarrod Bowen grabbing a second half equaliser. Michael Cox, writing in the official matchday programme: Moyes has generally used a 4-4-1-1 formation this season. Kurt Zouma has been the most dependable performer at the back, with newcomer Kehrer fielded either in the centre or at right-back. Aaron Cresswell remains a dependable option down the left, and can tuck inside to become a third centre-back if needed.

The central midfield duo is, almost without fail, Rice alongside Tomas Soucek. Rice has provided some of West Ham’s best moments this season by carrying the ball forward, while Soucek is about off-the-ball running and providing an aerial threat in the box.

Ahead of them, Bowen’s form has been up and down, but his directness from the right causes serious problems. Pablo Fornals offers both technical quality and lots of stamina, Said Benrahma is an elusive playmaker capable of shooting from range, and Flynn Downes has impressed when breaking forward from midfield.

The most promising thing about West Ham’s performances has been the link-up play between the two newcomers, Paqueta and Gianluca Scamacca, with the latter’s arrival meaning Michail Antonio has generally been used from the bench.

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