Last Updated: 23/01/13 9:48pm
Andre Santos looks to get in on the act, being encouraged to shoot from range by the crowd before firing a decisively disappointing effort wide. At this though, the Gunners fans can laugh off the effort.
Diarra and Diame link up to ensure play stays away from West Ham's half, and they do so quite well, with the former taking on Ramsey, taking a tumble, but forcing Arsenal into a goal-kick.
Cazorla swings a wild effort wide, but Arsenal are relentless in their pursuit of a sixth, before Oxlade-Chamberlain aims a similarly speculative effort well wide of goal.
O'Brien is on hand to deny Walcott as the striker aims a side-footed effort at the top corner, only for the defender to stick his head in the way.
Diame's influence has really helped balance West Ham's leaky defence, as the midfielder charges into Ramsey, before moments later, Tomkins hacks away another chip into the box as the Hammers players await the relief of the full-time whistle.
Jaaskelainen restricts the scoring further by making a brave charge out at Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the deflection marshalled by Demel until the keeper rushes back to collect the ball.
Diame, in one of his trademark surging runs forward, nudges the ball a tad too far forward and catches Mertesacker on the follow through, with a free-kick given against the midfielder.
Andre Santos nearly collects an exquisite return pass from Cazorla, but it runs slightly too far ahead of him and Diarra is presented with the chance to make the tackle.
Taylor can only prevent a corner as Arsenal retain their camped out position in the Hammers' final third. Cazorla delivers, but Diame gets his head on the end of it to push the Gunners back for the time being.
Tomkins looks to crack a volley on target from Taylor's chip back into the box, but the defender not only misses his effort, but the offside flag is raised to add to his woes.
So with West Ham having already made their three changes, the Hammers are down to 10 men now as they try and hold off the Gunners for the remaining period of the match.
Eventually after minutes of treatment from physios, Potts is stretchered off the pitch to a warm reception from everyone inside the Emirates Stadium.
There has been a huge delay in the play as young Potts of West Ham receives lengthy treatment on the pitch. He has been attached to a stretcher and with players and management alll looking visibily concerned it will inevitably be the end of the player's game.
Noble looks for Cole over the top of Koscielny, but the defender maintains his position to clear away, with Demel caught offside moments later trying to retrieve Nolan's pass.
The sensational display from Podolski comes to an end as he earns a standing ovation before being replaced by Andre Santos.
It should have been six for Arsenal, as Walcott is again unleashed behind the hapless West Ham defence, failing to find Podolski or Giorud in behind Tomkins and in the end the defender does tremendously to prevent the ball coming in.
Giroud is penalised for a foul on Nolan, with the striker clearly perturbed as he protests his innocence to the referee.
Cazorla is pulling the strings now as he and Podolski look to play a one-two, with Demel's crucial interception taking the ball out for a throw-in.
Noble fouls Wilshere, and Walcott is presented with the chance to shoot from range. His free-kick makes Jaaskelainen work but it's a routine save in the end from the West Ham shot stopper.
Cazorla robs Demel down the right, but as the alarm bells started ringing once more for West Ham, the full-back to recovers to prevent Podolski being set free.
Arsenal have a corner, and Wilshere's delivery is cleared well by Reid, but the inspired Podolski keeps the move alive as Tomkins is forced to concede another corner.
Vaz Te looks to latch on to Cole's chip forward but the striker is caught offside as Sam Allardyce prepares to make some changes.
West Ham are all at sea once more, as Wilshere finds Podolski, who delivers another scrumptious ball into the danger zone with Giroud poking the ball past Jaaskelainen. It's 5-1 and this could be anything the way Arsenal have started the second half.
This is brilliant, ruthless and effective from Arsenal, as West Ham's defence gets themselves into a right shambles, before Podolski's pinpoint ball into Walcott is finished with a precise finish from the striker.
Magical stuff from Arsenal in arguably one of the moves of the season. A one-two with Podolski and Giroud sees the German play back across goal with Cazorla deftly backheeling the ball into the net.
Collison takes on Gibbs, ignoring the opportunity to cross and loses out to the full-back, before immediately at the other end, Walcott plays the ball back across goal as Tomkins remains composed to clear.
Wilshere and Ramsey exchange passes moving forward, before Cazorla is met with a stern tackle from Demel which results in a Hammers throw-in.
The Gunners maintain possession in midfield, moving the ball around nicely before Ramsey is felled under Noble and a free-kick is awarded.
What a start to the second half for the Gunners. A corner comes in for the Gunners with Giroud's precise left-footed finish leaving Jaaskelainen no chance at the near post. 2-1 Arsenal!
Incredibly, Arsenal nearly score within seconds of the restart, as Walcott surges down the right, firing the ball into the six-yard box where Tomkins awkwardly scrambles the ball behind goal.
JP writes: 'Arsenal need to start taking these chances or risk getting in trouble as we have seen too many times before. Wilshere & Podolski with second half goals to pop the Hammers' bubbles. 3-1 Arsenal.'
A fast paced half comes to an end with two stunning strikes ensuring it's 1-1 at the break. Send those second half predictions to the addresses listed below and I'll publish the best ones.
Cazorla's inspired free-kick is pushed away brilliantly by Jaaskelainen, with a scramble occuring before the Hammers eventually clear away through Tomkins.
The free-kick is given this time as Nolan hauls Cazorla down, with this delivery likely the last chance of the half.
Noble barges straight into Cazorla, which really should have been a free-kick, but Cole can't capitalise upon gaining possession as he ball to Vaz Te lands in Gibbs' path.
Cole isn't initially flagged offside, but as the striker launches the ball across the face of goal, the flag is then raised, as Szczesny makes a routine save anyway.
Noble battles with WIlshere, but the throw-in is given in West Ham's favour as the ball appeared to have come off the Arsenal man last.
Yellow card for Vaz Te, who is first caught offside, before kicking the ball away as the whistle blows. Suffice to say, his manger is irate on the touchline.
Arsenal counter with intent, but Giroud slightly over-cooks his pass to Sagna, allowing O'Brien to make a priceless interception.
Huge chance for West Ham. Demel's early ball in is poorly dealt with by Sagna, allowing Cole in, whose flick over the top of Szczesny is kept out by a diving lunge from Ramsey.
Sagna and Vaz Te clatter into each other, with Arsenal winning the free-kick. Sagna's delivery eventually falls to Cazorla, but a tame, swerving effort from the playmaker travels well wide of goal.
Noble allows Demel to break down the right, but two solid challenges from Mertesacker frustrate first Collison and then Nolan.
Podolski cuts across the pitch leaving West Ham players trailing, disguising a pass into Walcott which deflects off Tomkins, taking the ball out of the striker's path. Lovely idea from the German.
Podolski shows magical footwork to escape a challenge from Tomkins, his eventual shot taking a touch somewhere in the box and O'Brien counts his lucky stars as he is able to clear off the line.
Tomkins heads the ball out into Wilshere's path, who dilly dallies in possession and fails to launch the ball back into the box, instead playing backwards to Sagna.
Cazorla's persistence brings out the best in O'Brien, who goes to ground to prevent the initial ball in the box, blocking the Spaniard's second effort on the ground to concede a corner.
The delivery in from Taylor is terrific, but Cole, the nearest to the ball, can't launch a penetrative attack and thankfully for Arsenal, the cross lands behind for a goal-kick.
Podolski fumes as a decision goes against him in Demel's favour after the two tangled just inside Arsenal's half. Regardless, it's a West Ham free-kick.
Great chance for Arsenal as Walcott dashes to the byline, playing a devilish ball across goal with Tomkins' outstretched leg hacking the effort away from danger.
Wilshere is excellent as he looks to create space for Gibbs, but Demel marshalls him all the way and makes the interception.
Jaaskelainen is on hand as Pololski looks for Giroud in behind Tomkins, the keeper rushing out to prevent the Frenchman latching on to the pass.
Ramsey keeps Wilshere's poor pass alive, feeding in Gibbs, but his speculatively delivery lands with Reid at the far post who easily clears.
Another good chance for the Hammers, with Vaz Te planting his head on the ball off Noble's delivery but only directing his effort over the bar.
Taylor progresses to the byline, looking as if he may have nudged the ball too far forward, but regardless he wins West Ham a corner off Sagna.
What a goal from Podolski! Wilshere delicately chips the ball into the German's path and he lets rip with a rasping drive from 25 yards. A stunning equaliser and the nerves are suddenly much more settled now around the Emirated Stadium.
Podolski aims to slip the ball through to Gibbs on the overlap, but a timely tackle from Tomkins neutraliss the threat before Demel sweeps up.
Wilshere takes charge for Arsenal as the Gunners look to respond, but the Hammers push back their opponents, with Wilshere forced into passing back to Vermaelen.
Taylor's coner is poorly headed away by Giroud, straight into the path of Collison, who unleashes a spectacular effort from the edge of the box past a helpless Szczesny.
The Hammers come close to taking the lead through fortunate means, as Taylor's stab at goal comes off Ramsey with the ball landing on the roof of the net.
Demel uses his experience to buy West Ham some time on the right, and Gibbs falls hook, line and sinker by making the foul on his fellow full-back.
Podolski leads Arsenal forward after a neat approach involving Collison and Vaz Te, but the excitement gets the best of him as he looks for Walcott, playing a dreadful ball well out of play.
Splendid stuff from Wilshere, whose through ball to Walcott is precise, with the forward tackled by Tomkins only for a goal-kick to wrongly be awarded.
Collison looks for the oncoming dash of Matt Taylor, but Thomas Vermaelen spots the run of the midfielder and steps in to intercept.
That attack continued as Arsenal pepper West Ham's goal, with Santi Cazorla aiming for the top corner only to find the fans behind goal.
Walcott leads Arsenal away, but as Giroud cuts inside Demel, his ball in towards Podolski takes a touch off Tomkins which takes it out of harm's way.
Kevin Nolan sneaks in behind Per Mertesacker, but as Demel makes himself available, his delivery into Vaz Te sees the striker head wide.
Arsenal press with Walcott, but as the striker is nudged off by Tomkins, Bacary Sagna takes over and earns a corner off the aforementioned Hammers defender.
It's always a worry for Arsenal fans when Jack Wilshere stays down, and he has done after a rash challenge from Jack Collision, which also could have seen a yellow card from the referee.
Admist a wave of Gunners pressure, Noble does well to spread the ball out to Demel as West Ham look to have some possession.
Arsenal keep it neat inside their own half, before Ramsey picks out Walcott, with his cut-back to Olivier Giroud calmly cleared away by Reid.
Aaron Ramsey slides in late on Noble, and perhaps due to the embryonic stages of the match, the Arsenal midfielder is not shown what should have been a yellow card.
Theo Walcott threatens early on, delivering a powerful ball into the box, which Reid clears, before keeping the ball alive down the right as Noble then makes the tackle.
Henry Stonham writes: 'Whether Arsenal are successful tonight will all depend on how well we start the game. After all the talk before the previous games about how confident we are of beating the big teams, only to then go and start so poorly, tonight has to be different. Time for all the talking to stop and for the players to finally get the job done from the start! Arsenal to win 3-0 with Walcott (2) and Cazorla scoring.'
West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Taylor, Nolan, Collison, Vaz Te, C.Cole. Subs: Subs: Henderson, Jarvis, Diame, Diarra, Joe Cole, O'Neil, Potts.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Ramsey, Wilshere, Cazorla, Walcott, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Andre Santos, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Frimpong.
Aaron Ramsey returns to anchor Arsenal's midfield, while Abou Diaby, just back from a thigh injury, is rested with Francis Coquelin (hamstring) missing out. Germany international Lukas Podolski returns to the side after illness forced him to miss Sunday's defeat at Chelsea. On-loan striker Marouane Chamakh is ineligible to play against his parent club, so Carlton Cole leads the West Ham attack in a match which was rearranged from Boxing Day. Midfielder Joe Cole is among the substitutes, along with reported Arsenal target Mohamed Diame.
Good evening everyone and welcome to live coverage of Arsenal v West Ham from the Emirates Stadium. The teams are in for tonight's only Premier League clash and will uploaded momentarily. If you'd like to get in touch tonight you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @JWoodfield365.