Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score the winner as Arsenal snatched a 2-1 victory over a drastically-improved West Ham at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday Night Football.
The Hammers were unrecognisable from the side that succumbed to Newcastle on the opening day, producing a display packed full of endeavour and energy to stifle the Gunners for large parts.
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Arsenal took the lead against the run of play on 25 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette powerfully headed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's cross home, but it was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by Michail Antonio.
The Hammers looked set to go on to win the game in a dominant second-half display, with Antonio crashing a header against the crossbar, but Nketiah struck with five minutes remaining to make it two wins from two for the Gunners and leave West Ham pointless.
Arsenal: Leno (6), Bellerin (6), Holding (5), Gabriel (8), Kolasinac (6), Willian (5), Xhaka (6), Ceballos (8), Saka (7), Lacazette (7), Aubameyang (7).
Subs: Pepe (6), Nketiah (7), Luiz (n/a).
West Ham: Fabianski (6), Fredericks (6), Ogbonna (6), Diop (6), Cresswell (6), Rice (6), Fornals (6), Soucek (7), Masuaku (7), Bowen (6), Antonio (7).
Subs: Yarmolenko (n/a), Anderson (n/a), Haller (n/a).
Man of the Match: Dani Ceballos
How Arsenal found a way past West Ham
West Ham were markedly improved from their abject opening-day defeat to Newcastle, as a disciplined defensive display and potent counter-attacking threat frustrated the flat Gunners early on.
But a moment of magic from talisman Aubameyang unpicked the Hammers on 25 minutes as his inch-perfect cross was forcefully dispatched by strike partner Lacazette for his 50th goal in all competitions for the club.
West Ham were unhappy Aubameyang was not found offside in the build-up by VAR, and the Hammers' frustrations deepened soon after when Gabriel Magalhaes avoided punishment when a cross struck his arm in the area.
- Dani Ceballos and Bukayo Saka made their first Premier League starts of the season, replacing Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Mohamed Elneny in Arsenal’s two changes from the win at Fulham.
- Arthur Masuaku replaced injured captain Mark Noble in West Ham’s only change from the defeat to Newcastle on the opening day.
But just when it seemed Arsenal had reached the interval with the lead, West Ham hit back as Antonio applied the finishing touch to Ryan Fredericks' cross at the end of a sweeping counter on the stroke of half-time.
Gabriel's crucial intervention prevented Antonio from bundling West Ham into the lead on 53 minutes, as Bernd Leno kept the ball out on the Arsenal goal line.
Antonio managed to get an effort past Leno on 67 minutes, only to see his header cannon off the frame of the goal, and a cruel twist came with five minutes remaining as Arsenal restored their lead.
Bukayo Saka's clever through pass saw Dani Ceballos evade the offside trap and the Spaniard squared for substitute Nketiah, who stroked the winner into the West Ham net eight minutes after coming on as Mikel Arteta's side survived the sternest of tests.
Opta stats - Hammers hoodoo continues
- West Ham have lost more Premier League matches against Arsenal (32) than versus any other opponent, while only against Everton (34) have the Gunners enjoyed more wins in the competition than they have over the Hammers (32).
- Arsenal have won 11 of their last 12 home games against West Ham United in all competitions, with the only exception being on the opening day of the 2015-16 Premier League season (0-2).
- West Ham have lost 200 of their 485 London derbies in the top-flight, becoming only the second side to lose 200 such matches after Tottenham (213).
- Against no side has West Ham manager David Moyes managed more away matches in all competitions without ever winning than against Arsenal (20 - level with Chelsea).
- Since 3rd February 2018, Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have combined for 11 Premier League goals - the only duo to combine for more in the competition during this period is Ryan Fraser and Callum Wilson (13).
- Since the Premier League resumed last season in June, no player has scored more goals in the competition than West Ham's Michail Antonio (9, level with Raheem Sterling).
What the managers said…
Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta: "I am really happy with the three points, but we have a lot to analyse because there were a lot of issues we created for ourselves in many moments. We have to improve many things.
"Yes [we got away with one], but we created many chances to win the game and we conceded too many chances that were our fault.
"What I liked was the approach from the boys, they lifted up in the final 25 minutes, a few months we would have drawn or lost that game. In the end you have to find a way because we are going to have games like this through the season."
West Ham manager David Moyes: "It's a tough result, the played really well with a great deal of effort, so to not be rewarded with some points is really hard on us.
"We didn't go on and win the game and switched off when we shouldn't have. We had the opportunities to score and made good chances, but we couldn't take them. To switch off like we did in the final minutes was criminal.
"We should have definitely had a penalty; it hits the boy's arm and might even have been a penalty under the old rules! But who knows what the rules are?"
Man of the Match - Dani Ceballos
With Arsenal far from their free-flowing attacking best as seen at Fulham the previous week, intricacy ultimately steered the Gunners past a stubborn West Ham outfit. And none played a more crucial role than Dani Ceballos, who provided a moment of sheer quality to set up Nketiah for the winner with a slick dart in behind and selfless square pass. And, if that wasn't enough, Ceballos' assist drew a line under the spat between himself and Nketiah as both left the field all smiles a week on from their clash at Craven Cottage.
Arsenal travel to Leicester in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday at 7.45pm before heading to Anfield the week after for an 8.15pm Monday Night Football clash against champions Liverpool - live on Sky Sports Premier League.
West Ham host Hull in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday at 7.30pm before welcoming Wolves to the London Stadium on Sunday at 7pm.