Arsenal off the mark against West Ham United: 3 talking points

Unai Emery finally got his first competitive win as an Arsenal manager. The win against West Ham United was a hard-fought victory where Arsenal showed the character to come back from being a goal down after 25 minutes.

Here are the three talking points from the match.

#3 A very open first half

The first half of the match witnessed a plethora of chances for both the teams to score goals. Majority of those chances fell to West Ham who scored in the first quarter of the match. Monreal brought the parity within 5 minutes of West Ham finding the back of the net.

Once again, Arsenal played with a high backline which was exposed fairly easily by Arnautović, Filipe Anderson and Michail Antonio. The trio tested the Arsenal defence with their surging runs as Sokratis and Mustafi just couldn’t keep up. The only issue was that unlike Chelsea last weekend, the Hammers couldn’t take their chances.

The scoreline at halftime could have been a lot different had the two teams taken their chances.

#2 Lacazette needs to be in the starting XI

For the third game running, Lacazette came off the bench. He is yet to find the net but his introduction in all their previous games has resulted in a positive effect on the team.

Against Manchester City, he almost scored the equaliser and missed an opportunity to get a consolation goal in the latter stages of the match.

He is yet to find his finishing touch in front goal but offers a different dimension while going forward. Meanwhile, Aubameyang can operate on the left-hand side of the pitch.

The former BVB forward has the pace to burn and can get in behind the defenders. His output is much better than the likes of Welbeck and Mkhitaryan on the wide areas as well.

#1 Manuel Pellegrini is still unsure of his best XI

In three matches Manuel Pellegrini has used three different formations — 4-4-1-1, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-2. He admitted that he is yet to identify his strongest XI as Chicharito started against Bournemouth but was benched against Liverpool and Arsenal.

Same is the case with the veteran right-back, Pablo Zabaleta. Issa Diop made his Premier League debut against Arsenal in place of Ogbonna and needs a bit more time to adapt to the pace of the league.

Alterations in every game are making West Ham unstable and inefficient. Pellegrini is a world class manager, but the number of players they’ve signed means he’ll have to keep rotating to find the right combination in every area.

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