West Ham 2-2 Arsenal: Player ratings as Saka spot-kick shocker sees momentum swing Man City’s way

saka

Bukayo Saka’s penalty miss proved costly for Arsenal as the Premier League leaders yet again surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with West Ham.

Saka shot wide from 12 yards in the 52nd minute of Sunday’s encounter at London Stadium, with Jarrod Bowen swiftly pulling West Ham level.

Mikel Arteta’s team – who saw Manchester City defeat Leicester City 3-1 on Saturday – started brilliantly, going 2-0 up inside 10 minutes thanks to Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard.

Yet Said Benrahma’s penalty saw the nerves set in, with West Ham taking advantage of Saka’s shocker as Arsenal were unable to restore their six-point lead at the top.

Arsenal looked set to canter to victory after a stunning opening 10 minutes.

Jesus tucked in at the back post following slick combination play between Ben White and Odegaard, who made it 2-0 with a cushioned volley from Gabriel Martinelli’s exquisite cross.

Yet Thomas Partey gifted West Ham a lifeline when he was robbed by Declan Rice, who fed Lucas Paqueta, with the Brazil international drawing a desperate lunge from compatriot Gabriel Magalhaes.

Having been sent the wrong way by Benrahma’s penalty, Ramsdale denied West Ham a quickfire second when he tipped over Michail Antonio’s header, with another Partey blunder having handed the Hammers a free-kick.

Antonio’s handball from Martinelli’s strike seemed destined to signal game over for West Ham, only for Saka to slice the resulting spot-kick well wide.

West Ham made Arsenal pay. Bowen capitalised on slack defending to latch onto Thilo Kehrer’s punt, with Ramsdale unable to keep out the winger’s volley.

Arsenal were saved by the woodwork late on, Antonio’s header striking the crossbar, though the title race momentum nevertheless seems to have swung City’s way.

West Ham player ratings (4-1-4-1)

GK: Lukasz Fabianski – 6/10 – Didn’t have a save to make in the first half, instead picking the ball out of his net from Jesus and Odegaard’s goals.

RB: Vladimir Coufal – 7/10 – Fell asleep at the back post to allow Jesus a simple tap-in, though the damage was done by prior mistakes elsewhere in the build-up. Put in one hell of a shift.

CB: Kurt Zouma – 7/10 – Given a rough ride early on by Arsenal’s initial onslaught but found his feet in the battle against Jesus and Martinelli.

CB: Thilo Kehrer – 6/10 – Played on the left half of central defence and looked wobbly early on – understandable in an unfamiliar position. Communication with Cresswell looked a problem throughout but improved.

LB: Aaron Cresswell – 6/10 – Usual story at left-back – attacking output promising but defensively not the best.

DM: Declan Rice (c) – 7/10 – Really helped West Ham up the ante after quickly falling 2-0 down. Sprung on Partey in the lead up to West Ham’s penalty.

CM: Tomas Soucek – 7/10 – Contributed to West Ham getting a grip on the game with endless closing down. Got his foot in a number of times.

CM: Lucas Paqueta – 8/10 – At 2-0 down you wondered if Paqueta was just going to drift into obscurity. He didn’t, helping the Hammers turn the tables with a performance full of relentless running and closing down.

RM: Jarrod Bowen – 8/10 – Absolutely superb volley to bring West Ham level – real elite level technique that shouldn’t be understated. Seemed inspired by the raucous atmopshere.

LM: Said Benrahma – 6/10 – Partly culpable for both of Arsenal’s goals, not communicating with Cresswell to fulfil his defensive duties. Got going in an attacking sense and soon became a real handful. Composed from the spot.

CF: Michail Antonio – 8/10 – Really put himself about up top, harassing Arsenal’s usually unflappable defence into mistakes. The Antonio of old.


Substitutes

CM: Flynn Downes (87′ for Paqueta) – N/A

CF: Maxwel Cornet (87′ for Antonio) – N/A

LM: Pablo Fornals (90′ for Benrahma) – N/A

Not used: Areola (GK), Anang (GK), Johnson, Emerson, Lanzini, Ings


Manager

David Moyes: 7/10 – Must have given his players an absolute rocket after the first 25 minutes. To his credit, he pushed West Ham higher up the field and the performance turned.


Arsenal player ratings (4-3-3)

GK: Aaron Ramsdale – 6/10 – Sent the wrong way by Benrahma’s penalty before tipping over Antonio’s header minutes later. Couldn’t get enough of a hand on Bowen’s effort to keep it out.

RB: Ben White – 7/10 – Ghosted in behind a static West Ham backline to put the ball on a plate for Gabriel Jesus. Always an outlet in attack but had moments where defensive positioning could be questioned.

CB: Rob Holding – 5/10 – Always feels a bit awkward identifying a ‘weak link’ but there’s no doubting that Holding and William Saliba are levels apart.

CB: Gabriel Magalhaes – 6/10 – Looked so composed in defence the majority of time, but was the one to bring down Paqueta for West Ham’s penalty.

LB: Kieran Tierney – 6/10 – Popped up in central areas to good effect and also overlapped Martinelli well when necessary. Lack of minutes didn’t show.

CM: Thomas Partey – 5/10 – Clumsily gave the ball away to Rice deep in his own half, which directly led to the penalty being conceded. Booked moments later in what was an awkward spell.

CM: Granit Xhaka – 6/10 – Pretty quiet afternoon for Xhaka, with much of Arsenal’s good work circunavigating the Swiss midfielder.

CM: Martin Odegaard (c) – 7/10 – Effortlessly brilliant in the first half, drifting into space before popping off clever passes at will. Superb technique to meet Martinelli’s cross first time for the second goal.

RW: Bukayo Saka – 5/10 – Subtle movements from Saka allowed White and Odegaard to really dominate the first 20 minutes on West Ham’s left hand side. Awful, awful penalty in the second half that goes against everything he’s achieved this season.

ST: Gabriel Jesus – 7/10 – Really, really good in the opening exchanges. Drifted in at the back stick unnoticed to put Arsenal ahead and did plenty of good work in transition.

LW: Gabriel Martinelli – 7/10 – A real livewire in the first quarter of the game, highlighted by a superbly weighted cross for Odegaard to volley home. Faded.


Substitutes

CM: Jorginho (67′ for Partey) – 6/10 – Brought on simply to calm things down in midfield and attempt to regain control.

CF: Leandro Trossard (67′ for Jesus) – 5/10 – Made little impact.

CM: Fabio Vieira (85′ for Tierney) – N/A

LW: Reiss Nelson (85′ for Martinelli) – N/A

CF: Eddie Nketiah (90′ for Odegaard) – N/A

Not used: Turner (GK), Walters, Kiwior, Smith Rowe, Nketiah


Manager

Mikel Arteta: 5/10 – Should have made changes far earlier to help Arsenal wrestle back momentum in the game. A sign perhaps of the Spaniard’s confidence in his side, but it was obvious that West Ham had the upper hand.


Player of the Match: Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)

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