On a night when former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger returned to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since leaving the club in 2018, the Gunners produced a scintillating second-half comeback to beat West Ham 2-1 to move seven points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Wenger, who spent 22 years at Arsenal, had not hidden the fact that he found his Arsenal departure difficult and insisted he didn’t have any plans to return to watch his former side.
However, FIFA’s chief of global football development was back, and it looked like his former side were heading for a difficult night when they went behind to Said Benrahma’s penalty after William Saliba brought down Jarrod Bowen inside the box (27).
The Gunners needed to find a response after the break and they did just that as two goals in five minutes from Bukayo Saka (53) and Gabriel Martinelli (58) brought a smile to Wenger’s face, before Eddie Nketiah, leading the line for Arsenal in the absence of Gabriel Jesus, rounded off a brilliant night for Mikel Arteta’s side (69).
Victory sees Arsenal move seven points clear of second-placed Newcastle, who beat Leicester 3-0 earlier on Boxing Day, while third-placed Man City have the chance to respond when they travel to Leeds on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, West Ham, who suffered a fourth straight Premier League defeat, remain 16th.
More to follow…
Saturday 31st December 5:00pm
Kick off 5:30pm
Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Brighton on New Year’s Eve, which is live on Sky Sports; kick-off 5.30pm.
Meanwhile, West Ham host Brentford on Friday December 30; kick-off 7.45pm.