WEST HAM 1 ARSENAL 3
19.26 As the final "peep" sneaks out of Phil Dowd's whistle Snow Patrol's Spitting Games blares into life on the Upton Park PA system. Ah, Snow Patrol. The soundtrack to losing. Test comprehensively passed by Arsenal, who steamrollered West Ham as they lost energy in the final 15 minutes of the match. An excellent day for them. No silly goals conceded (Diame's was pure class), Giroud got his first goal, and that defeat to Chelsea can begin to gather dust. They're up to fifth, West Ham are eighth. They're going to lose to the best five or six teams in the league. You would fancy them to get a result against most of the rest. That'll be all from this liveblog. Thanks for your company, I'll talk to you again soon.
90+2 min A mammoth and entirely pointless five extra minutes shall be played. Cazorla plays the pass of the game, a marvellous reversed effort that finds Giroud perfectly. He shoots stupidly straight at Jaaskelainen, who'd come off his line. A more deft touch and that could have been four for Arsenal.
89 min West Ham have a corner. It's one from the Arsenal playbook, and easily headed away by Mertesacker. Drops for Taylor on the edge of the box who thwacks it towards goal, bringing a decent save from Mannone.
87 min Yeah, I think that goal was entirely Cazorla. The odd flight of the ball was the result of some dark arts striking sorcery. Taylor booked for a lunge on Arteta of the sort which often results in red cards these days.
86 min Koscielny on for Podolski for the last few minutes.
83 min GOAL!! West Ham 1 Arsenal 3 (Cazorla)
That's either a superb goal or a deflection of James Collins. I am struggling to discern which after several replays. Walcott loses the ball but it falls for Cazorla. He lets it run across him onto his left foot and lets fly. It nestles in the top corner. The flight of the ball looked very unusual on first viewing, but it's hard to discern a deflection on the replays. I will give Cazorla the benefit of the doubt, like a gent, and say jolly well done. Or its Spanish equivalent: Bueno senor!
82 min Carlton Cole coming on for Diame for West Ham. Their new front two, summarised: big.
81 min Giroud on the end of it. Heads straight at Jaaskelainen. Arsenal have a philosophical objection to corners.
80 min Nolan should equalise for West Ham, blazing over from 12 yards or so after being well set-up by a Diame pass. Arsenal soon force another corner and do absolutely nothing with it. Some more passing, it's worked to Mertesacker in the box who turns and takes aim for the bottom corner. Collins gets a touch. Another. Arsenal. Corner. Their 15th.
77 min GOAL!! West Ham 1 Arsenal 2 (Walcott)
West Ham were just beginning to look a little leggy, and there's the denoument. Cazorla feeds Walcott in the inside right channel with a solid pass that springs the offside trap. Walcott is away from the defence and slots calmly into the bottom corner. He is booked for celebrating with his fans too. What a lovely rule that is. Hooray for everything.
76 min Yet more Arsenal corners. Yet more West Ham clearances. Corners proving about as effective an attacking threat for Arsenal as goal kicks. Or Gervinho. Here's Olivier Giroud looking far happier after scoring his first Premier League goal:
74 min Cazorla's first corner leads to another. This one is cleared back to Cazorla, but Tomkins (on for the injured Demel) does well to head it away. Consensus on that penalty claim on ESPN and inside my mind is foul, but just outside the box.
73 min Arsenal would absolutely love a penalty for what looks a clumsy trip by McCartney in the box. Phil Dowd clearly shouts "no way" at a seething Arsene Wenger. Podolski nearly beats Jaaskelainen with a low sgot. Corner.
70 min Nolan checks his run after he finds himself in behind Arsenal. He assumes he's offside, it's not given! Nolan is away, attempts to check back inside the approaching Mertesacker. Not wise, good tackle by Mertesacker. Looks like he may have hurt himself in the process, though. Demel also down injured, and Vaz Te's injury is a suspected dislocated shoulder.
67 min Oof, big chance for West Ham and Carroll should do better! Free header for the fantastically-haired one from a long, hopeful pump into the box. Mannone is unconvincing in his challenge for the ball and Carroll wins the header, but can only guide it wide.
65 min Not sure what's happened to Arsenal here, it's been mostly West Ham for the last 10 minutes. Was it Kieran Gibbs' removal that's hurt them? Possibly not, here they go on the break. Cazorla plays a well-judged pass towards Walcott, on for Gervinho. Blocked, but falls for Walcott in the end. He tries a backheel.. Not sure why, but it almost trickles past Jaaskelainen.
63 min Vaz Te has done himself a nasty mischief after a collission with Mannone. Looks like he's injured his wrist or arm pretty badly. He's behing helped off, Taylor replaces him.
60 min Jarvis fires over after another too-easy flick-on by Andy Carroll from a West Ham throw. Here's Andy Holgate:
Biggest contrast has to be between Villa's home and away shirts. Just on Carroll. I feel for him really. He had a good start at Newcastle but within 6 months someone wants to pay silly money for him. He's then tarred and feathered when he hasn't performed to stellar levels. He was never a proven goal scorer and was never worth £35m. Look at Aguero,Tevez, Rooney and Torres. They are proven at a high level and are far far better players than Carroll, thus justify big wages and transfer fees.On the flip side to that, I get the impression he is a modern day Narcissus.
58 min Arsenal corner. Cleared. A pattern developing here... Here's Martin in response to the widespread distaste for zonal marking:
56 min My brother from an entirely different mother (and father) Kieran Gibbs is coming off with one of his trademark injuries. Andre Santos replaces him.
54 min It's West Ham doing the pressing at the moment. Diame dances around Ramsey and Arteta just outside of the "D" before slipping it into Nolan who's beyond the Arsenal defence. He's offside.
51 min West Ham break promisingly, but some decent defending from Gibbs and Vermaelen shuts down their attack. Here's Paul Kerton:
Can't believe Wigan let Diame's contract lapse. At 25 he's a real talent. Apparently he was going to Liverpool before Dalglish got the hat-rack.
50 min It's all getting a bit Arsenal. Loads and loads of sideways passes before possession is lost around 35 yards from goal.
47 min West Ham corner. Decent punch from Mannone with seemingly half of the players on the pitch in his vicinity. He is, inevitably, fouled in the process.
46 min Here comes second half of football match. Look out, rugby.
18.19 Enjoyable half, with both sides doing their respective thangs well. The Arsenal goal, you feel, will be good for the game. They'll go for more without that horrible ebbing-away confidence they're keen on unfurling when chasing an equaliser, and West Ham will need to pretend they want more than a draw on occasion. Here is a picture of Olivier Giroud looking emo in the time before he scored:
See you in 15.
45+2 min Glaring chance for Kevin Nolan! Carroll's knock down finds Nolan in space. Awkward feet from the former Bolton chap, who guides it painfully wide from close range with a good portion of the goal gaping.
45+1 min Two minutes of added time for this half.
45 min Another Arsenal corner. Disappointing low ball to no-one in particular by Cazorla. Falls to Ramsey for a shot from range, which is well blocked.
43 min I am developing an almost frightening ability to bring about goals by praising teams just before they concede. Am I magic?
41 min GOAL!! West Ham 1 Arsenal 1 (Giroud)
A richly deserved first league goal for Olivier Giroud. He played in Podolski on the left who put in a devillish cross. Giroud showed excellent dertermination to nick in front of Collins, who perhaps should have done more to hold him off, and Giroud finishes with aplomb past Jaaskelainen on his near post.
40 min Credit to West Ham, Arsenal have looked far less threatening since the goal. Imagine that's got something to do with the 11 players they're now putting behind the goal. This is, as it was before kick off, a real test of Arsenal's credentials.
36 min Reid in the book now for daring to be run into by Cazorla. Hmmm. West Ham doing well in their attempt to equal or better the eight (eight) yellow cards they received against QPR on Monday.
34 min Another corner for Arsenal. Mertesacker and Vermaelen wander towards the box. West Ham clear their lines, but Arsenal keep the ball. Marc Melander, with a well-titled email, "Oh Carroll":
Re David Prentice. Rabid mules worldwide are reaching for the Basildon Bond to protest they have a far better first touch than the Geordie drink of water.
32 min Carroll with a free header from a West Ham corner! Easy for Mannone to catch. Chris Waddle gets in the dig at zonal marking which he is contracturally obliged to provide.
28 min Wenger wants a second yellow for Diame after a late sliding tackle on Arteta. He's got a point. You feel Diame probably would have got a yellow had he not been given one earlier for breaking that silliest of rules.
27 min Half ball is in: Arsenal's. Team in possession: Arsenal. Total West Ham players in Arsenal's half: Zero. You get the idea. Game quite flat as the away side struggle to adjust following the goal.
24 min Guess what? West Ham have loads of men behind the ball and are holding their shape. They couldn't be any more Sam Allardyce right now if they were holding up a sign saying "We are going to make this bloody uncomfortable for you". David Ratel on football's biggest contrast:
Surely what players like Walcott and say Barotelli actually do for the ridiculous wages they receive takes some beating?
22 min Diame booked for over-celebrating after jumping into the crowd. Everyone's favourite reason to see a yellow card.
21 min GOAL!! West Ham 1 Arsenal 0 (Diame)
What a goal from Diame! Receives the ball in space on the left, but still has Jenkinson and Ramsey to deal with. Holds off the former and nutmegs the latter before bursting into the box. Tight angle, and the cross looks more likely, but instead it's a hard, high shot across Mannone that nestles in the far corner. Helluva finish.
20 min Some hot Twitter action from the always-excellent
19 min Corner half-cleared and falls for Giroud. Works the ball beautifully for a shot, but Carroll's on the line to send it behind for another corner. Arsenal's fifth already.
18 min Arsenal still doing a wonderful job of getting the ball forward at terrific speed, but they've not found their final third fluency yet. Cazorla sees his corner headed behind for another by Collins.
16 min It is indeed, but despite Reid winning his header Arsenal get rid easily.
15 min Carroll fouled by Vermaelen as they tussle for a high ball. Free kick for West Ham 40 yards out, dead centre. Mark Noble will take it. I reckon it's going into the air. Here's your friend and mine David Prentice:
Hope you'll give Andy Carroll a bit more media love today, Thomas. Underneath that ruthless Geordie assassin carapace lies a sensitive soul. So no more cracks about the first touch of a rabid mule, eh? This man is England's future!
12 min Well played, Andy Carroll. West Ham are being besieged by Arsenal, so have to keep the ball on the rare occasions they get a go with it. Carroll bustles Mertesacker off it deep on the left-hand flank, and holds it up before he's got support to lay it off to. Hint of handball about the big man's work, but then this looks very much like a By Any Means Necessary evening for West Ham.
7 min West Ham break from an uninspired corner, but Vermalen deals with the threat of Jarvis.
6 min Flying start for Arsenal, Arteta, Cazorla and Ramsey all contributing to a move that sees them break seamlessly from just outisde their own box to the edge of West Ham's area. Cazorla shoots and it is going in before Reid gets a touch. Corner.
5 min Having thoroughly examined West Ham's squad on Wikipedia just now in an attempt to find out what Guy Demel's squad number is (20, fact fans,) I was delighted to discoer that the sons of both John Moncur and Steve Potts are on their books. Ah, the 1990s. How nice to be reminded of you.
3 min Carroll clears from in front of the near post.
2 min Giroud not too far away from opening his account, Jaaskelainen pushes it round his post for a corner.
1 min Arsenal, wearing last season's amber and maroon away kit which has now been demoted to third, get us started.
17.30 A minute's applause for John Bond before we kick off:
17.26 The teams are in the tunnel. We are mere minutes from a football match. Hold onto your rattles and please keep your rosettes insisde the car at all times.
17.20 Jaymie Smith notices my childish Fulham snub in the list of derbies below:
17.11 Where would you rank this game in the London derby pecking order? I think Arsenal v Spurs is miles ahead of everything else. Spurs v Chelsea is also tasty. Chelsea v Arsenal has to be next by virtue of its importance and quality in the last 10 years. Then it's a free-for-all. West Ham v Millwall, QPR v Chelsea, Palace v Charlton, Brentford v Oirent... I'm going to say it's the 11th best London derby. I may or may not have put serious thought into this.
17.02 Here's today's retro highlights package, on loan from the year 1973:
16.45 Here are the teams:
West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Demel, McCartney, Reid, Collins; Noble, Nolan,
Diame; Vaz Te, Jarvis; Carroll.
Subs: Henderson, Tomkins, Cole, Maiga, Taylor, Benayoun, O'Neil.
Arsenal: Mannone, Jenkinson, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta,
Ramsey, Cazorla, Podolski, Gervinho, Giroud
Subs: Martinez, Koscielny, Santos, Coquelin, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin.
16.30 Afternoon liveblog fans.
Sam Allardyce against Arsène Wenger. Frighening Newham against posh Islington. Claret and blue against.... Dunno, actually. This monstrosity, perhaps:
Truly the Premier League is a land of contrasts.
It is the less commercially successful West Ham coming into this match with the momentum. Their win against QPR in the week underlined an impressive start to life back in the top flight.
Sam Allardyce's pragmatic team aren't quite as ugly as you may have been led to believe, especially at home where Ricardo Vaz Te and Kevin Nolan offer enjoyable bluster up front off either Andy Carroll or Carlton Cole.
They're certainly capable of doing a number on Arsenal, whose defeat to Chelsea hinted at frailties that were thought to have been banished by Steve Bould.
Big test for them and their defence this evening.
Team news and the rest to follow, stay tuned.
Here's a lovely preview:
Saturday, October 6
Kick-off: 15.00 BST.
TV: Live ESPN, Highlights BBC1 Match of the Day.
West Ham (Possible, 4-3-3): Jaaskelainen; Demel, Reid, Collins,
McCartney; Noble, Diame, Nolan; Vaz Te, Carroll, Taylor.
Out: Collison (knee), Diarra (thigh).
Tests: Carroll (match fitness), O'Brien (hamstring), Reid (concussion).
Arsenal (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Mannone; Jenkinson, Mertesacker,
Vermaelen, Gibbs; Arteta, Ramsey; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski;
Out: Diaby (thigh), Fabianski (shoulder), Frimpong (knee), Rosicky (hamstring), Sagna (broken leg), Szczesny (ankle), Wilshere (ankle).
Test: Mertesacker (virus).
Referee: Phil Dowd. Matches: 3, R1 Y8.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce spent Friday deciding whether Andy Carroll will fit enough to start against Arsenal.
Carroll returned from a hamstring problem in West Ham's win at QPR on Monday but he is short of match fitness and Allardyce is nervous about exposing him to further injury risk.
West Ham expect Winston Reid to be available after he was knocked out at QPR but Allardyce is less certain about left-back Joey O'Brien, while Jack Collison and Alou Diarra are long-term absentees.
Arsenal, meanwhile, could have defender Per Mertesacker back from a virus for tomorrow's Barclays Premier League trip to West Ham.
First-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny remains sidelined, as does Abou Diaby.
Midfielders Jack Wilshere, Emmanuel Frimpong continue their rehabilitation, along with Czech winger Tomas Rosicky and defender Bacary Sagna.
Andy Carroll, fresh from an international call-up, is expected to make only his second start of the season.
His manager Sam Allardyce hopes potential England duty will speed up the striker’s return to full fitness.
Visitors Arsenal, after a productive week in the Champions League, expect Aaron Ramsey to be available after a substitute appearance against Olympiakos.
Just as well, as the influential Abou Diaby is likely to be out of midfield contention for three weeks at least after picking up yet another injury.
Betting: Home 3-1, Away 10-11, Draw 12-5.
Stat of the game: Arsenal are unbeaten in their last nine away games in the Premier League.
Jim white’s prediction: West Ham United 1 Arsenal 3.