Eddie Nketiah’s late winner maintained Arsenal’s 100% start to the season against a much-improved West Ham.
The result condemned us to a second successive defeat – the third time in the past four seasons we have lost our first two matches.
It’s fair to say the Gunners largely controlled the opening stages of the contest and deservedly went ahead when Alexandre Lacazette headed in from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s chipped cross.
But we always looked dangerous on the counter-attack and we levelled just before the interval when Michail Antonio bundled in Ryan Fredericks’ cross at the end of a sweeping move.
While Arsenal continued to enjoy more of the ball after the break, we created the better openings in front of goal with Antonio heading against the bar and seeing a scuffed close-range effort saved by Bernd Leno.
But, Nketiah’s late tap-in from a Dani Ceballos pass ensured Arsenal continued their fine home record against us, having won 11 of the last 12 meetings at Emirates Stadium.
While it was difficult to see just how we were going to score in our opening day defeat to Newcastle, this performance will offer us all hope that goals and points are just around the corner.
After making a cautious start which invited pressure, we appeared transformed once we committed men forward to chase the game. Antonio’s goal was a prime example, with four visiting players breaking quickly as Fredericks superbly overlapped down the right before finding the forward.
Since top-flight football resumed in June, Antonio has now scored more goals than any other Premier League player bar Raheem Sterling (both have nine). And on another day we may have profited fully from a rampaging display from Antonio that unsettled the home defence.
As it was, we were left feeling aggrieved after failing to take our chances and having had a penalty appeal turned down when Tomas Soucek’s header appeared to hit Gabriel’s arm.
“I think it was a penalty. If it wasn’t they need to explain the rules to us again. We’re all unsure. He [Gabriel] should have headed it, because he missed it, it hit his arm. He should have been punished for that.”West Ham manager David Moyes.