EPL: Saka Scores Brace As Arsenal Sink West Ham 6-0
Arsenal produced their best performance of the season as they thrashed West Ham United 6-0 to close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool to two points.
The Gunners were outstanding from the first minute to last as they completely outplayed their opponents to end a three-match winless run against the Hammers in all competitions and move level on points with second-placed Manchester City.
West Ham named the same team that lost 3-0 to Manchester United last weekend, while Arsenal made two alterations to their starting XI, with Leandro Trossard and Jakub Kiwior coming in for Jorginho and Oleksandr Zinchenko, with the latter missing out entirely due to injury.
Arsenal started the match on the front foot, dominating possession and keeping West Ham pegged back.
They fashioned two chances in the opening 25 minutes, with an unmarked Trossard heading over the crossbar before the Belgian’s close-range volley forced a fine save from Alphonse Areola.
The pressure eventually told as William Saliba headed Arsenal in front on 32 minutes from Declan Rice’s inswinging corner.
Bukayo Saka was then brought down by Areola when through on goal, and after missing a decisive spot-kick last season’s 2-2 draw, he stepped up and ensured history would not repeat itself as he sent the ball past Areola to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead in the 41st minute.
The goals kept coming for the Gunners as Gabriel made it 3-0 only three minutes later, heading in from another Rice set-piece, before Trossard fired in a fourth in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, netting for a second successive match.
Remarkably, Arsenal’s 4-0 lead at half-time was the 60th time a team has led by this scoreline at the break, and the 20th time away from home.
Saka made it 5-0 after 63 minutes when he cut inside and smashed the ball into the near post.
Rice then marked his first league return to West Ham with an incredible curling strike from 25 yards out into the top-left corner two minutes later.
West Ham had no answers for Arsenal’s attacking display and ended the match with only five shots, one fewer than Arsenal’s total goal tally.
It was Arsenal’s joint-largest win away league victory and the Gunners’ fourth Premier League win in a row.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s joint-biggest home league defeat and fifth match without victory drops them down to eighth on 36 points. Daily Trust