Football News

Arsenal equal 89-year record after West Ham rout

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:00, 11 February 2024

Premier League title chasers Arsenal produced an utterly ruthless display by running out 6-0 winners at West Ham this afternoon.

Mikel Arteta’s men weathered an early Hammers storm before their hosts epically collapsed soon after William Saliba broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute.

Bukayo Saka (from the spot), Gabriel Magalhães and Leandro Trossard — all netting in six minutes before half-time — ensured maximum points secured as well as equalling something the club had done once before nearly nine decades ago.

Having failed to win any of their final three Premier League games in 2023 and losing the last two, the Gunners are on a four-game winning run to start 2024; only in 1935 had they strung together such a streak at the beginning of a calendar year.

Team selection was intriguing, with Moyes naming an unchanged starting XI in the Premier League for the first time since October when they played the same XI in five consecutive matches. Meanwhile, it was the 11th time Leandro Trossard, Gabriel Martinelli, and Bukayo Saka had started a Premier League match together, with Arsenal now winning nine of these games (one draw and one loss).

Saliba’s deadlock-breaking goal was the 11th time Arsenal scored from a corner this season, the most of any side in England’s top division. Rice, booed on his return to London Stadium, was the provider. He would create another (for Gabriel Magalhães), meaning in his 228th appearance, the England international had registered two assists in a Premier League game.

Never before in his 682 previous Premier League outings as manager had Moyes seen his side go into half-time trailing by four goals. Indeed, it was also the first time a Moyes team had conceded four goals in the first half of a Premier League match.

Rice would soon find the net, this return marking the first time he’s registered three goal involvements during a single Premier League game. Before enraging whatever remaining of the home support, Saka bagged his second of the contest. For the second-ever time, a side managed by Moyes has conceded six or more goals in a Premier League home game, with both instances coming against Arsenal (also Everton 1-6 in August 2009).

It was a beatdown of historic proportions: the Hammers, who posted one measly shot on target, suffered their heaviest-ever Premier League home defeat — all four previous occasions in which they’ve lost by a six-goal margin had been on the road — while the only other time they’ve lost by six goals in the top-flight came back in December 1963 against Blackburn Rovers (8-2).

The result extends West Ham’s winless streak in all competitions, now standing at seven, while pouring even more pressure on Moyes, who has seen his team lose back-to-back Premier League games, conceding nine without troubling the opposition.

Arsenal, who registered their joint-biggest margin of victory in an away league match and their first such win by six goals since December 1935 against Aston Villa (7-1), consolidated their win against Liverpool and sit firmly in this season’s title race.

“It’s all positives off the back of last weekend,” Roy Keane told Sky Sports afterwards. “They’ve just had to keep that momentum going. To score six goals away from home is fantastic.”

Arteta’s hopefuls now lie two points behind leaders Liverpool with 14 matches remaining, albeit level with second-place Manchester City, who have a game in hand. Squeaky-bum time, indeed.