West Ham and Arsenal play out six-goal thriller as Spurs move to sixth

Jesse Lingard got his sixth goal for West Ham

EPL Matchday 29 of 38:

West Ham United 3, Arsenal 3

Own-goals from Soucek and Bowen let Hammers down

Arsenal came back from being three early goals down to earn a thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham United at the London Stadium in a Premier League clash on Sunday.

The Hammers deservedly went ahead in the 15th minute when Jesse Lingard coverted a Michail Antonio cutback into a terrific half-volley that tore into the top corner of the net.

Arsenal fell further behind eighty-seconds later under strange circumstances. Bukayo Saka fouled Antonio on the edge of the penalty area and an alert Lingard played the resulting free kick quickly into the path of Jarred Bowen, who squeezed the ball under Bernd Leno at his near post to make it 2-0 in the 16th.

The Gunners conceded a third time in the 32nd minute as Tomas Soucek pounced to direct Antonio’s header from Vladimir Coufal’s cross into the bottom corner.

Very much on the ropes at 0-3, Mikel Arteta’s side were offered a lifeline as Calum Chambers crossed to Alexander Lacazette inside the area. The Frenchman controlled the ball, and his shot took a significant deflection off Soucek to go past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski for an own goal in the 38th minute.

The momentum had swung in favour of the Gunners as they nearly got a second within minutes of the interval when Lacazette took in Chambers’ pass to lift his shot over Fabianski but Issa Diop managed to stave the ball off spectacularly from the line.

Bukayo Saka was released through on goal by Lacazettes a little later but Fabianski properly dealt with his low shot. The deficit was reduced further on the hour mark by another West Ham own goal.

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Martin Odegaard played on the overlap to Chambers, whose low cross meant for Saka was crashed beyond Fabianski by an under-pressure Craig Dawson for his second own goal in as many games.

David Moyes’ men came within inches of enhancing their lead when Antonio struck the post with the goal at his mercy after some brilliant work by Said Benrahma.

Arteta pulled out an ineffective Pierre Aubameyang and introduced Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe and it was the involvement of the latter from which Arsenal found the dramatic equalizer.

Martin Odegaard found Pepe down the right, and his cross from his weaker foot was headed home at the far post by Lacazette to complete a remarkable fightback to parity.

West Ham nearly had the last laugh as Declan Rice went into a spectacular run from his own half and ended up stinging the palms of Leno. Arsenal made one last assault, but Pepe’s tame effort failed to find the target as the pulsating contest concluded.

West Ham who would have gone level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea had they won, will now have to remain content on the fifth with 49 points from their 29 League outings while Arsenal inched up to the 9th but still 4 points away from 8th placed Everton and an Europa League entry.

Aston Villa 0, Tottenham Hotspur 2

Jose Mourinho’s Spurs recovered from last week’s horror elimination from the Europa League at Zagreb to beat Aston Villa 0-2 at Villa Park and move a couple of places up to the 6th spot of the Premier League table.

Villa, who were again without their injured captain and playmaker Jack Grealish, begun well but were unable to get past Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who was barely tested in the game. An error from Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez helped Tottenham find their opening goal in the 29th minute.

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Martinez came out of his area to meet a long ball from Sergio Reguilon but his clearance was poor and pounced upon by Lucas Moura. The Brazilian then indulged in a one-two with Harry Kane before passing the ball to an unmarked Carlos Vinicius who finished from close range.

Villa who couldn’t register a single shot on target in the first half, created some chances in the second with Trezeguet’s volley forcing Rodon into a block and Anwar El Ghazi hitting the side-netting with an effort from distance.

Tottenham put the game beyond Villa’s reach as Moura slid a ball in behind Villa’s defense to pass to Kane who compelled Matty Cash into an needless foul inside the box. Kane easily beat Martinez with his penalty and took his tally of Premier League goals to 17 and equalling that of Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah for the season.

Tottenham completed their fourth win from their last five EPL outings as they came to within one point of West Ham’s 49 and two points above 7th placed Liverpool. Dean Smith’s Aston Villa finished on the 10th with 41 points, one point behind Arsenal but with a game in hand.

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