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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
15 January 2011
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 32682
West Ham United
R. van Persie 13', 77'
T. Walcott 41'
That's the full-time whistle here at Upton Park and for all the headlines about the seemingly inevitable departure of Avram Grant, you have to praise Arsenal who have once again torn a team to pieces in beautiful fashion. It was all to easy for the visitors and in front of an emptying, subdued Upton Park, it would appear that Grant's West Ham bubble has finally burst. Thanks for joining Goal.com for this evening's game.
90' + 2'
Avram Grant looks a lonely figure in the technical area. Does he already know what most of us suspect? On the basis of his team's performance, you'd have to think so.
The home fans that have stuck around deserve praise. Today has been a shambles from the board room to the pitch at Upton Park. Where now for the Hammers?
The West Ham players have looked resigned to defeat from the off and it continues to be far too easy for the visitors. Wayne Bridge is coming off with cramp and it's no surprise really, Theo Walcott will haunt the full-back for a good few days now.
Emmanuel Eboue and Theo Walcott link up well down the right flank and it is the full-back who marauds into the West Ham box but he has few targets to aim for and the attack breaks down.
Cesc Fabregas is brought off for Denilson after a sublime performance. Even if West Ham had turned up today, there is very little you can do to suppress the Spaniard when he's in such scintillating form.
Assist Theo Walcott
Penalty Goal Robin van Persie
AND SCORES FOR ARSENAL TO MAKE IT 3-0. There was never really any doubt and the Dutch international confidently pings it past Robert Green. Cue a flood of Hammers fans making a hasty exit. They've seen enough and so, it would seem, have the club's owners.
PENALTY FOR ARSENAL!!!! Wayne Bridge's derby goes from very bad to diabolical as Theo Walcott, who has given the full back a torrid time all evening, beats him for pace once again and is tripped by the former Chelsea man. Robin Van Persie to take it...
Samir Nasri whips a fine ball into Theo Walcott but the winger misses the target and West Ham escape, for now.
Few chances coming the way of either side as Arsenal look to happy to keep possession in and around the centre circle, biding their time.
West Ham's vice-chairman Karren Brady looks largely unimpressed with proceedings here this evening. To be fair, as do the fans that are sat around her.
It's still West Ham 0-2 Arsenal and the game has entered a slight lull. Arsenal have more difficult games to come and they could take their foot completely off the gas if they wanted, this is cruise control for the visitors.
Avram Grant makes his move and takes off youngster Freddie Sears to be replaced by Mexican Pablo Barrera. The winger has flattered to deceive since joining in the summer and if he's going to start making an impact at Upton Park, now would be the time to do so.
That's better from West Ham as Jonathan Spector wins the ball in midfield, finds Freddie Sears who, in a little bit of space, knocks in a shot-cum-cross that nearly caught Sczeszny off guard. You couldn't really have blamed him, the young stopper is having an unbelievably quiet night.
Carlton Cole is cutting a frustrated figure leading the West Ham line alone as another high ball is lumped towards him and with no support in sight, the England striker can do nothing to create a chance. Will Grant be tempted to throw another striker on or would that be signing his own team's death warrant?
As good as Arsenal have been, you have to question the commitment of the home side's players who aren't hassling the metronomic Gunners midfield into any mistakes. Going down without any sign of a fight. 80% second half possession for the Gunners tells the story.
West Ham get a potentially dangeruos free kick and Wayne Bridge, from about 25-yards out, sees his effort deflected off the head of Robin Van Persie and out for a corner. Again, nothing comes from it.
Gael Clichy wastes a crossing opportunity after what felt like of hours of possession for the visitors, overhitting his effort to offer West Ham some relief. They need as much of that as they can get.
The second 45 minutes have started very much the same as the first, with Arsenal asking all the questions and West Ham offering next to no answers. It's all quiet from the usually vocal Hammers fans as well.
No changes for either side at half time. Well none on the pitch anyway...
West Ham kick us off for a second half in which you can't help but expect a bagful of goals...for Arsenal that is.
That's the half-time whistle at Upton Park and Arsenal are deservedly two goals to the good. Bright, energetic and full of ideas, the Gunners are everything that the hosts aren't.
Just as all looked lost for West Ham, Carlton Cole gets and wastes a fine chance to get a goal back ahead of half time. Freddie Sears finds some space to cross in an inch perfect ball for the England striker but he heads his effort against Johan Djourou and it trickles out for a corner, which leads to nothing
And so begin the "sacked in the morning" chants from the visiting Arsenal fans. Who, not surprisingly, aren't entirely sympathetic to the former Chelsea boss's demise.
Assist Robin van Persie
Goal Theo Walcott
GOAL!!!! It's 2-0 to Arsenal and that may just be that for Avram Grant West Ham career. The Gunners build up with some effortless one-touch football down the left and Van Persie hits a low ball across the six-yard box to Theo Walcott, who with all the time in the world, knocks in an easy finish. Terrible marking from Wayne Bridge incidentally, who has had a shocking debut so far.
So he is human...Cesc Fabregas over hits a pass to Robin Van Persie and an Arsenal attack breaks down. Both laugh it off. They're enjoying themselves here tonight with West Ham offering little in response.
Avram Grant looks ominously on. The end may be nigh regardless of tonight's result but the way that Arsenal are playing, the Israeli's side couldn't have done much to save his job anyway. Irresistible from the North Londoners.
That was very nearly 2-0 and a second for Van Persie. Samir Nasri picks the ball up in midfield and slips the Dutchman in with a superbly timed through ball. Rob Green commits and Van Persie slides the ball past the stranded keeper, only to see his effort hit the post and bounce harmlessly away.
Arsene Wenger will be delighted with his side's performance so far. Fast, dynamic and typically wonderful to watch, the Gunners are toying with West Ham.
Absolutely lovely football from the Gunners who are probing for a 2nd. Alex Song and Fabregas combine on the edge of the box with a neat one-two and it is only a fine intervention from James Tomkins that nothing more came from that. He's hurt himself in the process though...
Arsenal nearly let their hosts in there and West Ham probably should have equalised. Johan Djourou puts Wojciech Szczesny in trouble with a criminally short backpass and Carlton Cole pounces but fails to beat the young Pole. Zavon Hines got to the rebound and so nearly finishes. The Hammers fans needed that...
Not what the hosts needed at all...Mark Noble has picked up a knock and Luis Boa Morte comes into what is beginning to look like a very makeshift West Ham midfield indeed.
Arsenal are pinning West Ham into their own half and you can only see the game going one way at the moment. Upton Park is decidedly unimpressed.
Yellow Card Julien Faubert
Julien Faubert threw himself into a reckless challenge and is duly booked
Assist Theo Walcott
Goal Robin van Persie
GOAL!!!! Theo Walcott is given far too much space down the right-hand side by debutant Wayne Bridge and crosses into Robin Van Persie, who from 15 yards out, hits a fine strike into Rob Green's top corner.
Arsenal are dominating possession at the moment. West Ham, very much like their manager, look lost.
Arsenal get another free kick from over 30 yards out. Robin Van Persie lays off Samir Nasri and the in-form Frenchman lashes a stinging effort towards Rob Green's goal. It takes a deflection but the 'keeper kept his eye on it and gathered the ball with relative ease.
The Dutch international disappoints, smashing a left footed effort into the wall.
There's a somewhat subdued atmosphere at Upton Park as Arsenal get a corner in the opening two minutes. It is cleared but the visitors have a free kick on the edge of the West Ham box. Robin Van Persie fancies his chances...
Referee Andre Marriner kicks us off here at Upton Park with all eyes on Avram Grant as he steps out of the tunnel alongside Arsene Wenger. Will it be for the last time as Hammers boss?
Arsenal: Szczesny, Eboue, Djourou, Kosceilny, Clichy; Walcott, Song, Fabregas, Wilshere, Nasri; Van Persie Subs: Shea, Gibbs, Denilson, Arshavin, Vela, Chamakh, Bendtner
West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge; Spector; Sears, Noble, Kovac, Hines; Cole Subs: Boffin, Reid, Gabbidon, Barrera, Boa Morte, McCarthy, Nouble
The Gunners will have kept a keen eye on today's three o'clock kick-offs and with Manchester City and Chelsea both winning earlier, the visitor's will feel that they need to take all three points to keep the pressure on t
The hosts are sat at the foot of the table and, after days of rumours regarding his future, Avram Grant will surely feel that a defeat to Arsene Wenger's side would put an end to his reign in East London.
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of this evening's Premier League clash between West Ham and Arsenal at Upton Park.
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