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Gunners' top of the table but Vermaelen's red card is a worry

By Matthew Weiner | Arsenal Correspondent

ARSENAL

Manuel Almunia - 9 -  Did brilliantly to save Diamanti's penalty at full stretch. Came off the line but then again which keepers don't? A crucial save for Arsenal's season.

Emmanuel Eboue - 8 - Quick feet fashioned a number of chances throughout the game.

Sol Campbell - 7 -  Lucky to get away with a two-footed tackle, but was soon after cautioned for a mistimed tackle - fortunately for him it was in West Ham's area not Arsenal's. Did well to get on the end of a free kick that almost resulted in Arsenal's second.

Thomas Vermaelen - 6 - Extremely unfortunate to have been sent off - although there was contact it was an extremely soft penalty.

Gael Clichy - 8 - Threatened with his hard running and a number of well picked out crosses.

Denilson - 7 - Clinical half volley into the bottom right corner for the early opening goal.

Alexandre Song - 9 - Classy performance in the first half. Tough tackling and perceptive passing. Started move that led to Denilson's goal. Dropped back into defence after Vermaelen's red card and did well. A better option than Silvestre for the coming games.

Cesc Fabregas - 8 - Delivered the usual high quality. Typical drive in the 81st minute earned him the penalty and then dispatched it coolly. Of course he did.

Samir Nasri - 7 - At the centre of some tantalisingly Barcelona-esque passages of play yet couldn't quite deliver the killer ball or finish off any of the moves.

Nicklas Bendtner - 7 - Neat and tidy lay-off for Denilson's goal and threatened with one well-struck shot that went just wide in the first half. Was unfortunate to be taken off for tactical reasons following the sending off.

Andrey Arshavin - 7 - Worked hard but didn't have the most impactful of games. Played in Fabregas with a terrific ball over the top - only for Cesc's touch to let him down.

Substitutes

Eduardo - n/a -  Late substitute for Arshavin.

Bacary Sagna - n/a -  Came on for Samir Nasri after 74 minutes.

Abou Diaby - 8 - Replaced Bendtner on 57 minutes. Showed great technique and drive to inspire a number of attacking moves from deep in midfield.


WEST HAM UNITED

Robert Green - 6 - Denilson's strike too well-placed for Green to get his fingertips to. Undone by the cleverness of Fabregas's spot-kick.

Jonathan Spector
- 7 - Did well in the first 45 minutes to restrict Arshavin's impact on the match.

James Tomkins - 7 - Barged into Clichy to concede a needless free-kick. Lucky not to talk himself into the book.

Matthew Upson - 6 - Cautioned for foul on the jinking Eboue and then conceded the penalty with a handball in the area.

Fabio Daprela - 6 - Galloping run into the heart of defence looked dangerous until snuffed out by Song. Struggled against the quick feet of Arsenal's forwards.

Alessandro Diamanti
- 8 - At the centre of much that was positive for West Ham in the first half. Came close with a well-struck left-footed free kick. Booked for silly hack on Bendtner. You couldn't say he missed the penalty before half-time because Almunia's save was that good.

Valon Behrami - 7 - Lost Denilson for the opening goal but did well in midfield otherwise. A constant thorn in Arsenal's side.

Junior Stanislas
- 6 - Teased a dangerous looking cross in the first half for Mido which the Egyptian couldn't quite reach. Got into dangerous positions for West Ham but wasn't able to make his impact meaningful.

Robert Kovac - 7 - Did good job in midfield alongside Behrami in terms of breaking up Arsenal's play. Booked for dive before the break. Taken off to be replaced by the more creative Noble.

Mido - 6 - Won more than his fair share in the air both in defence and attack but never successfully linked up with West Ham's other forwards.
 
Guillermo Franco - 6 - Got the softest of penalties by going down under the slightest touch from Vermaelen. Made way for Carlton Cole.

Substitutes

Carlton Cole - 6 - On for Franco on 56 minutes. Unlucky to strike the outside of the post after turning Song.

Mark Noble - n/a - Replaced Kovac on 70 minutes.

Benni McCarthy - n/a - On for Mido.

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