Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez combining for an Arsenal goal is nothing new. You can almost guarantee that a Gunners victory will include a talismanic performance from either one of the attacking duo.
They showed off their combination and telepathic-like behaviour against West Ham on a freezing Saturday evening at the London Stadium in a match which Arsene Wenger’s side never looked like losing.
Wenger knows all about settling into a new stadium having undergone the process when Arsenal moved from Highbury to Emirates Stadium a decade ago. The Frenchman compared the early stages of playing in a new stadium to that of a ‘neutral ground’ and that accurate description rang true for much of the game.
‘We’ve got Ozil, I just don’t think you understand’ was quickly cancelled out by the Hammers’ own version for Dimitri Payet - but there was only one star on show in east London this time.
Arsenal remain locked in talks with Ozil and Sanchez over new contracts and Saturday’s showing is only going to strengthen their negotiating position. Both players were sublime in the victory over Slaven Bilic’s below-par West Ham outfit and the win is likely to be a crucial confidence booster ahead of another tricky Christmas fixture list against Stoke, Everton, Manchester City and West Brom.
A 14-minute hat-trick, one assist and a captain’s display in attack, Sanchez once again proved how important he was throughout the game by screaming at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for failing to take up his position on the wing quick enough for the Chilean’s liking in the first half.
That was quickly forgotten and, by the second half, it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who was celebrating alongside Sanchez after getting on the scoresheet with a beautiful curling strike from outside of the box.
But today was all about Sanchez. A player who is seen doing press-ups while his Arsenal team-mates are taking a break in training, there was never any doubt about the result even when West Ham pulled one back through Andy Carroll on 83 minutes. It’s clear that Alexis is enjoying life in London and the only question remaining over his new deal is whether the Gunners can match his ambition.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup exit to Southampton has already been forgotten and Wenger’s side will now travel to Switzerland next week for the final Champions League Group A match against Basel.
Getting Ozil and Sanchez to put pen-to-paper is more important than ever - and the thrashing of a mediocre West Ham side has only reinforced that notion.