Arsenal played out a thrilling 3-3 draw with West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday. The Gunners took a 2-0 lead in the first half of the game, but they were pegged by a quickfire hat-trick from Andy Carroll.
Laurent Koscielny scored in the 70th minute to level the score at 3-3, and the same scoreline prevailed till the final whistle.
Here are five things we learned from Arsenal’s perspective:
1) Arsenal are surely out of title race
Whatever little hopes Arsenal had of catching up to Leicester City in the league race were extinguished yesterday. The Gunners are currently ten points behind the Foxes with six games left to play for each team in the season.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility, but it’s hard to imagine that the table toppers will drop ten points from their last six games.
2) Arsenal’s weakness in air was exposed by Andy Carroll
Slaven Bilic’s decision to start Andy Carroll proved to be a masterstroke for the Hammers. The Gunners struggled to deal with crosses coming into their crosses throughout the game, and they had no answer to Carroll’s prowess in the air. West Ham’s all three goals were scored on crosses.
3) Was Arsene Wenger right in starting David Ospina ahead of Petr Cech?
After the game, Wenger revealed that he started Ospina ahead of Cech based on the Colombian international’s form in recent games. Many fans were critical of Wenger’s decision to not start Cech even when he was fully fit.
Cech feels more comfortable than Ospina in coming out of his area to claim aerial crosses, and there is an argument to be made that he could have dealt with West Ham’s aerial threat much more effectively.
4) Wenger has a star in making in Alex Iwobi
The youngster was once again impressive for the Gunners. He provided assists for both Arsenal goals, scored by Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, in the first half.
He was not equally effective in the second half, but he could prove to be a valuable asset for the Gunners in the coming years. According to the reports, the 19-year old has recently signed a new contract which will keep him at Arsenal until 2021.
5) Alexis Sanchez is showing glimpses of his true self
After suffering a dip in his form following his return from the injury, the Chilean is slowly but surely getting back his best. He has now scored three goals and provided three assists in his last five league games.