Arsenal’s English striker Danny Welbeck (L) celebrates scoring their third goal with Arsenal’s Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka (R) and Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (C) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium in London on August 25, 2018. Ian KINGTON / AFP
Arsenal won for the first time under new manager Unai Emery as they came from behind to clinch a 3-1 victory against West Ham on Saturday.
Emery’s side had lost the first two games of the post-Arsene Wenger era against Manchester City and Chelsea in the club’s worst start to a Premier League campaign since 1992.
They were on the verge of more unwanted history after Marko Arnautovic gave West Ham a surprise lead at the Emirates Stadium.A defeat would have made this the first Arsenal side to lose their opening three fixtures for 54 years.
But, while Emery’s team were dismal in defence, they possessed just enough attacking quality to stage a much-needed fightback.
Nacho Monreal equalised before half-time and West Ham defender Issa Diop deflected influential substitute Alexandre Lacazette’s shot after the interval.
Danny Welbeck came off the bench to wrap up the points in stoppage-time.
Emery was relieved to see Arsenal finally get points on the board, but their inconsistent performance suggests the former Paris Saint Germain boss still has much to work on as he aims to restore his new club to the top four after last season’s sixth place finish.
West Ham’s third successive defeat under new manager Manuel Pellegrini makes it the worst start by a Hammers boss since Avram Grant lost his opening four league games of the 2010-11 season.
Pellegrini’s side sit bottom of the table and have only themselves to blame after wasting several chances to seize control.
Arsenal were without Mesut Ozil, who was reported to be suffering from the flu after missing training on Friday, but the German midfielder’s absence couldn’t be blamed for his team’s erratic efforts at the back.
There was an early warning for the creaky Arsenal defence as Hammers captain Arnautovic fired into the side-netting.
Pellegrini’s men snatched the lead with a 25th minute goal that showed Emery hasn’t curled the defensive woes that ailed Arsenal in last years of the Wenger era.
When Felipe Anderson took possession in midfield, he was able to advanced unchecked towards the Arsenal penalty area, where he fed a pass into Arnautovic.