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FA Premiership
Saturday, 24th September 2005

West Ham United 0
Arsenal 0

by Graeme Howlett


West Ham held title challengers Arsenal to a draw at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon with another plucky performance.

The Hammers - buoyed on by a full house - more than matched their illustrious opponents in a game that produced few chances for either side with both teams seemingly more intent on keeping a clean sheet than surging forward in search of goals.

In truth few real goalscoring opportunities were created on what was a chilly autumnal afternoon in East London, although Bobby Zamora and Freddie Ljungberg were guilty of spurning chances to snatch all three points in the dying minutes.

Zamora missed West Ham's best chance seven minutes from time when he nodded a header wide from just eight yards when completely unmarked. Had he been on longer than three minutes - having just replaced the tireless Teddy Sheringham - he may well have made more of his opportunity.

At the other end, Ljungberg could have snatched a win for Arsenal two minutes later when put clean through on goal by Alexander Hleb but fortunately for the Hammers his first touch was poor and Roy Carroll - keeping his third clean sheet of the season - was allowed to claim the ball.

The point moves the Hammers up into third spot in the Premiership - albeit almost certainly temporarily.



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Player Ratings

Roy Carroll
A surprisingly quiet afternoon for the Ulsterman who coped with what little Arsenal threw at him admirably.


Tomas Repka
A good performance from the Czech who kept a tight ship in defence whilst adding weight to the Hammers attacking options on the flank.


Paul Konchesky
An excellent effort from the former Charlton man in front of a watching Sven Goran Erikkson who can't have failed to take note.


Anton Ferdinand
Growing in stature at the weeks go by and on current form is probably the more valuable of the two Ferdinand brothers.


Danny Gabbidon
Alan Pardew said at the start of the season that he expects Gabbidon to be in the running for Hammer of the Year come next May - and it was clear to see why going by today's performance. Yet to put a foot wrong since making the move to East London.


Hayden Mullins
Worked hard to nullify the threat from Flamini and Gilberto - and did so effectively. The only criticism of Mullins would be his passing (although in fairness he pulled off one or two fabulous 50-yard deliveries).


Nigel Reo-Coker
Like his midfield partner Hayden Mullins he worked extremely hard but unlike in recent weeks, was lacking the killer touch. However his partnership with Mullins made Arsenal look very ordinary indeed.


Yossi Benayoun
One or two wonderful cameos drew applause from the home crowd, whilst the long throws into the box almost proved decisive. Lost the ball a little too easily on occasions and could do with a touch of the Joe Cole steak diet.


Matthew Etherington
Rarely got at his full back in the manner to which we have become accustomed and again faded towards the end.


Marlon Harewood
Not one of Marlon's better days but he can be forgiven that bearing in mind the contribution he has made to the side in recent games.


Teddy Sheringham
A quiet day at the office for the team's elder statesman; having played for Spurs and Manchester United (prior to moving to a big club a year or so ago) one would perhaps have expected him to more effective today.


Substitutes


Bobby Zamora
(Replaced Sheringham, 80) Bobby muffed West Ham's best chance of the game having been on the field for a couple of minutes but showed how desperate he is to be more involved.


Shaun Newton
(Replaced Etherington, 84) Brought on to replace the tiring Etherington and helped shore things up at the back in order to protect the point.


Shaka Hislop
Did not play.


James Collins
Did not play.


Christian Dailly
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: M.Dean.

Attendance: 34,742.

Man of the Match: Danny Gabbidon.

West Ham United

Roy Carroll, Tomas Repka, Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Marlon Harewood, Teddy Sheringham.

Goals: None.

Booked: Teddy Sheringham 55 Tomas Repka 61        .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Arsenal

Lehmann, Toure, Cole, Campbell, Lauren, Gilberto, Fabregas, Ljungberg, Hleb, Reyes, Van Persie.

Substitutes: Flamini (Gilberto 71), Abeyie (Reyes 73), Cliche (Van Persie 82).

Subs not used: Almunia, Cygan.

Goals: .

Booked: None booked..

Sent Off: None sent off..

 
Graeme Howlett's Man of the Match: Danny Gabbidon