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FA Cup
Sunday, 3rd January 2010

West Ham United 1
Arsenal 2

by Staff Writer


West Ham are out of the FA Cup after conceding two late goals at the Boleyn Ground this afternoon.

Despite having led the game for 75 minutes it was Arsenal, not West Ham, who were in the draw for the fourth round of the competition - thanks to little more than Arsene Wenger having more options available than Gianfranco Zola.

With the visitors a goal behind, Wenger was able to call on Abou Diaby and Samir Nasri, both of whom had been rested for the game - a tactical switch that turned a game, that had appeared to be slipping away from them, in Arsenal's favour.

Conversely Zola had just Freddie Sears, without a senior goal in over 18 months, to call on in order to replace the tiring 18-year-old Frank Nouble, himself was making his full first team debut as a result of injury and suspension to the likes of Carlton Cole and Guillermo Franco.

Hopes of a famous Cup win had been raised when an injury-time Alessandro Diamanti strike gave the Irons a narrow advantage moments ahead of the half time break.

Having beaten Arsenal's offside trap, the Italian - who had earlier seen a good shout for a penalty waved away by referee Mark Clattenburg - strode towards goal having been sent through by man of the match Valon Behrami before placing his shot into the bottom right corner to give the Irons a priceless lead.

It was a lead that Zola's men clung on to until the 78th minute - although the signs had been ominous for several minutes prior to the goal as West Ham began to retreat deeper and deeper. Young midfielder Aaron Ramsey, found by a low cross from Alex Song squeezed his way into the penalty box and fired across Rob Green's body to level the scores.

Shellshocked by the goal, the Irons then found themselves behind just four minutes later. Croatian striker Eduardo beat Matthew Upson to a deep cross and sent his pinpoint header across Green into the top corner. As disappointing as the goal was from an Irons perspective, it was a strike worthy of winning any game - although Upson will no doubt be disappointed at being beaten by the shorter striker.

So with our interest in the FA Cup over for a nother year, attention now turns to the rather more important Premier League clash against Wolves next weekend, when Zola is hoping to be able to reintroduce at least one or two of his numerous injured players.

Should his side play with the same spirit that we saw today, that one should have a far more favourable outcome that today's match. And who knows, maybe we'll have a new owner/s to celebrate before then.



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Player Ratings

Robert Green
Comments to follow.


Julien Faubert
Comments to follow.


Fabio Daprela
Comments to follow.


James Tomkins
Comments to follow.


Matthew Upson
Comments to follow.


Radoslav Kovac
Comments to follow.


Valon Behrami
Comments to follow.


Luis Jimenez
Comments to follow.


Junior Stanislas
Comments to follow.


Alessandro Diamanti
Comments to follow.


Frank Nouble
Comments to follow.


Substitutes


Fred Sears
(Replaced Nouble, 79 minutes) Comments to follow.


Anthony Edgar
(Replaced Stanislas, 87 minutes) Comments to follow.


Marek Stech
Did not play.


Bondz N Gala
Did not play.


Manuel Da Costa
Did not play.


Josh Payne
Did not play.


Oliver Lee
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Mark Clattenburg.

Attendance: 25,549.

Man of the Match: tbc.

West Ham United

Robert Green, Julien Faubert, Fabio Daprela, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson, Radoslav Kovac, Valon Behrami, Luis Jimenez, Junior Stanislas, Alessandro Diamanti, Frank Nouble.

Goals: Alessandro Diamanti 45                  .

Booked: Fabio Daprela           .

Sent off: None.

Arsenal

Fabianski, Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre, Ramsey, Song, Merida, Wilshere, Eduardo, Vela.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: Mannone, Gilbert, Traore, Eastmond, Emmanuel-Thomas.

Goals: .

Booked: .

Sent Off: None.

 

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Staff Writer's Man of the Match: tbc


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