West Ham United 1 Arsenal 5
Saturday, 3rd December 2016
by Staff Writer
Slaven Bilic pulled no punches when asked to assess his team's abject performance in today's London derby against Arsenal.It was "a humiliation", replied a particularly cross-looking manager, as he faced a barrage of questions about his team's ability to stave off the looming spectre of relegation after the Hammers were thrashed 5-1 in front of their own fans.
Three conceded at Tottenham, four at Manchester United and now five at home to Arsenal; if Bilic was hoping to assure supporters that he possesses the necessary acumen to avert a crisis, there are probably better ways to go about it.
Yet Bilic can only advise once the match begins when the onus falls upon his players to perform - which, once again, they failed to as they were overrun by a much more cohesive and far fitter team.
Mesuit Ozil opened the scoring after 24 minutes when he had a tap-in to give Arsenal a deserved lead. However they had to wait until the 72nd minute before doubling their lead and effectively securing all three points when the in-form Alexis Sanchez grabbed his first of the afternoon.
With the Olympic Stadium already beginning to empty Sanchez added a third for the visitors with ten minutes left to play, before the returning Andy Carroll grabbed a morale-boosting first goal of the campaign (that he perhaps celebrated a little too enthusiastically given the situation) by way of consolation for the hapless Hammers.
However there was still time for the Gunners to grab a couple more through Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sanchez, completing his hat-trick with four minutes of normal time remaining - meaning Arsenal's final four goals had arrived in the space of just 14 minutes.
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Player RatingsDarren Randolph
Rarely called into action but more than capable when asked to do so. A nice easy start to the season for one of the RoI's Euro 16 heroes.
Looked accomplished at full back tonight, as he had very little defending to do. Sterner tests will follow for Antonio, as will the inevitable qeustions regarding his suitability for the role.
Sam endured a torried time in the first leg so it was pleasing to see him put in a solid performance tonight in an unfamiliar position.
Calm, assured and willing to put the boot in when required - just what you want from a centre half.
Another youngster to shine on the big night. The Ox was an able partner to the more experienced Reid but also capable of turning defence into attack with some delightful flighted dellveries.
Another player making his debut, the Norwegian had a fairly quiet first half but came alive in the second. He also showed some lovely footwork as the game reached its closing stages; another impressive start.
A classy performance from a very important player. Payet and Noble drew the plaudits last season but it was Kouyate that kept the midfield ticking over. Tonight he takes the acclaim for two goals that steered West Ham into the next round of the competition.
Solid and combative as per usual, his most notable contribution was the superb delivery for Feghouli's goal. Should be a shoo-in for Allarduce's next squad, at this rate.
The big man put himself about well and played an important role in both of Kouyate's goals. He still seems a little of the pace, thought that's not unusual at this stage of the season.
An impressive start for the winger, who may well have taken the Man of the Match award were it not for Kouyate's two-goal haul. He ran at Domzale's defence all night and was finally rewarded with a goal that sealed the win.
Whilst you can certainly question the ability, there can be no doubt that Valencia gave 100 per cent for West Ham tonight - the sort of attitude his former striker partner would do well to take note of.
Long linked with a move away from the club but given a positive reception upon his introduction by the crowd. Another who seems determined to work through his difficulties.
A nice little two-minute caneo to introduce him to the West Ham family.
See above, just for half the time...
Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Match FactsWest Ham United: Darren Randolph, Michail Antonio, Sam Byram, Winston Reid, Reece Oxford, Havard Nordtveit, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, Sofiane Feghouli, Enner Valencia.
Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 8 Cheikhou Kouyate 22 Sofiane Feghouli 81 .
Booked: Michail Antonio Sofiane Feghouli Enner Valencia .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Subs not used: .
Sent off: None.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
Man of the Match: Darren Randolph.