West Ham United 1 Arsenal 0
Monday, 6th November 2006
by East Stand Martin
It’s barely Guy Fawkes Night and already there are people walking around wearing Xmas paraphernalia. You could have knocked me down with a feather when five or so Ironettes turned up near me wearing ‘Rudolph’ style antlers with West Ham club crests on them.
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Player RatingsRobert Green
Rock solid again and made the right decisions. Another excellent performance which should guarantee his first team place for the forseeable future.
Another very promising display from the young American. Defensively he was sound, and despite Arsenal's protestations the tackle on Hleb was a sound and perfectly legal one. I criticised him last week for his poor crossing; today there were no such complaints.
Possibly his best game of the season so far. Was helped by Etherington's increased work rate on the left flank.
Didn't put a foot wrong before hurting his ankle deflecting an Arsenal shot, and gamely fought on for several minutes before coming off. One hopes the injury won't be too serious.
Bar one moment where he switched off almost allowing Arsenal to score the Welsh centre-half was back to his very best. He made several crucial tackles when Arsenal threatened to push on and open the scoring.
Hayden played a big role in last weekend's win over Blackburn, and his performance today was just as effective. He sat in front of the back four today picking up anything that came his way. Had one great chance to score but he dragged his shot wide of the left-hand post.
The more cynical of supporters will claim that Reo-Coker put on a show for the man tipped to be his new boss. Whatever the reason, this was Reo-Coker back to his committed, ferocious self.
Almost opened his account for the season when he latched on to a good cross from Jon Spector. Other than that he had a busy game, working hard despite not a greal deal coming off for him.
We've been waiting for a performance from Etherington since the Cup Final back in May - and he certainly didn't disappoint today. His work rate was much improved - as his general fitness levels appeared to be. Unlike last week his crosses were precise and dangerous; it was no surprise that the goal arrived via his left peg.
Brought in as the fifth man in midfield, Bowyer did a fine job keeping tabs on Arsenal's central midfield. Seemed a little 'blowy' at times but that was no doubt due to his recent injury and spell on the sidelines.
Bobby worked hard ploughing a lone furrow up front, although rarely threatened to open up the Arsenal defence.
(Replaced Ferdinand, 43) Last season West Ham beat Arsenal with a left-back playing out of position (Clive Clarke at right-back, for the stattos out there); today they did so again, after left-back McCartney replaced Anton Ferdinand at centre-half. For only his third game, it was a very assured performance.
(Replaced Bowyer, 62) Once or twice in the past Harewood would have gone into hiding after missing a glaring opportunity such as the one which presented itself to him just minutes after coming on, which he duly blasted straight at Jens Lehman. He didn't today, and was rewarded for his endeavour by hitting the winning goal.
(Replaced Zamora, 62) A super cameo from the oldest player in the league. The little touches and glanced passes were first class, and his vision was excellent - summed up by the one two with Etherington that led to the winning goal.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Robert Green, Jonathan Spector, Paul Konchesky, Anton Ferdinand, Danny Gabbidon, Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun, Matthew Etherington, Lee Bowyer, Bobby Zamora.
Goals: Marlon Harewood 89 .
Booked: Jonathan Spector 19 Yossi Benayoun 83 Marlon Harewood 90 .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Arsenal: Lehmann, Hoyte, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Gilberto, Fabregas, Hleb, Rosicky, Van Persie, Henry..
Subs not used: Almunia, Senderos..
Booked: Clichy (30), Van Persie (42)..
Sent off: None.
Man of the Match: Jonathan Spector.