Arsenal 1 v West Ham United 0

Alex Song grabbed his fourth goal of the season to give Arsenal all the points in this tough London derby against West Ham at the Emirates. The struggling Hammers had threatened to steal a point from north London with their composed game that combined deep defence with rapid attack – oh and the odd touch of the rough stuff from Scott Parker in particular.


How the former Chelsea man was not cautioned all afternoon, only referee Mike Jones will know. However that was to matter little in the end as with two minutes remaining Song’s second consecutive Premiership goal gave Arsenal the win their attacking football deserved.


The fact that the rampant of late Gunners attack was held at bay was due to some excellent goalkeeping from Robert Green. Arsenal fans had hoped that the Green of Rustenburg World Cup infamy would turn up, but this Green was the man at the top of his game. When the Arsenal attack did final get the better of Green, the crossbar from a Samir Nasri free-kick and the upright from substitute’s Theo Walcott’s shot was to deny the Gunners, until Song struck.


Arsenal attacked from the off and only Danny Gabbidon’s last man tackle was to thwart a neat move involving Nasri and Song. A feature of the first half was the alarming way in which Denislon lost possession and also Andrey Arshvin. His form suggesting that here is a player who is worryingly out of form, but still Arsene Wenger persists with the Russian. Green pulled off the save of the game on 24 minutes after Cesc Fabregas let fly from Sagna’s cross after Song had started the move. Some early concerns for Lukasz Fabianski were dealt with, notably the Pole’s punching away of David Noble’s free-kick.


A minute before half time and Song saw Green again save and from Nasri’s corner moments later, as Sebastien Squillaci headed goal-ward, Green palmed over.


Eight minutes after the re-start, Nasri let fly with a fre-kick from all of 35 yards, that deserved a goal, but the ball fiercely struck the crossbar. Walcott came on for Denilson on 67 minutes and his injection of pace was to give Arsenal a new (and needed) dimension. Half chances fell to Chamakh and Song and when Fabregas fed Walcott, and as the England man raced clear of Herita Ilunga, he shot beat Green, but not the post.


On came Nicklas Bendtner for his first taste of first team action alongside Marouane Chamakh as Wenger went for the kill. Green then saved Walcott’s deflected shot seven minutes before the end, and two minutes after that, Arsenal got what was to prove to be the winner.

Clean sheet

Song fed the advanced Gael Clichy. Ther Arsenal left back beat substitute Julien Faubert, whipped in a cross that Song swooped low to the head past Green to give Arsenal a crucial three points and just as importantly another clean sheet.