Arsenal 4 West Ham United 1
Monreal 51, Ramsey 82 Lacazette 85, 89 Arnautovic 64

It was perhaps the best response following the dramatic announcement that Arsene Wenger would leave Arsenal after 22 years at the helm. The farewell will last three home games, the first of which got off to a great start with Sunday’s 4-1 thrashing of West Ham United. 0-0 at the break, goals from Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey and a double from Alexandre Lacazette ensured the Gunners kept their good home form going, despite being pegged back at 1-1 when Marko Arnautovic levelled after Monreal had given Arsenal the lead. Playing their pass and move, Arsenal looked stylish n the sunshine, although their defensive frailties continue to worry.

With Atletico Madrid due to arrive at the Emirates stadium on Thursday in the two sides Europa League semi-final first leg, Wenger had spoken of having to get preparation in ahead of that game and accordingly selected a side which saw cup tied Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang start on the bench. Mohamed Elneny suffered an unfortunate leg injury deep in the first half and had to be stretchered off with his leg in a splint. Ainsley Maitland Niles replaced the Egyptian.

The early affair was perhaps the most tame you could expect given the external circumstances and the cauldron like pitch side conditions didn’t help the flow of the game. Joe Hart hardly had a shot to save, and when he did have the ball, the Hammers’ keeper seemed to take an age to release it, and much to the annoyance of the Emirates’ faithful. One minute in, and chants of “There’s only one Arsene Wenger,” rang out. The Emirates was fullish but still there were empty seats in the bright North London sunshine.

David Ospina was the busier of the two keepers and kept his side in the game when the Hammers broke. Joe Hart was hardly in the game and when he did have possession, he seemed to take an age to release the ball. 0-0 at the break, and six minutes into the second half, Monreal struck the games’ opener. Xhaka swung over a corner which the Spain defender caught on the volley to plant the ball past Hart.

Arnautovic levelled following David Ospina’s decision to punch clear. The ball was worked out to Arnautovic who finished into the corner to make it 1-1. The visitors were encouraged but the Gunners’ defence did well to hold out. At the other end, Welbeck and Lacazette tested Hart who pulled off some fine saves to keep the score level at that stage. Then followed a devastating seven minute spell in which the Gunners took total control which would see off the Hammers.

Ramsey chased down possession and crossed from the left. Declan Rice and Hart seemed to lose concentration and as they left it to the other, Ramsey’s cross flew in past Hart to make it 2-1. The crowd responded and even an “Arsene, Arsene give us a wave,” was responded to by the Gunners boss.

Playing without fear, the Gunners soon added a third goal. Welbeck fed substitute Aubameyang who rather than shoot put the ball on a plate for Lacazette to finish and beat Hart at his near post via a slight defensive deflection and a 3-1 scoreline after 85 minutes. Four minutes later and Lacazette was at it again. Aubameyang found Ramsey who this time picked out Lacazette to shift his feet to beat Hart for Arsenal’s fourth goal.

Applause and a few banners of thanks for Wenger who had witnessed the very best of what his team’s have always had to offer. Now to repeat the dose against Atletico on Thursday.