Premier League • England

Player Ratings: Unlikely hero helps Arsenal edge West Ham with strong performance at both ends

Eddie Nketiah, Nuno Tavares, Rob Holding, Bukayo Saka and Granit Xhaka

Arsenal returned to the top four with a 2-1 win over West Ham United, in which Rob Holding scored his first ever Premier League goal.

The game took a while to get going, but the deadlock was broken when Rob Holding headed in for Arsenal in the 38th minute. Jarrod Bowen then levelled things up with a direct strike – helped in off Gabriel Magalhaes – on the stroke of half-time.

Gabriel was the next to score at the right end, though, in the second half, putting Arsenal 2-1 up. This time, West Ham would not be able to respond.

It means Arsenal go back above Tottenham into fourth place, with each having four games to go in their pursuit of a Champions League place.

West Ham, meanwhile, are now mathematically out of the top-four race, but can still qualify for other European competition.

West Ham

Lukasz Fabianski: Made a good punch to prevent an inswinging corner causing danger within the first 20 minutes. Also pulled out a one-handed stop to deny Nketiah before the break. Breached perhaps too easily when Gabriel made it 2-1 to Arsenal. 7

Vladimir Coufal: Could have tried to be more effective covering space when defending the corner that led to Arsenal’s opener, despite having been fairly assertive before then. Got the assist for Bowen’s leveller. 6

Kurt Zouma: Defended well in the opening exchanges and beyond in the heart of the backline. Not really at fault for the goals his side conceded. 7

Aaron Cresswell: Slotting in as a centre-half, conceded a corner within the first minute but began to make a couple of blocks as Arsenal upped their pressure. 6

Ryan Fredericks: Shifting over to left-back, sometimes looked a little rusty but didn’t do too badly. 6

Declan Rice: Had the first shot on target of the match after half an hour, but it was comfortable for Ramsdale to save. Kept looking to carry the ball forwards. Smartly floated the ball to Coufal for the assist for Bowen’s goal and had a lot of time on the ball thereafter. 8

Mark Noble: Starting a Premier League game at the London Stadium for the first time this season, the club captain competed well in midfield until his withdrawal. 6

Manuel Lanzini: Completely outmuscled by Holding for Arsenal’s first goal. First player to be withdrawn. 5

Pablo Fornals: Tried to bring others into play on the edge of the final third. Took aim with a decent volley that was blocked in the last 20 minutes. 6

Said Benrahma: Had good intentions from the left flank with crossing and dribbling, but without turning that into a major impact. 6

Jarrod Bowen: Equalised for West Ham just before half-time with a smart control and finish in the box – with the help of a deflection off Gabriel. 7


Michail Antonio (on for Lanzini, 71 mins): N/A

Tomas Soucek (on for Noble, 77): N/A

Andriy Yarmolenko (on for Benrahma, 81): N/A

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Aaron Ramsdale: Impressed with a save from a Rice header to prevent West Ham responding instantly to the opener. May have had his heart in his mouth when diving in for a challenge on Bowen outside his area but the opponent was instead booked due to a lack of contact. 6

Takehiro Tomiyasu: Fairly steady at right-back and helped with the management of the game. Went off injured late on. 6

Rob Holding: Replacing the unavailable Benjamin White, wasn’t always useful on the ball, but made a good block to deny Benrahma just before the half-hour. Rose highest to head home for the opening goal – his first ever in the Premier League – and also made some defensive headers. 8

Gabriel Magalhaes: Sometimes misplaced clearances back into dangerous territories. Deflected Bowen’s shot into his own net for West Ham’s equaliser. Later put the ball in the right net with a header to restore the lead. 6

Nuno Tavares: Didn’t show enough desire to stop the cross before West Ham scored their goal. Sometimes had attacking intent but without finesse. 5

Mohamed Elneny: Occasionally broke up play from the base of midfield. 6

Granit Xhaka: Tried to unlock different openings with a range of forward passing, which wasn’t always accurate. Indeed, he was one of the main culprits in a game where both sides struggled to keep possession at times. 6

Martin Odegaard: Captaining the side, didn’t have a major impact but sometimes the play flowed through him. 6

Bukayo Saka: Demonstrated a direct approach with his skilful dribbling. Became the first player to be booked early in the second half. 7

Eddie Nketiah: Continuing his recent run of starts, often had to drop deep in a frustrating first half, but forced a decent save from Fabianski in the last 10 minutes of it. Began to grow in confidence on the ball but missed a decent chance in the last 20 minutes. 7

Gabriel Martinelli: After a peripheral first-half, created Arsenal’s second goal with a pinpoint inwards cross for fellow Gabriel, Magalhaes. 6


Cedric Soares (on for Tomiyasu, 78): N/A

Emile Smith Rowe (on for Saka, 87): N/A

Albert Sambi Lokonga (on for Odegaard, 92): N/A