West Ham surrender three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Arsenal at London Stadium

Jesse Lingard celebrates scoring the opener

Alexandre Lacazette’s 82nd-minute header completed a remarkable Arsenal comeback as West Ham surrendered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 in a breathless encounter at the London Stadium.

The Hammers raced into what seemed an unassailable advantage after Jesse Lingard’s opener (15) was added to by Jarrod Bowen (17) and Tomas Soucek (32).

But Lacazette played his part in beginning the sensational response by the Gunners when his shot deflected in off Soucek (38), before another own goal from Craig Dawson further reduced the deficit (61). West Ham were crestfallen when Lacazette met Nicolas Pepe’s cross to secure a share of the spoils.

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This will feel like a defeat for David Moyes’ side having been in such a commanding position, but his team remain in fifth place on 49 points, two adrift of Chelsea in the final Champions League place. The result moves Arsenal into ninth ahead of Aston Villa’s game with Tottenham later on Super Sunday.

Player ratings

West Ham: Fabianski (6), Coufal (7), Dawson (6), Diop (6), Cresswell (6), Soucek (6), Rice (7), Bowen (7), Lingard (8), Benrahma (7), Antonio (6).

Subs: Noble (n/a), Fredericks (n/a).

Arsenal: Leno (6), Chambers (8), Luiz (7), Pablo Mari (6), Tierney (6), Partey (6), Xhaka (5), Saka (6), Odegaard (8), Aubameyang (5), Lacazette (8).

Subs: Pepe (7), Smith Rowe (6), Martinelli (n/a).

Man of the match: Calum Chambers.

How Arsenal fought back in thriller
West Ham had won just three of their previous 24 Premier League home games against Arsenal, but they started the day five places above their opponents in the table and dominated the opening half an hour.

Mikel Arteta had spoken of wanting his Arsenal side to return to the standards he has set for them after underperforming in Thursday’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Olympiakos, but they deservedly went behind after 15 minutes when Lingard rifled in Michail Antonio’s cutback.

Ninety-eight seconds later, Arsenal fell further behind in comical circumstances. Bukayo Saka fouled Antonio on the edge of the penalty area, but, as the Gunners turned their backs in preparation for the set-piece, the razor-sharp Lingard played a quick free-kick into the path of Bowen, who beat Bernd Leno at his near post.


       •  Match stats

Arteta felt obliged to change something as Saka and the ineffectual Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang switched flanks, but he witnessed his team concede for a third time as Soucek (32) pounced to direct Antonio’s header from Vladimir Coufal’s cross into the bottom corner, with replays showing the Czech was marginally onside.

It was the earliest from the start of a Premier League match that West Ham had scored three goals since May 2007 against Bolton.

West Ham United v Arsenal - Premier League - London StadiumWest Ham United's Jesse Lingard (right) and Arsenal's Thomas Partey battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday March 21, 2021.
Thomas Partey battles for possession with Lingard

But Arsenal were handed a lifeline just five minutes later as Calum Chambers was played down the right and his cross was controlled and fired emphatically past Lukasz Fabianski by Lacazette, via a significant deflection off Soucek.

Team news

West Ham welcomed back Jesse Lingard for the home game against Arsenal. The on-loan England winger was ineligible to face parent club Manchester United last time out. Lingard joined Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen and Said Benrahma in an attacking line-up.

Pablo Mari, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started for Arsenal as Cedric Soares, Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel dropped out.

Moyes’ side had scored with all three of their shots on target during the opening period but there were signs of the momentum shifting in Arsenal’s favour before the restart.

Within two minutes of the second half, the Gunners came within a whisker of a second as Lacazette took in Chambers’ cultured pass to lift his shot over Fabianski but Issa Diop managed to hook the ball off the line.

The Frenchman was growing in influence as he then turned provider moments later for Saka, who was released through on goal but Fabianski smothered his low shot.

Sky Sports‘ Jamie Carragher said on co-commentary: “The change in intensity is stark compared to what we saw in that first half. Arsenal looked like they were in bed in that first half. West Ham have got in that same bed in this second half.”

By the hour-mark, the deficit was reduced to one as Arsenal forced a second own goal. This one was far more clear-cut, as West Ham were this time picked off by a quick free-kick. Lacazette worked it inside to Martin Odegaard, who played in Chambers on the overlap and his low cross was crashed beyond Fabianski by the sliding Dawson for his second own goal in as many games.

West Ham came within inches of restoring their two-goal lead as Lingard’s pass was flicked on by Antonio into the path of Bowen, who only had Leno to beat but Kieran Tierney recovered to produce a crucial block.

West Ham weren't awarded a free-kick moments before Arsenal's second goal
West Ham weren’t awarded a free-kick moments before Arsenal’s second goal

The best form of defence was to attack for the hosts, and they missed a glaring chance to put the game to bed when Antonio struck the post with the goal at his mercy following brilliant work by Said Benrahma. His cross-shot fell to the stretching forward but he could only divert the ball onto the woodwork from close range.

By now, Arteta had hauled off Aubameyang despite needing a goal as Emile Smith Rowe and Pepe were summoned, and it was the latter who unlocked West Ham for a third time to complete the spirited fightback.

Odegaard was involved once more as he found Pepe down the right, and, on his weaker foot, his cross was headed home at the far post by Lacazette.