With Leicester still winning this was another important game that we had to win if we were to catch them at the top. However, it wasn’t going to be easy as West Ham have had a great season and are still fighting for a Champions League place as well as playing their last few games at Upton Park. They also beat us on the opening day of the season so we needed to get revenge!
Wenger picked the same side that beat Everton and Watford with Ramsey returning to the bench. Cech was also on the bench again which I disagreed with as he is our best keeper but maybe he wasn’t quite 100% fit and Ospina has played well in the last two games keeping two clean sheets. I also thought that Mertesacker could have started this game instead of Gabriel to deal with Carroll better as he is taller but apparently Wenger didn’t know Carroll was starting.
So the final game against West Ham at Upton Park kicked off and the home side should have taken the lead early on. Lanzini’s header was mistakenly ruled out for offside and we were lucky as a result.
We looked dangerous when attacking and took full advantage of the wrong decision soon after with Mesut Özil breaking the deadlock. It was a well timed pass from Iwobi showing his quality once again and Özil (who was just onside) made no mistake.
This goal gave us confidence and we doubled our lead 10 minutes before half time. It was another Iwobi assist as he set up Alexis Sanchez in a goal that was very similar to the first.
So 2-0 up and it seemed to be staying like this into half time until one man changed the game for them. Andy Carroll has been unfortunate with injuries recently but unfortunately for us he was definitely fully fit in this game.
It was a complete collapse defensively from us as he firstly brilliantly rose highest to get one back for them before equalising almost straight away with a well hit volley.
I was in complete shock and it was typical Arsenal that we let them back into it so easily and were bullied by a big striker. Credit to him and West Ham though as they didn’t give up and on his day he can be unstoppable.
The half time whistle was suddenly much needed for us and we needed to calm down and start again in the second half.
West Ham however continued to dominate as they were firstly (and this time rightfully) denied a goal when Carroll fouled Koscielny before he got his hatrick and put them ahead. It was another strong header and we just couldn’t deal with him. Should he go to the Euros? He definitely offers something different and would be a great impact sub if we need a late goal.
So we now found ourselves 3-2 down after being 2-0 up which was so frustrating and in a way summed up our season in that we started well and then collapsed.
We tried to get the equaliser and nearly got one when Monreal had a shot cleared off the line but this gave us some hope. Wenger also made some substitutions with Ramsey coming on for Coquelin and Giroud replacing Elneny which helped us put pressure on West Ham’s defence. It did mean though that we had no defensive midfielder but we had to go for it.
We got our reward for taking a risk in the end as a hopeful ball into the box was flicked by Giroud onto Özil who found Welbeck. He got lucky as he had a poor touch only to find captain Koscielny who finished like a striker to put the scores level again.
So 3-3 in what was a crazy and very intense game to watch. Both teams could have won but in the end it finished as a draw which wasn’t really what either team wanted. I was annoyed that we were 2-0 up but at least we managed to come back and not lose in what was a tough game.
The results after the weekend now mean that Leicester are 13 points ahead of us and Spurs are 6 points in front but we have a game in hand. I do think now though that Leicester have to win it and the best we can do is to finish above Spurs which is what we do every season! We just need to concentrate on winning our remaining games and see what happens. You never know in football.
Will there be any late twists? Where will we finish?