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Barclays Premier League

Emirates Stadium (ATT 60,109) 31st January 2009 - Kick off 15:00 Ref: S Bennett

Arsenal Arsenal vs West Ham United West Ham


Live Commentary

Last Updated at 7:37 pm, January 31st 2009

  1. 90 + 4

    ALL OVER!!! The game ends with the score 0-0. The quantity of questions surrounding Arsenal's place in next season's UEFA Champions League increases as Arsene Wenger's side are held to a goalless draw with West Ham at Emirates Stadium. Stay with us for all the post-match reaction.

  2. 90 + 3

    That is probably that as Green is fouled at another corner. Adebayor appears to be struggling with a hamstring injury.

  3. 90 + 2

    It looks like Arsenal have run out of ideas and this one is going to end in stalemate. Do the Gunners need Arshavin?

  4. 90 + 1

    Van Perise has a free-kick and can cross, but Green punches away and the ball goes out for a throw-in.

  5. 90

    ADDED TIME: There will be four minutes added time.

  6. 88

    A break in play as the stretcher comes on for Diaby. The midfielder is down with a hamstring problem and is going to be replaced by Alexandre Song.

  7. 87

    West Ham win a corner and are loading men forward. Brave, but Arsenal defend for a goal-kick.

  8. 85

    Guess what? Another Arsenal corner. This time Green claims with ease and boots up field.

  9. 84

    West Ham's midfield has been brilliant this afternoon and looks set to record a point which is well deserved on work-rate as Neill is booked for hacking down Vela.

  10. 82

    Referee Bennett spots some pushing on Green and blows for a foul, allowing Boa Morte to come on for David Di Michele.

  11. 81

    Luis Boa Morte is getting ready to come on against his old club as Arsenal rack up another corner.

  12. 80

    West Ham clear again and Zola's team look like they maybe fancy this as players swarm forward, but William Gallas tackles Cole.

  13. 80

    Have Arsenal run out of steam or is Van Persie going to stage another late rescue act? But the Gunners have won a corner.

  14. 77

    West Ham have a half-chance as Cole is offered time and space on the edge of the box following a rash clearance from Almunia, but the striker curls straight at the Arsenal goalkeeper. Sloppy.

  15. 75

    Vela goes in the book for diving. The Arsenal player did well to wriggle into the West Ham box but went down theatrically in the 18-yard area under pressure from Parker. Referee Bennett was correct to brandish his card.

  16. 74

    West Ham are dropping deeper and deeper and it could be a long final 16 minutes for the Hammers if they continue in this fashion.

  17. 73

    Great chance! Nasri, who has been Arsenal's best player, crosses and Adebayor catches Upson flat-footed to head at goal. Unfortunately for the striker he cannot generate the neccesary direction and Green saves.

  18. 71

    Mark Noble, who has been quiet, heads off as Germany youth international and West Ham record signing Savio comes on. It looks like the teenager is going to play in the centre of midfield.

  19. 70

    West Ham are also lining up a change and Savio is preparing to come on. I am looking forward to seeing the youngster.

  20. 69

    Van Persie comes on as Bendtner, who has had a poor afternoon, makes his way off.

  21. 68

    Deep breaths Arsenal fans, calm down, Van Persie is getting ready to come on...

  22. 67

    It is all getting a bit panicky at the back for West Ham as the composure of the first half appears to disappear following increased pressure from Arsenal. But the Hammers do deserve something out of this game.

  23. 64

    In fact, the Gunners do better than clear as they break forward and Adebayor misses a glaring chance at the front post as he side-foots wide from a Diaby cross. Poor miss and one Arsenal could regret.

  24. 63

    On a rare attack, Cole does well to cut in from the right and sets up Collison, but Arsenal manager to clear.

  25. 60

    Another Arsenal corner and they take the corner short to Denilson, who thumps the ball out of play. Dreadful. However, it is all hands to the pump for West Ham as Arsenal appear to have found their second wind.

  26. 57

    Maybe West Ham have survived the storm at the moment. But I'm not sure this game will remain goalless. Parker, Jack Collison and Valon Behrami have been superb and they will do will to maintain their pace.

  27. 56

    It is attack versus defence at the moment. West Ham have only Cole left up field and the powerful striker is struggling to hold the ball up.

  28. 55

    Collins goes in the book for kicking the ball away. Very harsh when the West Ham defender could argue he was putting out for a throw-in.

  29. 52

    The emails are piling in as Arsenal fans call for Van Persie. It must surely not be long until the Dutchman comes on. However, Sam Morgan, I doubt the pros and cons of bringing on the forward will feature in your exam on Monday!

  30. 50

    West Ham are still defending excellently, but Arsenal have stepped up a gear.

  31. 49

    Neill clatters Vela and Nasri has chance to deliver. After a bit of a scramble, Toure fires at goal and Collins clears off the line. West Ham look a little stretched and Arsenal have improved since the interval.

  32. 48

    Arsenal are immediately on the front foot as they win a corner, but Collins and former Gunners Upson combine to clear. The West Ham duo have been superb today. No John Murphy, I am not a Gooner. Robert Green has had nothing to do, all the play has been in front of the goalkeeper.

  33. 47

    WE'RE BACK!!! West Ham get the second half going. There have been no changes.

  34. HALF-TIME!!! The first half comes to a close with the sides level. Arsenal have failed to deliver, while West Ham appear - understandably - happy with a point. What do the sides need to do at the break? Will there be any changes? Let me have your thoughts at

  35. 45 + 1

    But almost not for West Ham as they win a corner and Collins' header drifts towards goal. Gael Clichy clears from his position on the post and Neill almost pounces on the clearance. The original header was probably going wide.

  36. 45

    ADDED TIME: There will be two minutes added time. One hundred and twenty seconds too many in my book.

  37. 43

    Two minutes to half-time and I am wondering what picture of 'action' I can expertly crop to update my commentary. Arsenal have been very easy on the eye, but final ball has been sadly lacking - the story of their season - while West Ham have been more than happy to soak up the pressure and have done so excellently.

  38. 40

    The Arsenal faithful want a free-kick as Nasri is bundled to the ground by Parker, but Bennett is not interested. That sums up a scrappy half.

  39. 38

    West Ham clear. Apart from the opening five minutes, the visitors have been very comfortable. There is a clear tactic from Gianfranco Zola's side of doubling up on Adebayor whenever the Togo striker is in control of the ball.

  40. 37

    Vela has moved to the left of midfield, Bendtner has gone to the right and Nasri is playing off Adebayor as Arsenal win another corner.

  41. 35

    Vela immediately breaks into the West Ham box to turn away from Neill, but Parker is there to block. Neill has not been at the races, while Parker has been excellent so far.

  42. 33

    It is lucky I did not consider a career in physiotherapy! After announcing that Arsenal's Eboue 'should be okay', the midfielder is limping off to be replaced by Carlos Vela.

  43. 31

    Almunia puts hair issue on hold as West Ham win a corner. However, Arsenal and Nasri clear with ease. That was a waste as the Hammers had all their big boys up from the back.

  44. 30

    Eboue is down and receiving treatment after a strong, but clean, tackle from Parker. It looked a nasty one but he should be okay.

  45. 28

    Meanwhile, at the other end, it is difficult to let you know what Arsenal goalkeeper Almunia is up to as the shot-stopper has touched the ball once in my memory. At a guess, we will say preening that immaculately bleached hair.

  46. 27

    The decision to leave RVP on the bench is beginning to look a mistake. Arsenal's only hope of a goal appears to be from optimistic crosses into the box.

  47. 25

    Arsenal's final ball is starting to become a little rushed and scrappy as Sagna hooks behind when under no pressure.

  48. 23

    There is a little bit of frustration starting to develop among the Arsenal supporters. But not in Hawaii from where the ever-green Anne Burnett has dropped me a line. It has been a while since I have covered an Arsenal match, but it would feel strange if Anne had not been in touch when her Gunners were playing!

  49. 21

    West Ham are starting to make their way forward and disaster strikes for my Fantasy XI as Diaby goes in the book for chopping down Herita Ilunga. The Arsenal midfielder is now suspended for the forthcoming North London derby with Tottenham.

  50. 19

    Nasri again delivers, but Bendtner gets his jump all wrong and instead gets Collins' head in the side of his cheek while heading wide. A poor effort.

  51. 18

    Upson saves West Ham this time as he blocks Bendtner's header at goal. Nasri is giving Hammers captain Lucas Neill a torrid afternoon wide on the Arsenal left. The Arsenal man is far too quick for his opponent.

  52. 16

    West Ham are inviting trouble as they give away another free-kick in wide areas. However, Denilson's delivery is dreadful and the ball drifts out of play.

  53. 15

    The Gunners win a free-kick 25 yards from goal and Kolo Toure is lining up a pile driver. However, the set up allows Scott Parker to rush from the West Ham wall and block.

  54. 13

    Arsenal move straight to the other end and win another corner. Samir Nasri's deliveries have been causing plenty of problems. However, Collins - who has been excellent in recent weeks - is in the right place to head clear.

  55. 12

    If in doubt, hoof it out, and that almost pays dividends for West Ham as a long ball out of defence almost finds in-form Carlton Cole, who breaks the offside trap, but Manuel Almunia is quickly off his line to gather before the Hammers striker.

  56. 10

    Bacary Sagna does brilliantly down the right and swings in an excellent cross, which is flicked away from the head of Adebayor by Collins

  57. 8

    Unsurprisingly, Arsenal are dominating possession in the early stages. But do not be surprised to see West Ham hang in there for the first 20-30 minutes before starting to have a go themselves.

  58. 6

    Mourinho is almost out of his seat as Eboue ghosts past a couple of West Ham defenders and has a pop. Calm down Jose, the ball is closer to the corner flag than the goal.

  59. 5

    That was almost a brilliant start for Wenger's men, and for me Diaby is in my flagging Fantasy Football side! The home side have started very well and are looking to get an early lead against a side which has set up to press on the counter-attack.

  60. 4

    Abou Diaby heads the resulting kick against the crossbar via a deflection off James Collins. West Ham clear the second corner.

  61. 3

    The Gunners win a corner as Matthew Upson beats Adebayor to a Gael Clichy cross.

  62. 2

    Arsenal, though, are back in possession and are stroking the ball around nicely. Not much noise or atmosphere at the Emirates.

  63. 1

    West Ham have already pinched the ball and are looking to attack from the off. Arsenal's defence is a little dodgy so I would not rule out an away goal today.

  64. KICK-OFF!!! Arsenal get the game going.

  65. The teams are emerging from the tunnel. The pressure is on the Gunners as they chase the UEFA Champions League places. I'm looking forward to this and let's hope for a great game. Andrei Arshavin references will be kept to an absolute minimum.

  66. Kick-off is fast approaching and the Emirates Stadium sprinklers are seeing plenty of action. The Gunners are obviously hoping for as much help as possible for their passing.

  67. Garfield McLeary, excellent name, is a bit concerned about the form of Adebayor and is eager to see the striker return to his best, while many people are shocked by Arsene Wenger's decision to select Nicklas Bendtner over Robin Van Persie.

  68. The Bookies have Arsenal at 8/15, a draw at 11/4 and West Ham at 6/1. Mark, the self-titled 'King of the Bling' in Southend on Sea, might fancy a bit of that after stating that the Hammers are on for a 2-1 win. Emmanuel Adebayor is at 5/1 to score a brace, which catches my eye.

  69. Harry Ingleby is first off the mark on the email, no prize other than my heartfelt respect I'm afraid, to say that he expects a 2-0 win for the Gunners. Time will tell. Harry is also in shock about the news of Julien Faubert's loan move to Real Madrid. I know what you mean Harry, but I suppose that once the Spanish giants - reportedly - missed out on a player of Jermaine Pennant's quality, the only way was down (sarcasm can sometimes be lost in electronic communication).

  70. What do you make of the team selections? Who will be the star of the show this afternoon? I'm hopeful West Ham's new signing Savio makes it off the bench. What will the result be today? You can drop me a line with all opinions, rants and jokes at and I will publish a selection of the best. Any good transfer gossip would also be welcome. What was the most ridiculous rumour you have heard attached to either of these clubs during the winter window? Emmanuel Eboue's claim that Inter Milan wanted his services was a personal favourite. I know Jose Mourinho enjoys a joke every now and again, but seriously...

  71. Referee: Steve Bennett

  72. West Ham team: Green, Neill, Collins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami, Parker, Noble, Collison, Cole, Di Michele. Subs: Lastuvka, Lopez, Savio, Boa Morte, Spector, Tristan, Sears.

  73. Arsenal team: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Eboue, Diaby, Denilson, Nasri, Adebayor, Bendtner. Subs: Fabianski, Van Persie, Vela, Ramsey, Song Billong, Djourou, Gibbs.

  74. The team news is in!!!

  75. This promises to be a cracking encounter. Both sides are on a decent run of form and will be going for the three points. We will bring you all the team news as soon as the word is out.

  76. Welcome to our live commentary of West Ham's London derby clash with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.



Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 32 76
2 Arsenal 32 66
3 Manchester United 33 65
4 Manchester City 33 64
5 Liverpool 32 57
6 Tottenham Hotspur 33 57
7 Southampton 33 56
8 Swansea City 33 47
9 Stoke City 33 46
10 West Ham United 33 43
11 Crystal Palace 33 42
12 Everton 33 41
13 West Bromwich Albion 33 36
14 Newcastle United 33 35
15 Aston Villa 33 32
16 Sunderland 32 29
17 Hull City 32 28
18 Leicester City 32 28
19 Queens Park Rangers 33 26
20 Burnley 33 26