Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal showed a spirited performance as they beat West Ham United 2-0 to move into the top four and replaced the Hammers.
Arsenal stripped Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang off the captaincy 24 hours before the game, and the decision will be one that Mikel Arteta would feel justified to have made as the forward was dropped from the squad for the game totally.
He was replaced in the starting 11 at the Emirates Stadium by French striker Alexandre Lacazette. He led the show of spirited performance all through the first half and was only denied by brilliant goalkeeping by former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski on different occasions to keep the scoreline at 0-0 at half-time.
The Polish goalkeeper saved a penalty in the second half but did not do enough to deny Gabriel Martinelli early in the second half as the Brazilian striker opened the scoring for the home side.
Arsenal continued to press, and the first the visitors into conceding a penalty as defender Vladimir Coufal was sent off for a second bookable offence, but Lacazette failed to convert the resulting penalty as Lucas Fabianski saved his kick.
English forward and second-half substitute Emile Smith Rowe scored the second goal with 1 minute left on the clock as Arsenal continued their winning run for the second game in a row since losing to Everton.
The Gunners are now in the fourth position with 28 points while ever West Ham United are in 5th with 27 points.
Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli revealed his delight after the game, stating that he would love to play frequently.
“It was a very good game. The win was so important for the team. We know the potential we have. It was a great victory. I am so happy. I want to play every time. We are a team. We are together. It’s up to Mikel [Arteta] and the whole team to decide who will be captain.” He said.