A buoyant West Ham, dinted Arsenals hopes of a top four place with a well-deserved 1-0 win at London Stadium in todays early kick off. The only goal of the game coming from teenage sensation Declan Rice who’s second half strike was his first for the club.
Speaking after he game Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini was full of praise for his young star with his first senior goal coming just weeks after signing a new long term contract with the club. The Ireland international collecting a well-timed pass from ex gunner and debutant Samir Nasri before smashing his first time shot past Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.
Talking to Sky sports Pellegrini said;
“He has showed good technique and is good in aerial duels, I think we are seeing the complete player. At 19 years old, I am sure we will see a top, top player.”
The youngster has recently been in the headlines due his international status and the current tug of war between the Republic of Ireland who he has represented three times, all friendlies and England who he could still declare allegiance to.
Despite only having the single goal the game was highly competitive through out with both sides having opportunities to score although West Ham where full value for their victory.
In a game that also saw Arsenal scoreless for the first time this season, Alexandre Lacazette had their best opportunity, with only the brilliance of Lukasz Fabianski denying the visitors.
For the hosts, Chinese super club target Marko Arnautovic, Nasi and Felipe Anderson all had first half chances to open the scoring in the first half, before both defences got on top towards the latter part of the game.
The result means West Ham now sit eighth in the Premier League table, with six wins from their last nine games, while Arsenal stay in fifth, but with Chelsea in fourth and playing Newcastle Saturday evening they could potentially open up a seven point game.
While Manchester United now have a chance to draw level if not leapfrog the Gunners into fifth place if they take the three points and defeat Tottenham Hotspurs by more than three goals this evening (Sunday)