Arsenal 0-2 West Ham: More VAR woe for Gunners as Moyes finally ends nightmare run

Arsenal’s title challenge was dealt a blow on Thursday evening as West Ham United came away from Emirates Stadium with a 2-0 victory after yet another VAR controversy. 

Following Liverpool’s win over Burnley on Boxing Day, the Gunners now sit second in the Premier League table, two points adrift of the Reds, after their imperious seven-win streak at home came to an abrupt end. 

The result also halted David Moyes’ nightmarish run on the road at Arsenal. Having first managed against the north London giants in 1999, Moyes was without a single victory across all competitions, including six straight losses with the Hammers. 

Tomas Soucek gave West Ham the lead within 13 minutes. Emerson swung in a cross from the left before a mixup between Gabriel and Oleksandr Zinchenko — who endured a torrid afternoon at Anfield last time out — saw the ball fall to Jarod Bowen. 

The England international squared it into the path of Soucek, who made no mistake, but a lengthy VAR review followed. Bowen looked to have met the ball when it was out of play, but the winger’s thigh blocked the view of the ball from the one available camera at the key moment. 

MORE: Premier League top scorers 2023/24

It meant there was no conclusive evidence to rule the goal out. For Arsenal, that brought back memories of a defeat at Newcastle United earlier in the season, when similarly a goal stood amid huge cries of the ball going out of play in the buildup. 

Gabriel Martinelli fired wide and Bukayo Saka smacked the post from a tight angle at close range after a lovely through ball from Martin Odegaard, but Arsenal couldn’t quite find a way through before half-time. 

Declan Rice was making his first league appearance against his former club, but the goalscoring hero doing a ‘non-celebration’ ended up as the unlikely Dinos Mavropanos shortly after the interval. The Gunners were haunted by their ex-defender, who rose well against Gabriel to meet a corner and head the Irons 2-0 up.

Arsenal controlled proceedings afterwards, coming closest to a route back in through Gabriel Jesus’ point-blank header which sailed over. Half-chance after half-chance was created, but the visitors held firm. 

To pile on the misery for Rice against the club he led to Europa Conference League glory in May, the £105 million central midfielder conceded a penalty deep into stoppage time. Said Benrahma was unable to add to West Ham’s lead, though, as David Raya saved to his left. 

Mikel Arteta’s troops travel across the capital for another derby on New Year’s Eve, as they take on Fulham next. West Ham, up into sixth spot after a run of three victories, are now done with 2023, taking on Brighton & Hove Albion at home on Tuesday. 

Thursday’s Premier League results

  Score Goalscorers
Brighton vs. Spurs

4-2

Hinshelwood (11), Pedro (23 P, 75 P), Estupinan (63); Veliz (81), Davies (85)

Arsenal vs. West Ham

0-2

Soucek (13), Mavropanos (56)

Arsenal vs West Ham live stream, TV channel

USA: Arsenal vs. West Ham from the Emirates Stadium will be televised in the United States exclusively on NBC’s premium streaming service Peacock.

UK: Thursday’s match will be shown in the UK exclusively on Amazon Prime.

Canada: Premier League matches can be seen in Canada all season long on Fubo, the nation’s leading streaming service for world-class soccer.

Australia: Australia’s sole broadcaster for the Premier League is Optus Sport, who recently signed a new deal to telecast the product Down Under for the next six seasons until 2028.

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