Arsenal FC lost at home, to the hard working Hammers on the opening day of the Premier League season. Kouyate and Zarate got on the score sheet as Petr Cech endured an afternoon to forget.
33-year-old Petr Cech endured a torrid start to life in Premier League in the colors of Arsenal FC. The Czech international was beaten to a free-kick by Cheikhou Kouyate. The Senegalese attacker headed home Payet’s free-kick, after some shambolic defending by the Gunners. Cech was then caught wrong footed when Mauro Zarate hit a rather tame shot from just outside the box, which the former Chelsea FC goalkeeper failed to clear. In defence of the Czech international, he was probably left blind-sided by Koscielny for the second goal.
West Ham claimed their first victory over the Gunners in 8-years and it took them 16 attempts to do it. Arsenal FC failed to live up to their billing of title contenders. A star studded attack faltered to deceive, with Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain probably the only bright spot for the Gunners. West Ham won the bragging rights as they were victorious in the first London derby of the season.
Hammers’ A?11 million French import Dimitri Payet was sensational as he claimed the assist for the first goal and continuously troubled the Arsenal FC defence with his pace and direct running. 16-year-old debutant Reece Oxford – who became the second youngest player to start a Premier League game – was impressive as he kept flamboyant midfielder Mesut Ozil in check. Slaven Bilic had been criticized for fielding a weaker side in the mid-week Europa League defeat to Astra, but his plan to rest key first-team players paid huge dividends.
We were punished for our defending – Arsene Wenger
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Arsene Wenger was critical of his side’s inept defensive display and was quick to point out that none of the Arsenal FC players put on a performance worth mentioning.
The 65-year-old was quoted by the club’s official website . , he said:
“I think our performance was not convincing. On the two aspects of our game, going forward and defending. Overall we were punished. On top of that, I feel we gave two very cheap goals away and they were at the wrong moments – just before and after half-time with two minutes to go, and just after half-time. We gave ourselves a mountain to climb. West Ham looked a bit sharper than us, more advanced in preparation than us. In the end we wanted, but it was not convincing, not agile, not quick. Our passing was too slow and in the end we were punished.”
He refrained from blaming Petr Cech to be solely at fault and insisted that the defence failed as a unit:
“I havena t spoken to him yet. I cana t see many individual convincing performances today so ita s difficult to single someone out.
“Not only him. We have enough experience at the back. If you look at our back line, I think the youngest age is 30.”
The Frenchman also felt the timing of the second goal was critical as he was just about to introduce Theo Walcott.
“Our passing was not incisive enough. I brought Walcott on with 35 minutes to go and I had no time to bring him on. We conceded the second goal [before]. After that they defended deep and gained time – the usual thing you face when you play at home and are losing. I believe that we are maybe guilty at 0-0 of giving them a goal as soft as that.”
To come here and take 3 points with a clean sheet.. it’s special – Slaven Bilic
Hammers manager Slaven Bilic heaped praise on his players while insisting that he always believed that the team are capable of doing something special. The Croat hailed his team’s effort as special and was upbeat that they managed to keep a clean sheet against one of the biggest teams.
a BBC Sport (@BBCSport) August 9, 2015
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Bilic was quoted as saying by the club’s official Twitter handle:
“I know we had that in us. It was a great team and a great shape today.
“It is a great win for us, a great start for us and ita s great for the Club and for the fans especially because ita s Arsenal.
“Ita s one of the biggest teams and one of the contenders and ita s the first day and we did it in their stadium”
“Everyone was raving about them, so to come here & take 3 points with a clean sheet…it’s special”
“I dona t know how long it is, five years, ten years, but ita s an absolutely amazing result.”
“At half-time I said some good things but I said a OK, we are winning guys, but if we are going to be like that we have to improvea .”
“The team performance in the second half was magnificent, from the goalkeeper to Modibo who came on for the last few minutes.”