West Ham United vs. Arsenal: Live Player Ratings for the Gunners

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterDecember 26, 2013

West Ham United host Arsenal on Thursday for a Boxing Day Premier League match at Upton Park. 

Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. GMT/10 a.m. ET.


Live ratings for Arsenal will appear in this space at half-time and full-time, so check back during the match for more. 

Arsenal Player Ratings vs. West Ham
Wojciech Szczesny6.55.5
Bacary Sagna78
Per Mertesacker77.5
Thomas Vermaelen77.5
Kieran Gibbs7.58
Mikel Arteta77.5
Aaron Ramsey7.56.5
Santi Cazorla6.59
Mesut Ozil7.58.5
Theo Walcott5.59
Olivier Giroud57
Lukas PodolskiN/A9
Mathieu FlaminiN/A7
Nicklas BendtnerN/A7


Half-time analysis

The teams were tied 0-0 at half-time.


Wojciech Szszesny: Dealt with Noble's early free kick well. Had a difficult moment in dealing with West Ham's clever free kick late in the half.

Bacary Sagna: Has his hands full with Jarvis on West Ham's left. Played a good cross that almost found Giroud for a headed chance. Made six clearances.

Per Mertesacker: Arsenal's center-backs were relatively comfortable in the first half. Mertesacker made seven clearances, most in the side.

Thomas VermaelenArsenal's center-backs were relatively comfortable in the first half. Vermaelen made four clearances.

Kieran Gibbs: Created plenty of danger on the left with dribbling and crossing. Made five clearances.

Mikel Arteta: Conceded a free kick in a dangerous area early in the match. Connected well with a good shot just before half-time. Completed 100 percent of his 32 passes.

Aaron Ramsey: Created a clear chance for Walcott with a smart chip over West Ham's defense. Seems to be back in form after a recent blip.

Theo Walcott: Should have done better with his volleyed chance midway through the half. Stretched the field at times with his pace.

Mesut Ozil: Combined well with Cazorla near the end of the half. Created multiple chances.

Santi Cazorla: Came close to scoring with a powerful header from the edge of the box. Combined well with Ozil near the end of the half.

Olivier Giroud: Dragged a shot wide late in the half when he should have hit the target. Looks like a striker low on confidence.


Full-time analysis

West Ham took a surprising lead early in the first half, but Arsenal turned it around with two goals in quick succession by Theo Walcott.

The key to the match was the introduction of Lukas Podolski, who returned from injury and made his first league appearance since Aug. 24. Podolski's introduction gave Arsenal more width—the side had wide attacking players on both sides following the chance—and changed the match's outcome.

Appropriately, Podolski scored the clinching goal in the 79th minute, making it 3-1.


Wojciech Szszesny: Should have held Noble's shot as West Ham countered in the first minute of the half. Carlton Cole followed up and scored easily.

Bacary Sagna: Made three tackles and 10 clearances.

Per Mertesacker: Another good performance for the German, who recorded eight clearances

Thomas Vermaelen: Led the team with 11 clearances. 

Kieran Gibbs: Again created danger in the attack. Also made nine clearances.

Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen and Gibbs with a 100% clearance record today. 34 clearances, 34 effective.

— Arsenal Repört (@ArsenalReport) December 26, 2013

Mikel Arteta: Completed 95 percent of his passes.

Aaron Ramsey: Had to be replaced midway through the half because of an injury. That is worrying news for Arsenal.

Theo Walcott: Gave away the ball early in Arsenal's first attack of the half—leading to the move that resulted in West Ham's opening goal. His first goal owed plenty to poor goalkeeping by West Ham's Adrian, but his second was a good header.

Mesut Ozil: Subbed out late in the match after making eight—that's eight—key passes.

Santi Cazorla: His best performance of the season. Moving into the middle after Podolski's introduction only helped.

Özil and Cazorla have made 13(!) key passes combined so far, more than twice what West Ham have in total.

— Arsenal Repört (@ArsenalReport) December 26, 2013

Olivier Giroud: Set up Podolski's goal with excellent hold-up play in the box. That will help his confidence. Could probably still use some rest.



Lukas Podolski (for Ramsey, 65'): Bringing on Podolski allowed Cazorla to move into the middle. That helped Arsenal overall and directly led to the second goal (set up by Podolski's cross). Podolski's return is nothing but good news for Arsenal. 

Nearly had a chance within moments of entering the match, but his shot was blocked. Blasted a shot over the bar a few minutes later. Took his goal well, finishing skillfully with—of course—his left foot.

Mathieu Flamini (for Ozil, 81'): Completed 14 of 14 passes after coming on. Helped keep Arsenal solid in midfield as the final minutes passed.

Nicklas Bendtner (for Giroud 85'): Came close to scoring as Arsenal countered late in the match.


Stats via WhoScored.com.


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