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Premier League
Sunday, 9th August 2015

Arsenal 0
West Ham United 2

by Staff Writer


Cheikhou Kouyate and Mauro Zarate may have struck the goals that secured West Ham's first win at the Emirates since 2007 - but it was a home grown youngster who took all the plaudits after the game.

16-year-old Reece Oxford played for 79 minutes of today's game and was instrumental in helping West Ham secure an impressive 2-0 opening day win with a 95 per cent pass success rate - the highest of any player from either team.

And his performance left both team mates and pundits gushing with praise after the game for a performance that belied his years.

Oxford slotted into West Ham's well-drilled, four-man midfield with comparative ease as the Hammers frustrated their opponents to record a first clean sheet at the Emirates since the 1-0 win in the 2006/07 'Great Escape'.

As expected, Arsenal created a number of chances but Adrian and his defence stood firm to deny their hosts. However for the first time in a while, the Hammers also looked a genuine threat on the counter - and it was from two such breaks that Slaven Bilic's new-look side scored both their goals.



Kouyate opened West Ham's account in the closing moments of the first half to the delight of the 3,000 travelling fans who had made the short trip across the capital.

Dimitri Payet, who pulled the strings for the Hammers from midfield whipped a free kick towards the penalty spot where Kouyate lunged ahead of Cech to send the ball into an empty net.

And victory was confirmed 12 minutes after the restart when Mauro Zarate, only playing due to the injuries to Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia turned smartly after Arsenal had conceded possession cheaply before firing expertly into Petr Cech's bottom right corner.

We'll have more reaction to today's impressive win throughout later today...



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Player Ratings

Adrian San Miguel del Castillo
Surprisingly only had one or two important saves to make, as his defence did a great job in front of him.


James Tomkins
Played out of position at right back but did a fantastic job. Rarely beaten on his side, which Arsenal oddly failed to target.


Aaron Cresswell
Solid and allowed Arsenal little room or space to deliveer crosses. One particular 60-yard, cross-field to Dimitri Payet was absolutely sublime.


Winston Reid
Solid as a rock in his first competitive match for a little while. Looked every bit a leader.


Angelo Ogbonna
Superb. Threww himself into every challenge as if his life depended upon it. The toughest possible debut but expertly handled.


Cheikhou Kouyate
Worked like a Trojan in the centre of the park and scored the all-important opening goal.


Mark Noble
A splendid effort from someone who probably enjoyed this win more than most, being a local boy.


Reece Oxford
An incredibly composed performance from the 16-year-old on his Premier League debut. The biggest compliment you can pay him is that he didn't look at all out of place.


Dimitri Payet
Very strong debut from the French midfielder, who was at the heart of most West Ham attacks.


Mauro Zarate
Scored a belter, capitalising on a defensive error. Still needs to work a little harder around the pitch to be considered as a first team player and was replaced as a result.


Diafra Sakho
Ran his socks off for the team even though he failed to make an impact personally.


Substitutes


Matt Jarvis
(Replaced Zarate) Introduced as an extra man in midfield, Jarvo provided very little in the final third but helped further frustrate Arsenal for the final third.


Kevin Nolan
(Replaced Nolan) Threw himself into everything for the final quarter-of-an-hour in what could yet prove to be his last appearance for the club.


Modibo Maiga
(Replaced Sakho) One we'd though unlikely to every wear a West Ham short again but brought in as emergency cover for Carroll and Valencia.


Darren Randolph
Did not play.


James Collins
Did not play.


Diego Poyet
Did not play.


Manuel Lanzini
Did not play.



Match Facts

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Attendance: 59,996.

Man of the Match: Reece Oxford.

West Ham United

Adrian San Miguel del Castillo, James Tomkins, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Reece Oxford, Dimitri Payet, Mauro Zarate, Diafra Sakho.

Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 43 Mauro Zarate 57                .

Booked: Mark Noble 5 Angelo Ogbonna 7 James Tomkins 37      .

Sent Off: n/a     .

Arsenal

Petr Cech, Mathieu Debuchy, Nacho Monreal, Francis Coquelin, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Santiago Cazorla, Mesut Özil.

Substitutes: Theo Walcott (Francis Coquelin 58), Alexis Sánchez (Mathieu Debuchy 67).

Subs not used: Gabriel Paulista, Kieran Gibbs, David Ospina, Mikel Arteta, Calum Chambers.

Goals: n/a.

Booked: Nacho Monreal (69).

Sent Off: n/a.

 
Staff Writer's Man of the Match: Reece Oxford


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