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Arsenal 1-0 West Ham: Lacazette strike sinks battling Hammers as Gunners move to within five points of the top four

Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to score the winner as Arsenal extended their unbeaten Premier League run to eight games with a 1-0 victory over West Ham.

The France international scored only his second league goal of 2020, converting from close range in the 78th minute to clinch three points for Mikel Arteta’s side, who struggled to break down a battling West Ham team before Lacazette’s second-half introduction.

The best chances of the afternoon before the goal fell to Hammers striker Michail Antonio, who misfired from close range either side of half-time, and Hammers boss David Moyes will be disappointed his side failed to hang on for a precious point towards their battle against relegation.

Arteta started with Eddie Nketiah as a lone striker and failed to capitalise on what little possession came his way, while Gunners top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an uncharacteristically quiet afternoon as he chased his 50th Premier League goal.

The result means Moyes is still without a win in 16 top-flight away games against Arsenal – no manager in Premier League history has taken charge of more winless away games against a single opponent.

West Ham’s Jarrod Bowen hit the post with a bobbling 20-yard drive in the second minute amid a slow start from Arsenal, whose first chance came when Mesut Ozil took aim from the middle of the box and drew a good save from Lukasz Fabianski.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos hit the top of the crossbar with a header after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang teed him up as Arsenal began to turn the screw on a West Ham side content to sit back.

But the Gunners were found lacking in the final third and five minutes before half-time Issa Diop’s knock-down to Antonio should have led to the first goal, only for the Hammers striker to fire wide from close range when it looked easier to score.

West Ham continued to press after the interval, and it took a one-handed reaction save from Bernd Leno to keep Antonio from scoring with a free header before Arteta sent on Lacazette in an attempt to inspire his side.

The change did not immediately lift Arsenal, who breathed a sigh of relief after Bowen broke clear only to fire straight at Leno, but moments later came the breakthrough.

Aubameyang’s drive looped up into the air and Ozil headed it gently down to Lacazette, who gleefully tucked it home from close range and celebrated after a lengthy VAR check for offside.

Leno made a superb save to deny Sebastien Haller from close range as West Ham sought a quick response, but the hosts survived the scare and closed out the victory.

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