Mikel Arteta executes Arsenal tactic perfectly to secure West Ham victory

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But it could have been anyone, as Mikel Arteta again went to his bench to secure victory.

Since the start of last season, Arsenal have scored 16 league goals via substitutes, more than any other side in the competition.

And Lacazette has scored four, more than any other player, as he has increasingly had to settle for an impact player role.

But Arsenal needed a huge slice of luck from the tightest of offside calls to emerge with three points from this one.

They were outthought, outfought and outshot against a West Ham team who made a mockery of their league position.

The Hammers travelled to north London on the back of a morale-boosting 3-1 win over Southampton .

And they should have scored three before half time with Michail Antonio missing from two yards, Sebastien Haller wasting a one-on-one and Jarrod Bowen hitting the post.

Sokratis did hit the crossbar with a free header in what was Arsenal’s only real attack in their first half of football without a shot on target since January 2019.

But man of the match Bernd Leno had to make a point blank save from an Antonio header in the second half too before Arsenal finally struck.

Lacazette was initially flagged offside from Mesut Ozil’s cushioned header but a VAR review showed Angelo Ogbonna had just played him on with his heel.

It meant Arsenal claimed a third straight league win at home for the first time since February 2019.

But boy were they made to work for it. Yes, the Gunners managed 69% possession. But West Ham outshot them 14-9 and had a 6-2 edge in shots on target too.

Even at the death it took a superb interception from David Luiz and a decent save from Leno to deny Haller an equaliser.

Arsenal can play better than this – and they will have to as well because if they put in a similar performance at Manchester City this Wednesday they will get torched.

Arteta has brought a new belief to the club, only lost one league game, and got his players playing with more resilience.

But this was the kind of lifeless display that cost them at home to Olympiakos, when they crashed out of the Europa League in embarrassingly cruel circumstances.

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