West Ham 0, Arsenal 0
West Ham manager David Moyes believes the confidence has returned to his team after a disciplined draw against Arsenal capped an encouraging run of results against Premier League heavyweights.
The Hammers followed up Saturday’s win over champions Chelsea and a narrow defeat to leaders Manchester City by shutting out the Gunners, who went closest when Jack Wilshere volleyed over in the second half.
Moyes’s team remain 19th but are just four points off 11th and, having stopped leaking goals, look ready to climb a congested bottom half of the table.
“It gives us good confidence because of the results. We have got four points against Chelsea and Arsenal and were unlucky against Manchester City. We’ve done a pretty good job against these teams,” said Moyes, who took charge last month.
“When we came it was conceding too many goals. Thankfully we’ve tightened up a bit and made it better. We need to take it on now. As long as we can keep it tight we’ll always be in the game.”
Arsenal, who have slipped to seventh, are winless in their last three league games and manager Arsene Wenger admits they have been mentally affected by losing to Manchester United this month despite bombarding them with shots.
“Thirty-three shots against United [and still losing] had a little impact. We have to continue to focus on the quality on our game and not in the fact that we are not ruthless at the moment,” said Wenger.
“This is a moment when our performances are not reflected by results. We go through a patch where there’s a difference between what we create and what we score. That will not last.”
Arsenal won this fixture 5-1 last season, with Alexis Sanchez scoring a hat-trick. This time they could not muster five shots on target and Sanchez looked resigned.
The Chilean was, however, involved in the visitors’ most dangerous moment of the first half, feeding Alex Iwobi to hit the base of Adrian’s post with a snap-shot, but West Ham largely kept the Gunners at bay with ease.
The Hammers even had the ball in Petr Cech’s net, when Mario Arnautovic headed in Arthur Masuaku’s cross, but the Austrian was flagged offside.
Arsenal started the second half with more urgency but soon reverted to sleepwalking into the hosts’ massed ranks and when a sight of goal finally arrived, from an Olivier Giroud knock-down, Wilshere volleyed over.
West Ham might even have snatched all three points in injury time when Arsenal’s kamikaze defending presented the ball to Javier Hernandez and the substitute beat Cech but not the underside of the crossbar.