Leaders Arsenal missed a penalty and threw away a two-goal lead as they drew at West Ham in a blow to their hopes of winning the Premier League.
A close-range finish from Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard’s volley put the visitors 2-0 ahead inside the opening 10 minutes at London Stadium as they looked to be cruising to the victory.
But, just as they did in the 2-2 draw at Liverpool last Sunday, Mikel Arteta’s side could not hold on to their advantage and dropped valuable points in their title battle with Manchester City.
Said Benrahma’s penalty, after Gabriel had brought down Lucas Paqueta, gave the Hammers a way back into the game, before Arsenal got a spot-kick of their own, following Michail Antonio’s handball, but Bukayo Saka shot wide.
That proved costly as the hosts scored less than three minutes later through Jarrod Bowen’s superb volley from Thilo Kehrer’s lofted pass.
West Ham, still 15th in the table but now four points above the relegation zone, could have won it when Antonio’s header bounced off the crossbar in a frantic finish.
Arsenal began the weekend six points clear of City, but that has now been cut to four after Pep Guardiola’s side won 3-1 at home against Leicester on Saturday.
The Gunners have seven matches left and play Southampton at home on Friday, before City, who have a game in hand, entertain Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on 26 April.
Arsenal feel the pressure after excellent start
Arsenal are now unbeaten in nine games since a 3-1 home loss to City, but Arteta will see this as two points dropped and wonder how they did not gain the victory.
Just as they did at Anfield a week ago, they missed chances to wrap up the game only to concede twice. They are wobbling in their bid to become English champions for the 14th time and the first since Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ went a league season without losing in 2003-04.
For the opening half-hour Arsenal’s football was a joy to watch as they overpowered West Ham and looked to have wrapped up the three points with relative ease, with Jesus scoring his fourth goal in three matches before Odegaard added a second three minutes later.
Thomas Partey then sloppily lost possession to Declan Rice and that led to the penalty which gave West Ham hope and changed the course of the match.
However, even after Bowen’s equaliser, Arsenal still had opportunities to get a winning goal.
Jesus narrowly missed getting a touch on Kieran Tierney’s cross before two chances in the last three minutes, but Saka headed wide before Rob Holding’s header was saved by ex-Gunner Lukasz Fabianski.
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West Ham United
Squad number1Player nameFabianski
Squad number5Player nameCoufal
Squad number4Player nameZouma
Squad number24Player nameKehrer
Squad number3Player nameCresswell
Squad number28Player nameSoucek
Squad number41Player nameRice
Squad number11Player nameLucas Paquetá
Squad number20Player nameBowen
Squad number9Player nameAntonio
Squad number22Player nameBenrahma
Squad number8Player nameFornals
Squad number12Player nameDownes
Squad number14Player nameCornet
- 3CresswellBooked at 82mins
- 11Lucas PaquetáSubstituted forDownesat 87′minutes
- 9AntonioSubstituted forCornetat 87′minutes
- 22BenrahmaSubstituted forFornalsat 90+1′minutes
- 3TierneySubstituted forFábio Vieiraat 85′minutes
- 8ØdegaardSubstituted forNketiahat 90′minutes
- 5ParteyBooked at 35minsSubstituted forTrossardat 67′minutes
- 9Gabriel JesusBooked at 45minsSubstituted forJorginhoat 67′minutes
- 11MartinelliSubstituted forNelsonat 85′minutes
- 10Smith Rowe
- 21Fábio Vieira
Match ends, West Ham United 2, Arsenal 2.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 2, Arsenal 2.
Offside, West Ham United. Pablo Fornals tries a through ball, but Maxwel Cornet is caught offside.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Gabriel Magalhães.
Attempt saved. Rob Holding (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Fábio Vieira with a cross.
Substitution, West Ham United. Pablo Fornals replaces Saïd Benrahma.
Substitution, Arsenal. Eddie Nketiah replaces Martin Ødegaard.
Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Thilo Kehrer (West Ham United).
Fábio Vieira (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Tomás Soucek (West Ham United).
Substitution, West Ham United. Maxwel Cornet replaces Michail Antonio.
Substitution, West Ham United. Flynn Downes replaces Lucas Paquetá.
Attempt missed. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.
Substitution, Arsenal. Reiss Nelson replaces Gabriel Martinelli.
Substitution, Arsenal. Fábio Vieira replaces Kieran Tierney.
Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Michail Antonio (West Ham United) hits the right post with a header from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Saïd Benrahma with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Saïd Benrahma (West Ham United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lucas Paquetá.
Offside, West Ham United. Saïd Benrahma tries a through ball, but Jarrod Bowen is caught offside.
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