HIGHLIGHTS | Arsenal vs West Ham (3-1) | Saka, Martinelli and Nketiah

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A rousing second-half comeback ensured we resumed our Premier League campaign where we left off in November – with a win.

We were good value for the three points, despite falling behind to a Said Benrahma penalty in the first-half.

But we were soon rewarded for our aggression and positivity with three goals after the interval. First Bukayo Saka finished well when unmarked in the box before Gabriel Martinelli fired home at the near post.

But the pick of the goals was Eddie Nketiah’s wonderful turn and finish to make it 3-1.

The victory moves us seven points clear at the top before Manchester City play on Wednesday.

After an unprecedented mid-season gap of 44 days without a game, we were finally back in Premier League action, looking to strengthen our grip on top spot.

Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup featured seven players who were on World Cup duty in Qatar – including France’s William Saliba just eight days after the final. But minds were clearly back on domestic matters as we set about West Ham early.

One of the star performers at the World Cup, Bukayo Saka, had the ball in the net inside five minutes, only for his effort to be flagged offside.

Martin Odegaard showed twinkling footwork on the edge of the area before looking for Kieran Tierney with a cute reverse pass, but the visitors got back to cut it out.

We were playing the ball around confidently and the next chance fell to Eddie Nketiah. A first-time pass from Granit Xhaka released the striker, but his shot was blocked outside the area.

Odegaard then fired wide from a Saka knockdown before West Ham took the lead against the run of play.

William Saliba clipped the advancing Jarrod Bowen just inside the area and Said Benrahama tucked home his spot kick.

It was a damaging blow from the Hammers, especially given our bright start. We continued to press forward though and enjoyed 70 per cent of possession in the first-half. Odegaard especially was trying his best to unpick the visitors’ defence, but each time the final killer ball was snuffed out.

We were initially awarded a penalty for handball on the stroke of half-time, but it was overturned by VAR.

We started the second-half with even more intent and drive than we started the first, but this time got rewarded.

It was Saka who scored the equaliser. The England man was alone in the area when Odegaard’s scuffed shot fell to him and he kept his cool to slide the ball into the corner.

It was the third consecutive Boxing Day fixture in which he had found the net.

Our tails were up now, and the Emirates crowd – including Arsène Wenger watching on from the directors’ box – were given more reason to cheer just moments later.

Saka shrugged Declan Rice off the ball, and two passes later Xhaka was feeding Martinelli inside the box. From a narrow angle the Brazilian spotted a gap at Lukasz Fabianski’s near post, and squeezed his shot home.

A five-minute turnaround had put us in front, and Nketiah’s sublime effort soon made it 3-1. Ben White controlled well before passing to Odegaard. He played in Nketiah who spun past Thilo Kehrer and then drove the ball low into the corner.

It was a moment of brilliance, and the striker’s 11th goal in his last 11 starts at the Emirates.

It put the seal on a fine win – our 16th from 22 games at the Emirates during the calendar year.

And importantly, it ensured our momentum built up in the first part of the season was seemingly not affected by the World Cup.

#arsenal #premierleague

Enjoy match highlights, training and behind the scenes to get closer to the likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Vivianne Miedema, Leah Williamson,Gabriel Jesus, Alex Zinchenko, Jordan Nobbs, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Mana Iwabuchi, Kim Little, Gabriel Martinelli, Beth Mead, Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White, and more.

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