Andy Carroll’s hat-trick dealt another blow to Arsenal’s already slim Premier League title hopes, despite the Gunners fighting back to draw at West Ham. Arsenal are 10 points behind leaders Leicester with six games to play. Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez converted Alex Iwobi passes to put Arsenal 2-0 up but Carroll netted twice in 160 seconds to bring his side level by half-time. A far-post header completed Carroll’s treble, before Laurent Koscielny hooked in the equaliser from 10 yards. The hosts extended their unbeaten home run in the Premier League to 14 games but Slaven Bilic’s side remain sixth, two points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play West Bromwich Albion at 17:30 BST.
Striker Carroll was rarely far from the action in a pulsating London derby, being booked as early as the fourth minute for a needless late tackle on Koscielny. There appeared little way back for West Ham as clinical finishes from Ozil and Sanchez gave the visitors a two-goal cushion, but England international Carroll would turn the game in his side’s favour in the space of eight minutes either side of the interval. All three goals were typical Carroll efforts, the first a powerful far-post header from Aaron Cresswell’s left-wing cross, while he was awarded too much space by the Arsenal defence to fire in the equaliser at the second attempt during first-half stoppage time. The ex-Newcastle forward was perhaps lucky to escape further punishment when he clashed with Gabriel in the air, catching the centre-back with his arm, shortly before rising above Hector Bellerin to head past David Ospina – who had kept his place in the Arsenal goal ahead of Petr Cech.
Wins over Everton and Watford either side of the March international break kept any faint hopes of a title success alive for Arsene Wenger’s side. Having led 2-0 after 35 minutes, this result will feel like two points dropped for Arsenal, even though they responded well to Carroll’s quick hat-trick and were decent value for their draw. The Gunners have a favourable run-in, with five of their last six opponents currently in the bottom half of the table – but it will take a remarkable collapse from Leicester and Tottenham above them if they are to win an unlikely title. Saturday’s result did little to improve Arsenal’s record in London derbies this season – they have taken only six points from seven games against other clubs from the capital.
Please keep Wenger for another 10 years. The board of this club has no clue as to what to do and they have no intention to win anything. They just want to make a profit and forget about challenging for titles.