Alexis Sanchez’s fine hat-trick secured an emphatic victory over West Ham at London Stadium as Arsenal moved up to second in the Premier League table. Mesut Ozil opened the scoring with Arsenal’s first shot on target after Angelo Ogbonna’s mistake and Sanchez’s cut-back set up a simple finish. The Hammers threatened to equalise after the break before Sanchez turned, drove into the box and finished brilliantly past Darren Randolph. The Chilean added a second eight minutes later with a low strike into the corner, before Andy Carroll came on for a first appearance since 18 August and stooped to nod in the rebound from a Dimitri Payet free-kick that hit the bar. However, any faint hopes of a comeback were extinguished by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s excellent finish from range and Sanchez’s masterful dinked chip over the keeper.
The heavy defeat leaves Slaven Bilic’s side one point above the relegation zone after Sunderland beat Leicester 2-1 earlier on Saturday. Arsenal trail leaders Chelsea by three points but will slip to third if Liverpool win at Bournemouth on Sunday. Arsene Wenger’s side are now unbeaten in 13 league games, and their last away defeat was in February. There was a 10-minute second-half spell during which many Arsenal fans might have recognised the familiar beginnings of a slump to draw or defeat despite having dominated for much of the game. But Sanchez provided the match’s key moment when he killed Shkodran Mustafi’s booming pass from deep, turned past Anthony Makuanu and found the far angle of the net with brilliant ease with just under 20 minutes to play. Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny had been forced to clear a Manuel Lanzini cross bound for Ashley Fletcher from right underneath his own crossbar, West Ham’s record signing Andre Ayew had just come on, and Carroll – who scored a hat-trick against Arsenal in a 3-3 draw in April – was being readied for action. However, it was Sanchez’s force that proved the most compelling. Each of his three goals were superbly taken but it was the final, hat-trick goal that will live longest in the memory.
Played through by Oxlade-Chamberlain, he feigned a dummy shot to fool already defeated Hammers keeper Randolph before delicately lifting the ball into the net for what must be one of the goals of the season so far. There were 14 minutes and 29 seconds between the first and third goals of Alexis Sanchez’s hat-trick. Sanchez has been directly involved in six of Arsenal’s past eight Premier League goals (five goals, one assist). His tally for the season is 13 goals and nine assists from 19 matches in all competitions. No player has received more yellow cards this Premier League season than Winston Reid, with six. Ozil has equalled his Premier League goal tally of last season with eight goals.