Arsenal finally tasted victory again after coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the London Stadium.
The Gunners arrived in east London on a nine-game winless run – their worst spell since 1977 – and looked set for more despair when Angelo Ogbonna’s header took a wicked deflection and nestled in their net.
But after a turgid opening hour, the visitors suddenly clicked into life with three goals in nine minutes.
Gabriel Martinelli fired home on his full Premier League debut, Nicolas Pepe rifled into the top corner and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished smartly to give Arsenal and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg a much-needed win.
Arsenal could have taken the lead in a scrappy first-half in the 33rd minute through Mesut Ozil, but he nodded his free header over the bar following a dangerous cross from Aubameyang.
Five minutes later and West Ham took the lead. Pablo Fornals’ dinked cross was met by the central defender and the Italian’s header deflected past a helpless Bernd Leno. The goal was checked by VAR for a potential handball from Ogbonna, but it stood.
Ljungberg’s men improved in the second half and it was Martinelli’s first-time strike on the hour mark which sparked the visitors' revival. Six minutes later and Pepe picked up a pass from Aubameyang on the edge of the box and curled his left-footed strike into the top corner.
Aubameyang then sealed the victory in the 69th minute as the Gabon international showed excellent technique to turn in Pepe’s dinked cross on the volley on what proved to be a relatively comfortable night for the under-pressure Gunners.
Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates
Image credit: Getty Images
Arsenal’s front three impress. Despite Arsenal’s defensive frailties, their front three delivered a display of the highest quality. Martinelli was excellent on the left and made his presence felt with his first Premier League goal, while Pepe’s lively display and fine goal reminded the Arsenal fans why the club paid his £72 million transfer fee in the summer. Aubameyang’s goal was well taken and he picked up an assist for good measure as he continues to be more than productive for the Gunners this season.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal): Martinelli looked like a seasoned pro on the left wing. He played with full confidence and fully deserved his goal on the hour mark which proved pivotal in the context of the game. The Brazilian’s display will certainly have pleased Freddie Ljungberg and will surely see him get more Premier League game time.
West Ham: Martin (5), Cresswell (6), Fredericks (6), Balbuena (6), Ogbonna (7), Rice (6), Noble (5), Fornals (6), Anderson (6), Snodgrass (6), Antonio (6). Subs: Masuaku (6), Haller (N/A), Holland (N/A)
Arsenal: Leno (6), Maitland-Niles (5), Tierney (4), Sokratis (5), Chambers (5), Torreira (6), Xhaka (5), Ozil (5), Pepe (7), Martinelli (7), Aubameyang (7). Subs: Kolasinac (6), Guendouzi (N/A), Nelson (N/A)
33’ - BIG CHANCE! A great opportunity for Ozil goes begging! Aubameyang plays in a dangerous cross onto the head of Ozil, but he nods his free header on the penalty spot over the bar! The Germany international's wait for a first Premier League goal this season continues.
38’ - GOAL! West Ham 1-0 Arsenal (Ogbonna). Ogbonna's crashing header takes a huge deflection and ends up in the net! Hang on, there's a VAR check... GOAL GIVEN!
60’ - GOAL! West Ham 1-1 Arsenal (Martinelli). Martinelli scores a priceless equaliser and his first Premier League goal! Kolasinac bursts forward down the left and squares across for the 18-year-old to hit first time into the bottom right corner. Game on!
66’ - GOAL! West Ham 1-2 Arsenal (Pepe) Pepe scores a brilliant goal and what a time to get it! Aubameyang lays it off to the Ivorian on the right flank before the winger cuts onto his left foot and unleashes a venomous curled strike into the top corner! Arsenal have turned this around!
69’ - GOAL! West Ham 1-3 Arsenal (Aubameyang). And all of a sudden it's three! Aubameyang gets his 13th goal of the season and creates some valuable breathing space for the Gunners. Pepe's clever chipped cross is volleyed straight into the bottom corner by the Gabon international - off the left palm of Martin in goal. Delight for Ljungberg!