Gunners’ quickfire goals seal victory
the hour. Until then this was a London derby with a distinct lack of quality or intensity, with Bernd Leno saving well from fit-again Michail Antonio the only real chance before the Hammers hit the front.
Arsenal could not clear their lines from a corner and Ogbonna shouldered the ball goalwards before it cannoned off Ainsley Maitland-Niles, called in at the last minute after Hector Bellerin was injured in the warm-up, and into the net.
There was no immediate response from Ljungberg’s men and a header well over the bar from Mesut Ozil was the best they could muster in the first 45 minutes.
Declan Rice’s thumping strike was kept out by Leno as West Ham looked to double their advantage, only for Arsenal to show they can provide the goods when it counts.
Martinelli hit his first
Premier League goal on his first start in the competition as he steered in Sead Kolasinac’s cross and six minutes later they were ahead.
Aubameyang spread the ball out wide to Pepe and the club-record signing needed no second invitation to curl home a fine finish before celebrating in front of the travelling supporters.
The Ivory Coast international then provided the assist for Aubameyang, who was just onside as he hit a crisp volley past David Martin.
The win takes Arsenal up to ninth in the table and ends an alarming run of form which cost Unai Emery his job, with Ljungberg still coy on whether he wants to take the reins full-time.
Either way, he will start planning for a Europa League group game away to Standard Liege on Thursday night, while his counterpart Pellegrini will still be hoping to be in a job by then.
“We feel good,” said Arsenal striker Aubameyang. “I think we played well in the second half so we are happy to win this game. We tried to put some tempo in the game and to play fast and find spaces, and we did that.
“At half-time, Freddie [Ljungberg] told us to play with a higher tempo.
“It was tough but we have the quality in the squad, and if we believe in ourselves, we can go forward and win games.
“We will take this second half as an example for the rest of the season.”
Aubameyang celebrates scoring Arsenal’s third goal