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Arsenal 5-1 West Ham

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Giroud: At the double

Giroud: At the double

Arsenal produced a devastating second-half display to keep their top-four ambitions on track as they thrashed West Ham 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

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Jack Collison had put the Hammers ahead after just 18 minutes, smashing home a fiercely driven strike from the edge of the area.

However, that proved to be the last reason to cheer for the visiting fans, with Lucas Podolski levelling matters four minutes later after burying Jack Wilshere's lay-off past the keeper and into the back of the net.

After the restart the hosts ran away with it, Olivier Giroud scoring the first of his two on 47 minutes after running onto the end of Theo Walcott's near-post corner to smartly turn the ball home,

Arsenal really turned on the style after that moment as an intricate passing move ended with Santi Cazorla cheekily back-heeling the ball home after the keeper had committed himself.

By then the Gunners were in full swing and less than 60 seconds later they got another, Walcott, who recently signed a new contract extension, ran on to Podolski's perfect ball across the face of goal to ram home a fourth.

The home side weren't done yet though as Giroud completed his brace, Podolski with another assist to set the Frenchman up for a simple finish into the back of the net.

The result left Arsenal still sixth in the standings, but closed the gap on fourth-placed Tottenham to four points, while the north Londoners next face seventh-placed Liverpool.

West Ham, meanwhile, finished the day in 12th with 27 points from 23 league matches, while the defeat was made even worse after Dan Potts was knocked unconscious and needed to be stretchered off after a lengthy period before being raced to the hospital.

That incident led to 12 minutes of injury time being added on, with Arsenal continuing to launch attack after attack on the opposition goal, but somehow they stood firm to prevent the score-line from becoming even more embarrassing.

Posted: 23/01/13 21:47

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