Nine minutes after Eddie Nketiah came on as a substitute for Alexandre Lacazette, he scored the winner in a game that Westham were determined to grab at least a point.
Arteta first made 2 changes to the starting XI. Ceballos & Saka came in for Niles & El Neny. Injury to Tierney during the warm ups meant Kolasinac was Arteta 3rd change.
Lacazette had given Arsenal the lead in the 25th minute. Bukayo Saka slipped the ball to captain Aubameyang who beat the offside trap, crossed to an unmarked Lacazette to head freely beyond Fabianski.
The game wasn’t fluent but hopes of holding the lead into the break were dashed as Antonio stabbed in the equalizer for Westham just before the break. Frederick’s cross went beyond Kolasinac and Gabriel before Antonio converted. Holding’s challenge was late.
Conceeding just before the break was a sign of things to come. This wasn’t the Arsenal that skipped past Fulham last weekend.
Westham had opportunities to go ahead. Gabriel made some blocks, Leno made some saves and the Gunners cleared. Soucek, Rice, Antonio were working over time.
It was evident that the changes at the back three affected the game defensively and offensively.
El Neny was primed to come on but Bukao Saka sent a “hot-knife-through-butter” pass to Ceballos in the box. One-on-one with Fabianski, the Spaniard laid the ball for Nketiah to stab home.
What a relief! It was an 85th minute winner. It could have been 3-1 but Aubameyang missed his chances and Eddie was taking time controlling a pass. The three points was a keenly contested one.
Gabriel was voted Man of the match. Luiz came on for Saka and helped in the gamesmanship.
It was a difficult victory.