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West Ham logo
Premier League | Gameweek 24
Feb 11, 2024 at 2pm UK
London Stadium
Arsenal logo
West Ham
0 - 6
Arsenal

Alvarez (9'), Areola (38'), Kudus (76'), Phillips (90+1')
FT(HT: 0-4)
Saliba (32'), Saka (41' pen., 63'), Magalhaes (44'), Trossard (45+2'), Rice (65')

Mikel Arteta "not surprised" by Arsenal domination in West Ham United rout

Mikel Arteta
© Reuters
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insists that he is "not surprised" at the way his team tore West Ham United to shreds in their record-breaking 6-0 crushing of the Irons.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was "not surprised" by the level of his side's domination in their record-breaking 6-0 obliteration of West Ham United in Sunday's London derby.

The Gunners recorded their largest-ever Premier League away win and joint-biggest victory on the road in league history at the London Stadium, where Bukayo Saka was on target twice alongside efforts from Declan Rice, William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes and Leandro Trossard.

Prior to kickoff, a handful of notable players were absent from Arsenal's team sheet, including Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu, while Jorginho was dropped to the bench due to a niggle of his own.

In spite of their stretched squad, Arsenal blew David Moyes's men to smithereens in the capital, where they were frustrated for the opening 30 minutes but capitalised on an alarming West Ham collapse after Saliba headed home the opening goal.

Speaking to reporters after the game, as quoted by football.london, Arteta was delighted to see his players use the fire in their "tummies" to beat West Ham, who had already got the better of his side on two occasions in the current campaign.

Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes celebrates scoring their third goal on February 10, 2024© Reuters

When asked what he said to his players before the game, Arteta replied: "Time to beat West Ham. We all knew it. We all had it in our tummies and we knew it would be a tough match and we had to do certain things better in both boxes than we had in the previous match. We certainly did today."

On the manner of his side's win amid a wave of fresh injury concerns, Arteta added: "I'm not surprised with the way they train every single day. We're missing some big players for us and some big starters. But at the end players need possibility and chances to judge them. Today we can judge them and realise how good they are."

After Saliba had nodded in from a Rice delivery, Arsenal quickly doubled their lead through the lively Saka, who memorably missed a penalty at the City Ground last season but emphatically crashed home from 12 yards after being felled by Alphonse Areola.

Arteta confessed that he was unsure whether Saka would step up to the spot after the events of 2023, but the Spaniard hailed his winger for "proving everybody wrong", adding: "At his age, the position and consistency normally don't go in the same line.

"He's proving everybody wrong that he can do it. I had doubts whether he was going to take the penalty or not because of what happened but it shows you as well how mature he is and how determined he is to go to the next level."

While Saka was bestowed with the Man of the Match award, a masterful midfield performance from Rice saw the former Irons skipper send in the dead-ball deliveries for Gabriel and Saliba before completing the rout, lashing a 25-yard strike into the top corner of the net.

Arsenal's Declan Rice celebrates scoring their sixth goal on February 11, 2024© Reuters

"I'm really happy with him. I know that it was an emotional day for him because he loves West Ham so much. But he had to focus on the task and what he had to deliver," Arteta said on his £105m man.

"Set pieces were one of those because when we have certain players on the pitch he is a better threat outside the box than inside the box. Then I was really pleased to see the class of the crowd to give him the reception he deserves."

There was time for Arteta to send on some fringe players towards the end, including Cedric Soares and Mohamed Elneny, while 16-year-old Ethan Nwaneri - the youngest player in Premier League history - also emerged for just his second top-flight appearance.

The teenager saw plenty of the ball in the final moments, and Arteta revealed that his colleagues had successfully persuaded him to give Nwaneri a run-out, adding: "There is something you have to earn in your team and that's the trust of your teammates. I had two things.

"One, the players on the bench whispering 'bring Ethan in' which is a great thing to hear. The second thing is for your teammates to give you the ball all the time. If they do that, it's because they really trust you and you only have to see how many times he was involved to see that. It's a great sign."

The third-placed Gunners are now only behind second-placed Manchester City on goals scored heading into next weekend's encounter with Burnley, although the champions still possess a match in hand.

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Arsenal's Declan Rice celebrates scoring their sixth goal on February 11, 2024
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