West Ham 1 Arsenal 3: Wenger hails Walcott’s improved finishing
West Ham 1 Arsenal 3: Arsene Wenger praised Theo Walcott for his improved finishing after Gunners win at Upton Park
Arsene Wenger hailed Theo Walcott’s improved finishing after the Arsenal substitute’s goal helped the Gunners to victory at West Ham on Saturday.
The Hammers had taken the lead after 21 minutes when Mohamed Diame curled his shot past Vito Mannone – but Olivier Giroud’s first Premier League goal levelled the tie before half-time.
Second-half substitute Walcott then gave the visitors the lead with a cool finish, before Santi Cazorla’s brilliant long-range strike secured the win for the north Londoners.
And Wenger insists he never doubted Walcott’s ability in a one-on-one situation. “He has that in him, I’ve said that many times,” the Arsenal boss told ESPN.
“Before, maybe two or three years ago when he got in front of the keeper you weren’t always sure he could finish well. Now you are almost convinced he can score.”
Reflecting on the performance as a whole, Wenger added: “I’m very happy because it was a game played with a high tempo.
“Our nerves were tested because they scored a great goal with their first shot and from then on we had to not concede a second one and get our own game going – and we did that in a very convincing way.”
Wenger also reserved special praise for Cazorla, who continued his impressive form with a stunning display at Upton Park.
“He was fantastic,” he said. “He had an outstanding performance today. You can just admire him. If you love football, just watch him play. It’s a delight to watch him.”
The result hoists Arsenal into fifth place in the Premier League table heading into the international break, seven points behind leaders Chelsea.