All square as Arsenal's frustrations continue

Arsenal 0 West Ham 0

Arsenal 0 West Ham 0

Arsenal’s Premier League frustrations continued as a determined West Ham held out for a goalless draw at Emirates Stadium.

Abou Diaby saw an early header deflected onto the crossbar, and Emmanuel Adebayor missed two good chances in the second half, while even the introduction of leading scorer Robin van Persie from the bench could not conjure up a winner.

The Hammers, who continued their unbeaten run, defended well as a unit throughout and were worth a share of the points.

The Gunners, meanwhile, may have not lost in the Premier League since beating Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on November 30, but remain well adrift in the title race and, crucially, outside the top four.

It was a bright start by the home side, who almost snatched an early lead when Diaby’s header from a corner deflected off defender James Collins and onto the crossbar.

West Ham – who became the first team to win at Emirates Stadium in April 2007 during their successful battle against relegation – continued to sit back and invite pressure.

Samir Nasri was causing all sorts of problem with his pace down the left, and Nicklas Bendtner was only inches away from connecting with his cross into the six-yard box.

The young Dane should have perhaps done better than to head wide when, in the 21st minute, he did get on the end of a deep centre from the busy French winger.

There was a hold-up when Emmanuel Eboue needed treatment after being flattened in a challenge with Scott Parker. The much-maligned Ivory Coast midfielder limped heavily on his return to action, and was eventually replaced by Mexican youngster Carlos Vela with 10 minutes to go before half-time.

Nasri moved into the middle as Arsenal looked to be more creative.

However, while it continued to be one-way traffic, West Ham held their defensive line well.

To their credit, Zola’s men looked to counter attack as possible.

Collins sent a header goalwards from a corner, which was knocked away by Gael Clichy on the far post.

Arsenal again enjoyed a good spell following the restart after Hammers skipper Lucas Neill pushed over Vela on the left.

The free-kick was sent deep towards the back post, where Bendtner knocked it down and Green punched out.

Kolo Toure acrobatically hooked the ball goalwards over his shoulder, but Collins was on hand to head clear.

Arsenal were on the offensive again when some quick footwork created space for Diaby on the edge of the penalty area, only for the midfielder to then drag his low shot wide.

Denilson had two efforts blocked as Arsenal again threatened the West Ham goal.

A quick counter attack released Bacary Sagna on the overlap down the right.

His cross towards the near post was met by Adebayor, who slid in ahead of his marker, but could only guide the ball wide.

Denilson pulled the trigger again from just outside the box, and his angled shot flew over the top corner.

With 22 minutes left, Wenger turned to Van Persie – who has had a hand in every Arsenal goal this month – as the Dutchman replaced Bendtner.

It was then West Ham’s turn to make an attacking change when record signing Savio Nsereko went on for Mark Noble.

Adebayor had another golden chance when picked out in the middle by Vela’s cross from the left, but could only head the ball straight at Green.

Vela was booked for going down as he charged between defenders into the left side of the penalty box, which looked somewhat harsh.

With seven minutes left, West Ham introduced former Gunner Luis Boa Morte for David Di Michele.

Diaby was carried off following an awkward fall in a challenge with Savio and was replaced by Song.

The Gunners pressed for a winner, but the visitors remained resolute to the final whistle during four minutes of stoppage time.

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