Gunners hammered to let top of table chance slip, Spurs battered by Brighton
West Ham beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates to stop the Gunners from returning to the summit of the Premier League table and move into the top six.
On a day where their North London rivals Tottenham lost 4-2, having trailled Brighton 4-0 with less than 10 minutes to play, Arsenal faltered despite a glut of chances.
They had 77 touches inside the West Ham box – the most ever recorded by a team that failed to score in the Premier League.
West Ham had a late penalty – conceded by their former skipper Declan Rice – saved by David Raya but the Hammers converted their only two other shots on goal.
Tomas Soucek turned in Jarrod Bowen’s cutback in the first haalf. There was a long delay to decide if the ball had gone out of play but the video evidence was inconclusive.
Their lead was doubled when former Arsenal centreback Konstantinos Mavropanos outleapt the defence to head home a corner in the 55th minute.
The result leaves Mikel Arteta’s team in second, two points behind league leaders Liverpool, while West Ham end the year with 33 points – their highest total at the halfway stage in a Premier League campaign.
At the Amex Stadium, Tottenham’s top-four credentials were damaged by a miserable performance in a 4-2 loss at Brighton.
Late goals for Tottenham by Alejo Véliz and Ben Davies gave the score a respectable look but the visitors were outplayed by a Brighton team missing up to 10 players through injury.
Jack Hinshelwood powered a shot into the roof of the net in the 11th minute and Joao Pedro converted a penalty in the 23rd after Dejan Kulusevski pulled back Danny Welbeck in the area.
James Milner also struck the post for Brighton in a first half that saw Tottenham’s defence – missing injured centre backs Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven – get sliced open time and again.
Richarlison also hit the post for Spurs and had a goal ruled out for offside before half-time substitute Pervis Estupinan made it 3-0 with a shot from 25 metres that flew into the top corner in the 63rd.
Joao Pedro scored his second – again from the penalty spot – in the 75th after Evan Ferguson was fouled by Giovani Lo Celso, but Tottenham then rallied late.
Veliz netted his first Premier League goal after Kulusevski blocked Lewis Dunk’s clearance straight to Son, who set up the Argentine forward in the 81st.
When Davies headed in Pedro Porro’s cross four minutes later, a sensational comeback was potentially on but Brighton held on despite more chances for Ange Postecoglou’s men, who would have jumped back into the top four with a victory.