Arsenal's Theo Walcott (R) is challenged by West Ham's
Carlton Cole during their English Premier League match at
Emirates Stadium in London. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Oliver Giroud netted a double, Lukas Podolski scored and
set up three more as rampant Arsenal closed the gap on the
Champions League positions by thumping West Ham United 5-1 in
their rearranged Premier League match.
Arsenal, finding a spark and much-needed self belief after
successive league defeats by title-chasing Manchester City
and Chelsea, ran riot with four goals in 12 mad minutes after
the break having fallen behind in the first half to Jack
Podolski, recalled after illness, quickly levelled with a
superb strike from 25 metres. Giroud's volley made it 2-1
soon after the restart before German international Podolski,
causing mayhem on the left flank, set up Santi Cazorla, Theo
Walcott and Giroud to leave shellshocked West Ham 5-1 down
before the hour.
West Ham were forced to play with 10 men for the final 18
minutes after substitute Daniel Potts was carried off on a
stretcher with a serious-looking leg injury following lengthy
treatment on the pitch.
Arsenal stay sixth but are now one point behind Everton and
four behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur after 23 games.
West Ham, with one league win in their last eight, remain