Mesut Ozil puts Arsenal ahead at the Emirates
Ozil curled home with his left foot early in the second half before Theo Walcott swept in and Olivier Giroud came off the bench to wrap it up.
But had Darren Randolph not fluffed his attempt to flick away Ozil’s shot then tonight could have ended very differently.
On a night where Arsenal missed the easy chances and took the hard, there was always an air of tension until that first goal went in.
Arsenal were wasteful on more than one occasion – Theo Walcott blazing over and Danny Welbeck hitting Randolph one-on-one, while Hector Bellerin missed from eight yards.
But Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will take whatever he can get right now as pressure grows on the boss to step down.
West Ham were intent on disrupting Arsenal and the visitors had their own chances.
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Had Mark Noble not dragged an early effort wide from inside the penalty area against the inexperienced Emiliano Martinez then things could have turned sour at the Emirates.
As it was Arsenal remained patient and eventually downed a team that has now lost five games on the bounce.
West Ham offered a spirited first-half effort before collapsing after the break
Slaven Bilic (left) is now under more pressure than Arsene Wenger
Indeed, while all the attention is on Wenger’s future, the days are surely numbered for his direct opposite Slaven Bilic.
Bilic was given the vote of confidence earlier this week and this performance will have done little to convince the Hammers board he can change the course this club is on.