Roy Keane and Paul Merson gave a withering assessment of West Ham’s performance as Arsenal ran riot in their 6-0 thrashing of their London neighbours at the London Stadium.
The Hammers suffered their joint-heaviest home defeat in league history – the only other time they have lost by six goals in the top flight came back in December 1963 against Blackburn Rovers (8-2).
David Moyes’ side were blown away during a 15-minute period towards the end of the first half in which the Gunners scored four goals.
West Ham fans were seen leaving the stadium early in droves after William Saliba’s headed opener was added to by a Bukayo Saka penalty and further finishes from Gabriel Magalhaes and Leandro Trossard.
Speaking at half-time, Keane told Sky Sports: “There are ways to lose a football match – West Ham have not turned up.
“They have not been physical, they are not tackling, no desire, no hunger, they look old and sluggish, they are not tracking back, no one has laid a glove on (Martin) Odegaard.
“Moyes must be fuming at half-time, but all credit to Arsenal, they look sharp and at it and have turned up.
“West Ham, though, a disgrace… shocking. I’m really frustrated with them. Arsenal are making the most of it. One or two touch, no one gets near them. Beautiful finish. Four nil.
“I can’t believe what I’m watching. The way they get beaten physically, set-pieces… West Ham the last 10 or 15 minutes have been an absolute disgrace.”
It did not get any better for the hosts after the break as Saka added his second goal before Declan Rice crowned a virtuoso display on his second outing back on familiar territory.
Rice did not celebrate his stunning strike against his former club, but it was hugely satisfying after some sections of the West Ham fans booed him during Arsenal’s Carabao Cup defeat at the London Stadium earlier in the season.
This time around, however, Rice was applauded off the pitch moments later as those who stayed on both sides of the divide appreciated the quality of his display.
For only the second time in the Premier League, a side managed by Moyes conceded 6+ goals in a home game – both instances came in matches against Arsenal (also Everton 1-6 Arsenal in August 2009).
There would be no consolation for the home spectators who stayed seated until the bitter end – and Keane was equally scathing after the final whistle.
“It was too easy,” Keane added. “West Ham looked shell-shocked. At some stage, your pride has to kick in. For Rice’s goal, there were two or three players lining up to take the shot. West Ham really let their manager down today.
“For Arsenal, it’s all positives off the back of last weekend. They’ve just had to keep that momentum going. To score six goals away from home is fantastic.
“We can criticise West Ham all we want but credit to Arsenal. They were efficient, they were strong. The way they won the game with their set-pieces and aerial threat.
“They could have scored a few more goals.”
Merson: Under-10s defending from West Ham
Sky Sports’ Paul Merson:
“Defending wise, if that happened in Under-10s football you’d be going, ‘seriously?!’
“Not getting tight, showing them inside on to their proper foot, it is poor, I just think Arsenal made West Ham surrender and that is quite sad as a player as that is the one thing you do not want to do.
“There is ways of losing football matches, that is a horrible way and I feel sorry for David Moyes as that is not a Moyes team out there, they have let him down today. They work hard and the one thing you do not get done at West Ham is by set-plays, and they were poor with them today.
“For Arsenal, it is just a massive result, it has done the goal difference the world of good – if this was Man City today who had won that game 6-0, we would be waxing lyrical.
“They have literally made West Ham surrender, they turned up, started well and carried it on and kept on going.
“A brilliant, brilliant result by Arsenal. They are now putting their chances away and working hard. If you want to win the Premier League, you have to bounce back [from defeats] as quickly as you can and they have done that. That is what Man City do and they have worked hard and been hard to beat.
“And fair play to them, they are right in this title race.”
Saka: We smelt blood and went for kill
Player-of-the-match Saka told Sky Sports: “We were 4-0 up in the first half and we could have scored more. We smelt blood today and went for the kill.”
Martin Odegaard added: “It was a brilliant performance. From start to end we dominated and controlled everything. Today, we were really sharp in front of goal. I’m proud of the team. Coming from a big game [against Liverpool] and a big win and backing it up today with a great performance.
“We are focusing on ourselves. We don’t care too much about the other teams. We keep working hard. It’s a good win but we move on.”
Arteta: Great to make club history
This was Arsenal’s joint-biggest win in a London derby in league competition, with all three of those ending 6-0.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I’m extremely happy. The way we performed, the way we played. Such a big score in a really difficult place tells you a lot about how well the boys played today.
“It’s great to make [club] history especially the way we have done it. We’re in a good moment and when you have good moments you have to build and maintain the momentum. The team from the beginning looked really sharp. We had to put right the last two results against them and that was a good motivation for the boys.
“When you talk about consistency at his [Bukayo Saka] age…what he has done in the last two or three seasons is remarkable. His attitude, his quality, what he delivers every week…it’s really difficult to find. That’s why he is so important to us.
“It’s always difficult to come back to your old club. The fans were really good to him [Declan Rice]. When he went to take the corner they clapped him so it’s great to see that kind of reception. He loves this club so much and I know what it meant to him to play today.
“We have to share the goals. That desire and that commitment to get into the box to make things happen, it was excellent.”
West Ham and Arsenal are back in Premier League action next Saturday, with both games kicking off at 3pm.
West Ham travel to Nottingham Forest on February 17, while Arsenal travel to Burnley.
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