REPORT: West Ham United 0-6 Arsenal - The Rice is Right

Arsenal produced a blistering performance to brush aside West Ham and keep the pressure on at the top of the table. 

First-half goals from William Saliba, Gabriel, Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard put Arsenal in a commanding position, before quick-fire goals from Saka and Declan Rice in the second half put the gloss on the performance.

The result means that Arsenal remain third on goals scored but will feel that this was a statement win following last weeks victory over Liverpool.

First Half Dominance

The Gunners looked to make a fast start and quickly got into their rhythm. Dictating play and controlling possession, they looked confident from the outset. 

Arsenal almost took the lead midway through the first half. Gabriel Martinelli pitched a deep cross from the right for Trossard to volley, only for his effort to be denied by Alphonse Areola. Shortly after though, they did get the lead that their dominance warranted. Declan Rice whipped an inviting corner into the far post, where Saliba was on hand to nod home. 

Six Minute Triple Salvo

As the clock ticked towards half-time, Saka found himself through on goal only to be clipped by Areola. The referee pointed to the spot to give Arsenal a chance to double their lead. Saka, who himself missed a crucial penalty in the same fixture last season, took no hesitation to step up and and fire home his 50th goal for the club. 

Two minutes later and it was three. Rice delivered an expert delivery from the left-hand side for Gabriel to powerfully head home and put Arsenal in cruise control. Yet still there was time for more. Martin Odegaard picked up possession on the edge of the box, before playing a ball into the feet of Trossard. The Belgium shifted the ball right before powering an effort into the top corner to cap an incredible first half for Arsenal. 

Rice, Rice Baby

Arsenal came out for the second half and looked to continue exactly where they left off, albeit in a significantly emptier stadium. Saka linked up with Havertz only to see his shot blocked by the West Ham goalkeeper. He wouldn't have to wait long for his second though.

Played in by Odegaard, Saka stepped inside the box before rifling a left-footed shot into the bottom corner to move Arsenal onto five. And two minutes later, the rout was complete, as Rice ran onto the ball outside of the box and curled a sensational shot into the top corner to cap a fine individual performance. 

Immediately after, Mikel Arteta rang the changes, which saw Saka and Rice withdrawn, with the latter given a standing-ovation from the home support. Arsenal continued to probe but in truth had stepped off the gas. There was time for a brief cameo from youngster Ethan Nwanieri, who replaced Martinelli to make only his second senior appearance. 

The win makes it four wins on the bounce for the Gunners, who will be hoping to extend their winning run to five against Burnley next week.