Hammers Stun Arsenal

The first major upset of the English Premier League season saw West Ham beat Arsenal for the first time in eight years with a 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium Sunday.

The EPL is renowned for its competitive matches but few would have foreseen an opening fixture reverse for Arsene Wenger’s team after its FA Community Shield win over Chelsea last weekend.

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech had an EPL debut to forget for the Gunners, making errors for both the West Ham goals.

First, he made an ill-judged challenge to concede a free kick as Dimitri Payet found Cheikhou Kouyate for the opener for the visitors on 43 minutes.

The second on the hour mark saw the Czech international beaten at his near post by Mauro Zarate.

Wenger sent on Theo Walcott and Chile’s Alexis Sanchez as late substitutes, but Arsenal was unable to break down a stubborn West Ham defense.

The closest it had come to scoring was a first half deflected effort from Aaron Ramsey, which hit the crossbar.

It was a famous victory for West Ham’s new manager Slaven Bilic and 16-year-old midfielder Reece Oxford, who showed composure beyond his teenage years until substituted late on.

West Ham had suffered an ignominious Europa League defeat to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu in midweek, but rose to the occasion against a team many are tipping to win the title.

Wenger said the defeat was typical of the nature of the English top-flight and believes his side will bounce back quickly.

“You are never surprised in the Premier League. It is better if we don’t talk too much and continue to work hard,” he told Sky Sports.

“The players were maybe too nervous and put too much pressure on themselves.

“Today we have been hurt mentally and it is a good opportunity to respond,” he added.

“This is very special. I’m very proud of the second half performance.”

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