gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Nketiah scores, leader Arsenal rallies to beat West Ham 3-1 – The Zimbabwe Mail

Nketiah scores, leader Arsenal rallies to beat West Ham 3-1

Arsenal's Eddie Nketiah, right, duels for the ball with West Ham's Thilo Kehrer during the English Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates stadium in London, Monday, Dec. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/David Cliff)
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LONDON (AP) — Eddie Nketiah scored the final goal of the match on his first start for Arsenal this season as the Premier League leaders completed a 3-1 comeback win over West Ham on Monday.

The hosts dominated possession in the first half but Said Benrahma’s spot kick for West Ham was the only goal at the break.

The Gunners regrouped and Bukayo Saka struck the equalizer eight minutes after the restart before Gabriel Martinelli fired Arsenal ahead.

Nketiah’s goal in the 69th ensured the Gunners secured all three points and equaled their longest-ever Premier League home winning streak with a 10th straight victory at the Emirates.

As expected, Nketiah started in place of Gabriel Jesus, who is sidelined with the injury he sustained while playing for Brazil at the World Cup.

Arsenal thought it had gone ahead inside five minutes when Saka found the back of the net, but the ball had taken a touch off Nketiah in the buildup, resulting in an offside call.

Arsenal wasted a good opportunity when Martin Odegaard attempted to set up one-on-one for Granit Xhaka but instead overpowered his pass and the Switzerland skipper could not get to the ball before West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

The Gunners continued to be frustrated by the resilient visitors who ultimately pulled ahead when William Saliba brought down Jarrod Bowen just inside the area, clipping the West Ham player’s left foot. The referee pointed to the spot and Benrahma stepped up, firing into the back of the net as Aaron Ramsdale went to his left to open the scoring in the 27th.

Arsenal leveled in the 53rd when Odegaard’s effort instead found its way to the feet of Saka at the edge of the six-yard box. Saka wasted no time, slotting into the bottom left corner to level the score.

Arsenal took the lead five minutes later after a few quick touches found Martinelli at the left of the area and he beat Fabianski with a low effort at his near post.

Nketiah had enjoyed the vocal support of the Emirates crowd from kickoff and fans were rewarded when Odegaard tapped the ball to the 23-year-old Englishman, who neatly pivoted around his marker before firing into the bottom corner as supporters chanted his name.

West Ham lost its fourth straight league game and is one point above the relegation zone.