ARSENAL captain Martin Odegaard produced a stunning performance in the 3-1 win over West Ham.
The captain produced two assists and picked West Ham apart with his close control and incisive passing.
He was key to everything Arsenal did well and it was his shot that led to the Gunners’ equaliser.
Bukayo Saka also deserves credit for his calmness in the box as he expertly controlled the strike before slotting the ball past Lukasz Fabianski.
Eddie Nketiah added sparkle to the Arsenal attack and executed a stylish finish after Gabriel Martinelli had put the North Londoners in front.
It was a magnificent Arsenal display marred only by William Saliba’s reckless challenge which resulted in Said Benrahma opening the scoring from the penalty spot.
But there were several positives for Mikel Artreta to take in Arsenal’s first game back after the World Cup break.
Here is how SunSport’s Lloyd Canfield rated the Gunners display.
Aaron Ramsdale 6
Demonstrated quick thinking to start counter-attacks and made a few decent stops to deny West Ham a goal from open play.
Couldn’t stop Benrahma’s penalty down the middle, and was unfortunate not to leave with a clean sheet.
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Ben White 6
Did well to cover Saliba in the first half, and was generally well positioned, lacking somewhat going forward in the first half.
Was much better in the second half, as were most of the team, and played his part in the third goal with a brilliant piece of skill before finding Odegaard.
Gabriel Magalhaes 6
Generally solid in defence, imperious out of possession and pretty perilous in possession.
Didn’t have too much to do, in fairness to him.
William Saliba 5
Gave away the penalty in the first half, not his finest performance in an Arsenal shirt.
However, did improve defensively as the game went on and began to look more like himself again, rusty perhaps. Again, he didn’t have loads to do…
Kieran Tierney 6
Failed to make any real impact going forward and was beaten a few times by Jarrod Bowen on the left-hand side of defence.
Thomas Partey 8
Did the simple things really well, continued his fine showings this season.
Martin Odegaard 9
Magical, Magisterial, Masterous.
Showed great vision with a few reverse balls to create chances for his teammates, and was rewarded for his hard work with the two assists.
Players did not want to go near him or his magical feet, and when Paqueta did, he was sent into retirement…
Granit Xhaka 7
A few wild shots in the first half, which were all off target, made up for his poor shooting with an assist for Martinelli’s goal.
Calm and composed throughout the game with his passing, and broke up West Ham attacks well.
Bukayo Saka 8
Unfortunate to have a goal ruled out in the first half, but made up for it with a cool finish in the second, always looked a threat when going forward for The Gunners.
Good set piece delivery, and looks to be capitalising on his great World Cup performances.
Gabriel Martinelli 7
Blew hot and cold in the first half, but was electric on the ball at times and showed his class in the second.
What a menace he can be going forward – scored a brilliant second goal to give The Gunners the lead.
Eddie Nketiah 8
Good movement up front, and showed glimpses of what a serious talent he can be on the ball, eventually got his goal in the second half, ending a brilliant team move with a first-class finish.
Earned rightful praise from Thierry Henry on commentary.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (for Tierney, 73mins)
Did well interchanging roles with Xhaka from time to time, covered well in defence when needed but didn’t get the minutes to make a real impact.
Fabio Vieira (for Martinelli, 88mins)
Didn’t have enough time to make an impact.
Mohammed Elneny (for Partey, 90mins)
As with Vieira, he did not have enough time to influence the match.