West Ham United missed out on a big opportunity to boost their chances of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League (UCL) next season after they lost a three-goal lead in the London Derby clash with Arsenal at the weekend. The Hammers are bidding to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history ahead of next season’s edition but that quest received a big dent after the match against the Gunners. West Ham United had led 3-0 going into the final minutes of the first half before Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette started the fightback for his team. His shot took a deflection off Hammers midfielder Tomas Soucek and that was the incentive that the Gunners needed in a game that started in a disappointing manner for them. Arsenal were dominated by their hosts for the first half hour of the game as Manchester United loanee Jesse Lingard ran the show for the Hammers. Lingard is on a six-month loan at West Ham United from Manchester United having signed for them in the January transfer window. He unleashed an unstoppable strike to give West Ham United an early lead inside the first ten minutes. Jesse Lingard was also at the heart of the second goal after his quickly taken free-kick found its way to Jarrod Bowen whose shot found its way into the back of the net for the second West Ham United goal when Bernd Leno in the Arsenal goal should have done better.
Czech Republic international Tomas Soucek has been in sensational form for West Ham United this season and he added a third goal for the East Londoners minutes before his own goal started the fightback for the visitors. His own goal ensured that his team went into the break at 3-1. Arsenal thereafter dominated the second half and got the reward with two goals courtesy another West Ham own goal from Craig Dawson and the impressive Lacazette. Arsenal could have scored more but they had to settle for a 3-3 draw. With the result, West Ham stay in fifth and they are now two points off Chelsea in the fourth and final Champions League spot. They were level with Chelsea for almost the entire duration of the match until they conceded an equaliser in the final ten minutes of the Arsenal game. For Arsenal, the point won means they are up by one place to ninth spot as they were able to move above Aston Villa on the table.