Carroll hits Hammers hat-trick to dash Arsenal title hopes in derby draw
Lee Gormley | April 9, 2016
West Ham United 3-3 Arsenal
- Mesut Ozil’s eighth goal of season opens scoring after 18 minutes
- Alexis Sanchez adds a second on 35 minutes
- Andy Carroll scores twice in first-half injury time to level game
- Carroll completes hat-trick early in second-half
- Laurent Koscielny blasts in leveller on 70 minutes
Carroll trio secures epic derby draw
West Ham United’s Andy Carroll hit a quick-fire hat-trick to secure a thrilling 3-3 London derby draw with Arsenal at Upton Park, in a result which all but ended the Gunners’ Premier League title hopes this season.
The Hammers’ in-form frontman netted twice in first-half injury time after Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez seemingly put Arsenal into a commanding early lead, then dispatched his third in the second-half before a Laurent Koscielny equaliser made sure of an enthralling draw.
Carroll’s performance has surely put himself in the running for a spot in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for Euro 2016, though his club still have a lot of work to do to earn a Champions League position before moving to the Olympic Stadium this upcoming summer.
Ozil strikes against run of play
West Ham made a blistering start to proceedings with impressive build-up play from their backline, with Dimitri Payet and Michail Antonio linking up down the right flank and the latter’s cross finding Aaron Cresswell on the opposite side. The left back’s scuffed shot then gifted Manuel Lanzini a great chance, but the winger was caught offside after heading wide anyway.
The hosts were enjoying much of the possession early on, with Carroll the target of many lofted balls forward too, and Arsene Wenger cutting a frustrated figure on the Upton Park sideline as his team were pegged back.
Towering frontman Carroll was continuing to cause problems for Arsenal centre backs Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista, and his acrobatic attempt after 13 minutes set-up Lanzini for another close-range opportunity, but his eventual finish was ruled out for offside.
It wasn’t until the 18th minute that Arsenal finally made an impact on this London derby, with youngster Alex Iwobi brilliantly playing through Ozil on goal, and the German obliged with a clinical finish past a diving Adrian to open the scoring.
Sanchez and Carroll on target
Payet was enjoying himself again in his relished attacking role and he won a free-kick in a threatening position after drawing in a foul with his impressive close control. The Frenchman’s subsequent set-piece was unable to cause any damage to the Gunners though as they cleared comfortably.
With half an hour gone in east London, Arsenal were seeing their usual dominance on the ball reinstated, with Mohamed Elneny and Francis Coquelin anchoring the midfield solidly and such possession was soon to pay off.
Coquelin was given too much free space to run into with 35 minutes gone, as he charged down the middle and picked out Iwobi, with the latter forward then flicking the ball over a flat-footed Hammers defence towards Sanchez, with the Chilean emphatically firing in a second to extend their lead.
Having witnessed his side look the more promising early on, Bilic was looking bemused on the touchline, with the Croatian’s defence looking extremely shaky before half-time, though Carroll gave him something to build on during the break.
The bulldozing striker was picked out perfectly by Cresswell from the left wing as he sent a typically powerful header crashing past Ospina on 45 minutes, then moments later Carroll again struck with a superb volley, which deflected in to cement a sensational first-half comeback.
Carroll completes hat-trick
Immediately after proceedings got underway again, Lanzini broke free in the Arsenal penalty area and went down under a challenge from Hector Bellerin, claiming a penalty, though any appeals were waved away by the referee.
With Lanzini having had a goal ruled out for offside earlier, Payet had his chalked off with 49 minutes played on home soil. The Frenchman was gifted an open net to fire into after Carroll had forced the ball past Koscielny and Ospina, but the big frontman was deemed to have fouled his opposition.
It wasn’t to matter though, as Carroll rounded off a so far supreme performance by heading in again after 52 minutes to complete a superb hat-trick, this time firing in off a pinpoint right-sided delivery from Antonio, giving the hosts a narrow second-half lead.
Wenger introduced Welshman Aaron Ramsey into his midfield to try and inject some creativity going forward, with Coquelin making way, though West Ham’s defenders James Tomkins, Winston Reid and Angelo Ogbonna were standing strongly in a well organised shape after Bilic reverted to a back three.
Koscielny levels epic clash
Lanzini found himself in the right place at the right time, as he made a vital block off the line to stop Arsenal equalising from Nacho Monreal’s fierce effort after 69 minutes gone.
Although, Gunners skipper Koscielny soon fired in the crucial leveller from close-range just a minute after that goal-line clearance, as the Frenchman finished superbly past Adrian to tie things up in a truly enthralling Premier League London derby.
Both Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott were introduced in the latter stages of this epic clash by Wenger, but they were unable to rescue a win for their side, who have now drifted to 12/1 with Coral for a title triumph, following this enthralling 3-3 draw.