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Sarri's 100 per cent start comes to frustrating end; Lacazette, Aubameyang hand Arsenal win

By Opta

London, September 23: Maurizio Sarri's 100 per cent start to life as Chelsea manager is over after his side failed to make the most of their superiority in a 0-0 Premier League draw at West Ham on Sunday (September 23).

Sarri was aiming to become only the third manager ever to win his first six Premier League games in charge, but the Hammers frustrated the visitors and dug deep to hold on to a commendable point.

Despite spending much of the first half under pressure, West Ham actually crafted the better chances, but Michail Antonio – starting in place of the injured Marko Arnautovic – squandered two presentable opportunities.

Alvaro Morata and Andriy Yarmolenko wasted glorious chances at either end after the interval, though opportunities were otherwise a rare commodity in the second half and the Hammers' rearguard action kept Chelsea at bay.

For all of Chelsea's first-half domination, clear-cut chances were hard to come by and they were nearly punished by West Ham just before the half-hour mark, but Antonio blazed wide after exquisite play by Felipe Anderson.

Kepa Arrizabalaga then kept Chelsea level a few moments later, blocking Antonio's close-range effort following a driving Yarmolenko run.

Chelsea finished the half with a flourish, but N'Golo Kante's header from Willian's cross went just wide.

The visitors looked tighter defensively after the break and should have taken the lead just after the hour – Morata's prodded effort blocked by Lukasz Fabianski's face from point-blank range following his introduction for the ineffective Olivier Giroud.

Yarmolenko missed an even better chance 12 minutes from time, heading wide of a gaping goal from Robert Snodgrass' delivery and that proved to be last opening as the spoils were shared.

After hosting League Two's Macclesfield Town in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, West Ham will welcome Manchester United to the London Stadium. Chelsea are in cup action on the same day as the Hammers, though their trip to Liverpool promises to be more of a test. They then face the Reds again in the league at Stamford Bridge three days later.

Lacazette, Aubameyang extend winning streak

Meanwhile, in the other match of the day, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck within three second-half minutes of one another to earn Arsenal a 2-0 home win over Everton in the Premier League.

Everton were the more threatening side during Sunday's first half at Emirates Stadium, but a quickfire double from Arsenal's attackers secured a fourth straight Premier League win.

The Gunners were grateful to Petr Cech for keeping the scores level at the break, the veteran goalkeeper saving twice from Richarlison and keeping out Lucas Digne's free-kick.

But Aaron Ramsey set up Lacazette and Aubameyang in quick succession to move Arsenal up to sixth, with Everton beaten again after a 3-1 home loss to West Ham last time out.

Nacho Monreal forced an early save from Jordan Pickford in an error-strewn start, with Cech denying Richarlison on the Brazil international's return from suspension.

Digne's whipped free-kick tested Cech again in the 31st minute before Arsenal had to make a change at the back, with Rob Holding replacing the injured Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Aubameyang's mishit cross deceived Pickford and bounced off the crossbar, while Richarlison's powerful drive needed another intervention from Cech.

Referee Jon Moss waved away Arsenal penalty appeals in the 55th minute when Jonjoe Kenny appeared to block Aubameyang's header with his arm, but the Gunners soon took the lead.

Ramsey, who struck a hat-trick in this fixture last season, fed Lacazette and the striker thundered home an unstoppable drive that clipped the post on its way into the top-right corner.

Before Everton had a chance to respond it was 2-0 and game over, Aubameyang slamming home - albeit from an offside position - after Ramsey flicked on an under-hit Mesut Ozil pass.

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    Story first published: Sunday, September 23, 2018, 20:00 [IST]
    Other articles published on Sep 23, 2018
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