Andy Carroll scored a quickfire hat-trick as West Ham and Arsenal played out a pulsating 3-3 draw at Upton Park in the Premier League on Saturday.
- West Ham 3 Arsenal 3
- Ozil and Sanchez put Gunners two up
- Quickfire Carroll double levels scores
- Carroll hat-trick header gives Hammers lead
- Koscielny sweeps home equaliser
Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez gave the visitors a comfortable two-goal advantage before Carroll powered home two headers and an acrobatic volley to give the Hammers the lead early in the second half, only for Laurent Koscielny to rescue a point for Arsene Wenger’s men.
The result has surely dealt a fatal blow to Arsenal’s already slim title hopes, while West Ham also needed the three points in their fight for the Champions League places.
Carroll had his name taken early on after a poor challenge from behind on Koscielny, before the home side wrongly had a goal ruled out for offside when Manuel Lanzini headed home Carroll’s overhead kick but the assistant referee’s flag was raised even though Lanzini was a yard on.
The Gunners then took the lead when the influential Alex Iwobi slid in Ozil and the German international produced a cool finish past Adrian in the Hammers goal.
That lead was doubled 10 minutes before the break when Iwobi was again given time to pick out a pass and his ball over the top fell nicely for Sanchez to expertly find the bottom corner.
Carroll tested David Ospina from distance as West Ham looked for a route back into the game and they found one a minute before half-time when Aaron Cresswell’s superb cross from the left was met by a typical bullet header from Carroll to beat Ospina.
Remarkably it was 2-2 in injury-time at the end of the first period when another cross found Carroll who miscontrolled at first before brilliantly volleying past Ospina, via a deflection off Gabriel.
Slaven Bilic made a brave substitution at the break, bringing on a forward in Emmanuel Emenike and taking off one of his three central defenders in James Tomkins, with Michail Antonio switching to right-back.
That approach certainly paid dividends within seven minutes of the restart when Carroll sprayed a cross-field pass to Antonio who then crossed to the far post for the towering hitman to head home for his hat-trick.
The Gunners almost drew level midway through the half when Nacho Monreal’s shot was cleared off the line by Lanzini, but they did equalise with 20 minutes to go when Ozil’s cross found it’s way through to Koscielny to sweep into the roof of the net from close range.
Ospina denied Payet and then Cresswell as the home side stepped up a gear again in what was proving to be one of the Premier League’s best games of the season.
But neither side could find a winner and both were forced to settle for a point that did their respective title and top four hopes no good.