Second-Half Surge Lifts Arsenal Over West Ham in Premier League

Arsenal scored four goals in a 10-minute span just after halftime on its way to a 5-1 rout of West Ham in English soccer’s Premier League.

Olivier Giroud scored twice last night at Emirates Stadium, with Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott adding a goal each.

“We got a good response” after consecutive league defeats to Manchester City and Chelsea, manager Arsene Wenger said on Arsenal’s website. “In the second half from the start on we created chance after chance and played at a very high pace.”

Jack Collison had the goal for West Ham, which finished with 10 men as Dan Potts was taken off the field on a stretcher with a head injury after the Hammers had made all three of their substitutions.

West Ham went in front in the 18th minute when Matt Taylor’s corner kick was headed away by Olivier toward Collison, whose left-footed shot from the edge of the area beat Wojciech Szczesny. The lead lasted four minutes as Podolski fired a shot from 25 yards (22 meters) that left goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen with no chance.

Podolski had a shot cleared off the line by Joey O’Brien and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey kept Carlton Cole’s flicked shot over Szczesny out of the net. Jaaskelainen then made a lunging save of Cazorla’s free kick in first-half injury time.

Arsenal took control of the match in the opening 12 minutes of the second half.

Four Goals

Giroud put the Gunners in front in the 47th minute by directing Walcott’s low corner kick past Jaaskelainen. Cazorla made it 3-1 six minutes later off a pass from Podolski, who then provided a ball for Walcott’s goal one minute later. Giroud closed the scoring in the 57th minute when he poked another Podolski pass past Jaaskelainen.

“I’m just stunned by what happened at the start of the second half because we were so comfortable from a defensive point of view,” manager Sam Allardyce said on West Ham’s website. “They got to their brilliant best and we couldn’t live with them for 10 minutes.”

The referee added 12 minutes of injury time at the end of the game to account for the onfield treatment of 18-year-old Potts, who fell unconscious after colliding with Bacary Sagna in the 75th minute.

Potts was carried off on a stretcher and taken to the hospital with a “severe concussion,” Allardyce said. He’ll remain there at least until today, the coach added.

“He didn’t really know where he was,” Allardyce said. “He had a bad bang on the head to start with and landed with his head hitting the ground.”

Arsenal remains in sixth place in the 20-team standings with 37 points through 23 games. West Ham stays 12th, with 27 points. Manchester United leads with 56 points, five more than Manchester City in second place.

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