Arsenal 4, West Ham United 1
Arsene Wenger insists he will not play a part in choosing his successor after his Arsenal side won the first match since the imminent end of his 22-year reign was announced.
Three goals in the last 10 minutes – two from Alexandre Lacazette and one from Aaron Ramsey – ended West Hams resistance, after Marko Arnautovic had drawn the visitors level and cancelled out Nacho Monreals opener.
Victory moved Arsenal to within six points of fifth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League – and boosted morale before Thursdays Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid – while West Ham remain just six points above the relegation zone, in 15th.
“Its not my decision,” said Wenger, who talked up the credentials of former Gunners captain Patrick Vieira last week.
“I always feel that the most important thing in a football club is that everybody does his job. My job is to take care of the team, of the results and of the finances in the transfers. Thats what I did. My job is not to select the next manager.”
Wenger last week announced his decision to step down after 22 years (Source: Getty)
Wenger declined to elaborate on his decision to step down, which was announced on Friday, but played down the prospect of him managing another English club.
“At the minute I speak to you, Im too attached to this club to say I would go anywhere else,” he said.
West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart kept the hosts at bay in a meandering first half but Monreal ignited the contest six minutes after the restart when he volleyed in a corner.
Arnautovic thumped an equaliser past David Ospina 13 minutes later and Hart denied both Grant Xhaka and Danny Welbeck with fingertip saves before Arsenal took the lead in freak fashion.
Ramseys tame cross looked benign but Hammers defender Declan Rice ducked and it drifted in at the far post. Lacazette then glossed the scoreline with two smart close-range finishes following neat penalty-box interplay.