Arsenal revive top-four challenge with win over West Ham

Wenger's side went into the clash at the Emirates Stadium having won just three of their last 10 matches in all competitions, but second-half goals from the Germany global, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud got them back on track.

"We come out of a hard period and our confidence goes quickly and comes back slowly", Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC.

The win ensured Arsenal moved up to fifth and within four points of the top four following Manchester City's 2-1 loss at Chelsea.

And the supporters took great delight in sending them back down to what seems to be their favourite spot in the league.

Arsenal striker Alexis Sanchez nearly scored the opener before the break after being wonderfully set up by Granit Xhaka, but his shot was well saved by the visitors' goalkeeper Darren Randolph as the first half ended goalless.

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The Gunners had only won one and drawn another in their past six Premier League games, to leave their hopes of Champions League qualification - having reached the last 17 tournaments - in real jeopardy.

The midfielder was only just returning from a hamstring injury but Bilic played down injury concerns after revealing that he was replaced due to illness - and should be available to face Swansea.

"We are looking over our shoulders, of course, and there is no point in hiding it".

"We were convincing after the break". It's not being negative, it's being realistic. It's a massive game against Swansea on Saturday.

And with Petr Cech (calf) still not fit, and David Ospina also out, third goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez is expected to step in.

"To get that confidence back is the key point".

I am going for an Arsenal win on Wednesday, and if I am right we will probably hear a lot more about whether Slaven Bilic is being sacked - or not - this week.

The Hammers now have 33 points from 30 games, 17 fewer than they did at this stage last season. "Thats why we chose to change him, to save him for Saturday, because he was no good after half an hour".

  • Julie Sanders