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West Ham floor feeble Arsenal to complete rough return for Declan Rice

This was a defeat that underlined Declan Rice’s importance to Arsenal. Mikel Arteta decided to look at some of his squad players and ended up accusing them of forgetting about the simple things against highly motivated opponents. It must have been jarring for Jorginho, Reiss Nelson, Jakub Kiwior, Fábio Vieira, Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz to hear Arteta talking about Arsenal failing to compete as West Ham, who swept into the Carabao Cup quarter-finals thanks to some thrilling attacking from Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus, capitalised on Rice spending the majority of his first return to the London Stadium on the bench.

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There was little structure in midfield with Jorginho playing as the anchor instead of the £105m man. Arsenal were too meek and could have few complaints, even though Arteta felt that West Ham’s opener should not have stood. David Moyes, who claimed his first win over Arsenal as West Ham’s manager, could reflect on a job well done. Edson Álvarez, one of the players brought in to replace Rice, dominated midfield. Bowen starred up front and Kudus scored another magnificent goal. Konstantinos Mavropanos caught the eye against his old side, showing strength and authority next to Nayef Aguerd in central defence.

“Maybe we’re becoming quite a good cup team,” said Moyes, whose side go to Liverpool in the quarter-finals. “I want to be a good league team if we can be. We’ve only won a game against Arsenal. You don’t get any trophies for winning against Arsenal tonight. The draws in the cups are always hugely important.”

Quick Guide

Carabao Cup quarter-final draw


Newcastle will travel to Chelsea in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after knocking out both Manchester clubs. Eddie Howe’s side followed up their victory over City with a 3-0 win over United at Old Trafford with goals from Miguel Almirón, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock.

The Magpies will now face five-times winners Chelsea, who beat Championship Blackburn thanks to goals from Benoît Badiashile and Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge.

West Ham’s reward for a 3-1 victory over Arsenal is a trip to Anfield to take on Liverpool, who edged out Bournemouth 2-1 thanks to Darwin Núñez’s superb winner, while Everton will play Fulham.

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There will be a team from the English Football League in the semi-finals with League One Port Vale hosting Championship Middlesbrough. PA Media

Draw Everton v Fulham; Chelsea v Newcastle; Port Vale v Middlesbrough; Liverpool v West Ham. Ties to be played week commencing 18 December. 

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While Moyes was a little muted, surprisingly so after West Ham’s most emphatic win over Arsenal since 1987, Arteta let his displeasure out. “We have to use the pain on Saturday,” the Spaniard said, his thoughts already turning to the challenge of visiting Newcastle in the Premier League this weekend. Changes are inevitable. Rice, William Saliba, Gabriel Martinelli, Martin Ødegaard and Bukayo Saka will return and Oleksandr Zinchenko can expect to make way for Takehiro Tomiyasu after struggling at left-back, particularly when he lost Kudus for West Ham’s second goal early in the second half.

It was a mess. Zinchenko may be good on the ball but opposing wingers know he can be exposed and Arsenal suffered before Arteta withdrew the Ukrainian in the 57th minute. They had created little, with Havertz disappointing again, and one of the stories was a jittery display from Aaron Ramsdale. Given a chance to show he should be starting instead of David Raya, the Arsenal goalkeeper would not cover himself in glory when West Ham went ahead through Ben White’s own goal.

The game immediately fell into a predictable pattern, as West Ham got numbers behind the ball and soaked up pressure. It was the usual formula from Moyes against superior opponents and Arsenal, who made six changes after thrashing Sheffield United, lacked their usual zip. Havertz tested Lukasz Fabianski with a glancing header in the eighth minute but there was little to concern West Ham as they waited for opportunities to counterattack.

It did not matter that West Ham only managed three touches in the Arsenal box before half-time. They struck in the 16th minute, Bowen’s corner from the right causing the damage. Tomas Soucek pinned Ramsdale, who argued he was impeded by the midfielder pulling his shirt, and nobody else took charge. The ball flicked off White’s head and Ramsdale’s belated attempt at a flying punch did not look clever.

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Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice holds his head in defeat to West Ham.Former West Ham captain Declan Rice looks on as Arsenal fall to defeat at the London Stadium. Photograph: Shaun Brooks/Action Plus/Shutterstock

Arsenal’s response was muted. Eddie Nketiah headed wide from a corner but West Ham were growing in confidence. They went close at the start of the second half, Lucas Paquetá releasing Bowen, Ramsdale denying the forward with a smart save.

West Ham were warming to the task. They sensed that Arsenal were vulnerable under the high ball and they struck again when Aguerd sent a long diagonal over Zinchenko in the 50th minute.

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The left-back completely misjudged the flight of the ball and was stranded when it fell to Kudus. From there it was all about the Ghanaian’s technique. He killed the ball with a first touch that allowed him to swerve inside and his second was even better: an angled, left-footed shot that zipped beyond Ramsdale and into the far corner.

On came Rice, greeted by a curious mix of boos and cheers, but West Ham were rampant. There was no resistance from Arsenal when Vladimir Coufal attacked from right-back after an hour. Coufal crossed, White’s clearance was poor and Bowen’s shot flew past Ramsdale via a deflection off Kiwior.

Arteta responded by introducing Martinelli, Ødegaard and Saka. But with Havertz producing another ineffective performance, there was no way back for Arsenal. Ødegaard’s late consolation meant nothing.