Arsenal won3-0 against a poor West Ham side, who were short of firepower, as the hostsprepare for a great escape in Monaco in their Champions League last-16 secondleg. This is the Gunners’ fifth league game in a row.

The hostsdominated the first-half and could have gone ahead a lot earlier in the matchhad it not been for the brilliance of West Ham’s goalkeeper Adrian, who made acatalogue of fine saves. Theopportunities for Arsenal came as early as the fifth minute, when Walcottshould have scored, as he had a strong penalty appeal that was waved away by refereeChris Foy.

Walcott, who was in for the injured Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right,showed rustiness with his opportunities in only his third Premier league start thisseason. 

AlexisSanchez and Aaron Ramsey were also finding it impossible to get past Adrian,who was proving to be a force between the posts, but his net was finallybreached on the stroke of half-time by the red-hot French international, OlivierGiroud, who put the Gunners in front, with his stunning left-footed strike offthe post after good interplay.

Thesecond-half was a close affair, but Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan were not ableto make their chances pay for the Hammers, as they were looking likely to scorean equaliser at 1-0. The lateintroduction of Santi Cazorla, with twenty minutes remaining, was the catalystfor Arsenal; Cazorla was influential in the Welshman Aaron Ramsey’s, goal inthe 81st minute, which he curled from 12 yards.

Three minutes later Mathieu Flamini, a latesubstitute, scored a third for the Gunners with a close range finish, to addgloss to a comfortable performance for the home side.

This was animportant win for Arsenal, who are now third in the Premier League, just apoint behind Manchester City. ArseneWenger will be pleased that his side kept a clean sheet, as West ham did createa number of chances in the game but were missing the likes of Enner Valenciaand Andy Carroll up front to put them away.

Arsenal have their most important week of theseason coming up on Tuesday, as they will be returning to Arsene Wenger’sformer club Monaco, to try to overturn a two-goal deficit in their ChampionsLeague last-16 second leg.