Full-time - 90'
2 - 0
17:30 +00:00, March 20, 2010
Emirates Stadium, England
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Chelsea and Manchester United will be looking to respond with victories tomorrow and you can follow all the coverage live on ESPN Soccernet. Thanks for following! Bye!
However Arsenal were lucky to escape conceding a penalty in the second half when Daprela was fouled. But Arsenal were worthy winners in the end.
The talking point of the game will be Vermaelen's red card which was harsh.
And that's it. Arsenal go top of the Premier League tonight with a 2-0 win over West Ham.
Fabregas has stepped in and told Eboue to cool it.
Despite being 2-0 and coasting to victory, Eboue finds it necessary to have it out with the ref. He will get a yellow card if he's not careful.
We are into the 3 addition minutes of injury time...
Silly challenge, he's been asking for that all game. He gets his wish.
Yellow card for Daprela.
But Cole comes close for West Ham. McCarthy's ball to Cole pushes the Englishman slightly wide and he shoots just over with his right foot.
Ecuardo is nearly put through by Fabregas but the ball clips his heel. Arsenal look very eager for a third with the game beyond West Ham now.
And the substitute nearly finished West Ham off. Eboue sprints down the right and puts the ball in to Eduardo, but the Croatian can't finish.
Arsenal sub: Eduardo on for Arshavin.
Eboue is tormenting the hapless Daprela again. So much so that Eboue is down with cramp.
And that should be enough to put Arsenal top tonight. Arsenal deserve to win this and the Arsenal fans know it. They're singing their hearts out.
Fabregas waited to see Green dive right as Fabregas stroked it left. Great penalty by the Arsenal captain.
2-0 TO ARSENAL!
Upson handballs it. Big chance for Fabregas...
PENALTY TO ARSENAL!
Eduardo is warming up...
Fabregas's cross is too high. Goal kick.
Clichy wins a free kick off Tomkins. Clichy had the beating of him on the left and Tomkins cynically shoved him in the back. Great place for a free kick.
West Ham sense they can snatch a point here.
Carlton Cole hits the post! Great effort by the striker on his left foot. Rocketed his shot from 20 yards and it cannoned off the outside of the left post. That was close.
Arshavin ducks and weaves after Diaby's ball to him. He gets a shot away but it was tame.
And McCarthy is involved immediately. Spector finally puts a good ball in from the right and McCarthy heads it over. The South African should have hit the target there.
West Ham sub: McCarthy for Mido.
Arsenal sub: Sagna on for Nasri.
The cross by Fabregas is met by Campbell, whose header is saved by Green. To tell the truth it hit Campbell on the shoulder rather than the forehead. Big chance for Arsenal.
Nasri wins a free kick by the right corner flag. Fouled by Daprela.
Spector has now played two terrible passes in as many minutes. Instead of keeping possession he is looking long but the execution of the pass is awful each time from the American. Zola looks peturbed.
Eboue has conned the ref there. Big time. He left his foot in the tackle and has won a free kick just outside the box.
West Ham sub: Noble for Kovac.
Diamanti lets fly from 20 yards, the ball is off Campbell for a corner.
Stanislas and Mido exchange some neat passes and the former finds himself with a sight of goal, electing to pass back to Mido instead of shoot. The ball was intercepted and that was wasted by West Ham.
Fabregas takes the free kick quickly but Nasri can't reach the ball and the opportunity is lost.
Mido fouls Nasri in a dangerous area.
Arsenal have been camped in West Ham's half ever since Diaby came on, who has injected some urgency into Arsenal's play as they seek to double their lead.
Eboue puts a ball across the face of goal. Misses everyone.
The pressure is mounting for West Ham. Fantasy football by Arsenal and by Diaby who beat three players but couldn't bring the return ball under control.
Fabregas hits the resulting free kick past the wall but wide.
The former Arsenal man cynically chops Eboue down as the Ivorian gallops towards goal. Upson took one for the team there.
Yellow card: Upson.
Diamanti shoots a very hopeful effort from just outside the box. Carlton Cole won the ball and laid it off to Mido, whose terrible pass made Diamanti check his run.
It looks like Diaby will play in defensive midfield, with Song dropping back to defence.
Arsenal sub: Diaby for Bendtner.
West Ham sub: Cole for Franco.
The corner from Fabregas causes some problems for Green. The England goalkeeper struggled with the slippy ball but he gathered eventually under pressure from Campbell.
Denilson forces a corner. Good play by Fabregas, he kept the ball until Denilson was in support, and Denilson's shot deflects off Spector for a corner.
Better start to the second half by the visitors though. This is a good spell of possession.
West Ham on the attack again. Diamanti is just offside and that's sloppy. West Ham had number forward there.
Daprela is fouled in the box but nothing is given! Song clearly trips the Swiss defender but the ref waves play on. I am mystified as to why that is not a penalty. Atkinson has copped out there.
Behrami is fouled late by Arshavin on the half way line. Not malicious, just late.
The rain is falling hard in north London tonight. Not affecting the perfect playing surface of the Emirates though.
Clichy loses the ball and Behrami plays a neat give and go with Diamanti. But Behrami's cross is too close to Almunia.
Returning to Vermaelen's sending off, it was harsh in my opinion. No doubt he was the last man and despite there being some contact, it didn't seen sufficient to bring Franco down.
Arshavin comes close with a header, but he can't keep it down.
Silvestre is on the bench in case Wenger chooses to change things after Vermaelen's sending off.
Neither side have made any changes.
Torrential rain greets us for the second half. Arsenal kick us off.
Exciting stuff! Join me in a few minutes for the second half.
Arsene Wenger is waiting for referee Martin Atkinson as he walks towards the tunnel. Wenger is furious! Atkinson is not stopping as he walks down the tunnel. A relatively comfortable half for Arsenal has ended with a bitter taste for title challengers.
That was a frantic end to the half. Arsenal are down to 10 men for the rest of the game and the impending suspension for Vermaelen may cost Arsenal dear in the title race.
HALF TIME. 1-0 to Arsenal.
Kovac is booked after one foul too many on Fabregas.
Yellow card to Kovac
Almunia dives to his left and saves from Diamanti. Fantastic save!
Vermaelen is adjudged to have fouled Franco as he was through on goal in the box!
Vermaelen SENT OFF!
Fabregas finds himself through on the right side of the box. His first touch is heavy though and his left foot shot is blocked. Arsenal are getting closer.
Arsenal come close. Fabregas is released by Nasri down the left and his ball across goal deserts everyone. Good approach play again by Arsenal.
Stanislas breaks forward for West Ham and delays his shot. When he eventually shoots from distance it is low and wide. Poor shot but Stanislas has been the away side's brightest player.
A late late tackle by Campbell. Stanislas was too quick for him and Campbell's lunge is rightly punished.
Yellow card to Campbell.
Stupid tackle by Diamanti. He just hacked Bendtner from behind. Clear yellow card.
Yellow card for Diamanti.
Spector and Franco exchange a 1-2 on the edge of the box. Spector is tackled by Campbell just as he shapes to shoot.
More attarctive football by Arsenal. Bendtner was central to the move and fed Eboue whose cross fizzed across the face of the goal, just ahead of Arshavin. Good play by the home side again.
The ref's assistant has flagged for a foul on Nasri by Daprela. It was actually given for a high foot. Looked harsh.
West Ham are enjoying some possession for the first time in the game now. They're not really doing anything with it though.
West Ham are defending well here and do look like they could grab a goal, but it's all Arsenal in terms of possession.
Kovac is down. Eboue came in late with his studs on the Czech's knee. Horrible tackle from Eboue, but to fair I think it was accidental.
Arshavin shows some searing pace and almost gets past Spector, but the American calmly played it back to his keeper, Green.
Diamanti fluffs a great chance. He could have got a shot away from just inside the box but decided to dilly dally and the chance was gone.
Behrami cynically fouls Fabregas and the resulting free kick is headed out for a corner. Fabregas is getting a mighty round of applause as he trots over to take the corner.
There's exasperation among the West Ham forwards. Franco can't believe Mido was tackled when he could have laid it off.
Nasri overhits his throughball to Bendtner. Arsenal look dangerous every time they have the ball.
The resulting corner is played short and the cross by Stanislas leads to a scramble in the Arsenal box. The ball is eventually hacked clear.
Campbell concedes a corner and he had time to chest it down and have a cup of tea. Gives the corner away under no pressure whatsoever.
Great football by Arsenal again, slightly ruined by Bendtner. His final pass to Fabregas was sloppy and that should have been 2-0.
Eboue crafts some space well on the edge of the box but the Ivorian was always going to drag his shot wide there. Decent effort though.
Great tracking back by Song. Mido was breaking across the halfway line but Song tackled him and ended up winning a free kick.
Franco is offside. He thought he wasn't but he was.
Walcott is warming up on the touchline. Not sure if Nasri will last much longer.
And now Arsenal's captain is down. Fabregas was fouled by Kovac and it looked worrying for a second for the Arsenal man. He seems ok though.
Arsenal win a free kick down their left and Fabregas whips it in. Green doesn't look that confident as he punches out rather than catches.
Great chance for West Ham. Stanislas puts a tempting ball through Arsenal's corridor of uncertainty and Mido can't quite make contact as he slides in at speed.
Arshavin looks for Bendtner with a low cross from the left. Intercepted by Spector.
West Ham just can't get out of their half at the moment.
Mido and Zola are in discussion on the touchline. And West Ham kick the ball back to Arsenal while Nasri receives treatment.
Nasri is hobbling. He seemed to jar his knee when he clashed with Mido a moment ago.
West Ham are under the cosh here. Nasri thought he was impeded after he tried to reach a 1-2 with Fabregas but the ref didn't agree. And neither do I.
Super football by Arsenal. Denilson just miscued at the crucial time but it was a typical Arsenal move. Fabregas and Bendtner were involved with some intricate play on the edge of the box. That was silky.
Diamanti comes close with the free kick. Almunia probably would have saved it but that was just inches over the bar.
West Ham win a free kick 25 yards out. Perfect for a left footer.
And now Bendtner tries his luck from distance. Wide.
That didn't take long did it? It's Denilson for Arsenal. He picked up the ball after it was cleared and exchanged a 1-2 with Bendtner before unleashing a fierce low drive from the edge of the box. Good goal.
1-0 TO ARSENAL!
Daprela hooks the ball clear for West Ham with Nasri breathing down his neck.
Arshavin darts through the middle but is offside.
Mido counter attacks for West Ham down the left but his cross can't quite find Franco.
Arsenal are knocking the ball around with their usual confidence. Clichy puts a cross in for Nasri, but the Frenchman runs into a dead end.
Early pressure from Stanislas down the West Ham left.
And we're away at the Emirates. West Ham kick us off and are shooting from right to left. If Arsenal beat West Ham they'll be top of the pile tonight.
Striker Carlton Cole and midfielder Mark Noble are named among the substitutes.
West Ham are without their skipper Scott Parker, who had a leg injury. Guillermo Franco, James Tomkins, Alessandro Diamanti and Junior Stanislas all come in.
Czech winger Tomas Rosicky was also fit again after a groin problem, and joined England forward Theo Walcott on the bench.
Cameroon midfielder Alex Song returns from a two-game suspension and Emmanuel Eboue slots in at right-back in the other change from last week's dramatic late win at Hull.
Arsenal welcome back captain Cesc Fabregas from a hamstring injury as they look to go top of the Barclays Premier League with victory over struggling West Ham.
Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)
West Ham: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Diamanti, Kovac, Behrami, Stanislas, Mido, Franco. Subs: Stech, Ilan, Cole, Noble, McCarthy, Ilunga, Spence.
Arsenal: Almunia, Eboue, Campbell, Vermaelen, Clichy, Fabregas, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Bendtner, Arshavin. Subs: Fabianski, Diaby, Sagna, Rosicky, Eduardo, Walcott, Silvestre.
Good afternoon everyone. Here's the latest team news:
Join us at 17.30 GMT for ESPN UK's live Saturday evening game, as Arsenal look to keep up their title charge against West Ham.