Arsenal were held to a 0-0 draw against West Ham United at the London Stadium, as the Gunners’ poor form away from home continues.
The North Londoners reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 formation for the trip to East London, with Jack Wilshere filling in for the injured Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud picking up his first Premier League start over Alexandre Lacazette.
The Gunners proceeded into the game with a measured start and good handle of possession, but it was at the other end that substantial ground was made up when Marko Arnautovic headed in the opener for West Ham before acknowledging the linesman’s flag for offside.
Arsenal would take 28 minutes to trouble Adrian’s goal through Alex Iwobi, picking the ball up inside the area prior to hitting the outside of the near post with his left foot.
The visitors wouldn’t be able to find a higher gear in attack, however, as West Ham safeguarded the goalless draw going into the interval.
The second period started with the same man, Arnautovic, looking to cause Arsenal problems with a first-time hook over the bar from a lobbed pass in the 46th minute.
Granit Xhaka looked to vary the play with a calculated curling effort at goal in response, but Adrian remained alert when catching the shot comfortably.
Cutting in on his favoured right foot, Ainsley Maitland-Niles was able to provide Giroud with a cross to attack, as the Frenchman’s back-post header was deflected wide for a corner in the 54th minute.
Arsenal imposed themselves further, with Mesut Özil bursting into the area with a pass from the left to edge the North Londoners closer to the opener, as his attempt using the outside of his foot bounced past the far post.
Wilshere was presented with a good opportunity in the 69th minute via Giroud’s knock-down, but the Englishman couldn’t quite set his first touch away from his standing position before shanking a right-footed volley high and wide.
The Gunners, without success, caused most of the problems before a late flurry of attacks from West Ham threatened to steal all three points before the final whistle, as Javier Hernandez took advantage of sloppy play at the back to curl an effort onto the underside of the bar in the 90th minute.
The deadlock would be maintained at full-time, as Arsenal conceded further ground in the chase for a top four finish.
By Patrick Ribeiro
Staring XI: Petr Čech (5) – Héctor Bellerín (5), Laurent Koscielny (6), Nacho Monreal (6), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (6) – Granit Xhaka (6), Jack Wilshere (7) – Alex Iwobi (5), Mesut Özil (6), Alexis Sanchez (4) – Olivier Giroud (4)
Subs: Danny Welbeck (4), Alexandre Lacazette (5)