Paul Merson highlights major Arsenal 'difference' after West Ham thrashing

Paul MersonPaul Merson
Paul Merson | Sky Sports
Arsenal kept up with Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League title race after thumping West Ham 6-0.

Paul Merson insists Arsenal have done brilliantly to claw back some form after a difficult festive period saw them lose ground in the Premier League title race.

Arsenal recorded their fourth straight league victory in emphatic fashion on Sunday, putting West Ham to the sword in a 6-0 thrashing. Bukayo Saka netted twice for the Gunners with one goal apiece for William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Leandro Trossard and Declan Rice.

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Mikel Arteta's side have scored 16 goals in those four games to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool, who beat Everton and Burnley respectively on Saturday. It's been a quick turn in fortunes after consecutive defeats against the Hammers and Fulham, with Merson insisting that ability to bounce back will be key to maintaining a title challenge.

Asked what has been the difference for Arsenal in recent weeks, Merson told Sky Sports: “Putting chances away. When you look at it, [they’ve scored] five, two, three and six. They're putting chances away and working hard, it's a hard one to say because when I looked at the fixtures [at the end of last year] I thought West Ham and Fulham were nice fixtures but they lost them both. 

“If you want to win the Premier League or give yourself a chance, you have to bounce back quickly. A defeat and a draw in this day and age, with Liverpool and Man City, you have to win quickly. They've done that and got four wins, that's what you need to do. They've worked hard and been hard to beat.”

Arsenal enjoyed their most clinical performance of the season at the London Stadium and were 4-0 up by half-time, helped in part by a West Ham side who completely collapsed once Saliba had scored from a set-piece. Saka netted his first from the spot before Gabriel made it three from another set-play.

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Trossard made it four in added-time and Saka grabbed his second just past the hour mark. Former Hammer Rice got the sixth, netting the goal of the game with a lovely finish from 25-yards. Victory saw Arsenal go back level on points with City, albeit having played a game more than Pep Guardiola's side. Both are two points behind league leaders Liverpool.

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