Arsenal sent a resounding message to their title rivals with a historic 6-0 victory over West Ham, marking their largest Premier League away win. The triumph not only propelled them to second place, level with Manchester City, but also closed the gap to just two points behind league leaders Liverpool.
Bukayo Saka says the comprehensive win is a statement following their 3-1 triumph against Liverpool a week prior. Saka, who reached a milestone with his 50th and 51st goals for Arsenal, expressed his hunger for more as the team strives for their first title since 2004.
“We knew this was a big game and it was really important for us to win and make a statement. We did really well scoring six and keeping a clean sheet,” said Saka. Addressing personal goal targets, he added, “I just stay in my own lane and stay focused on what I want to achieve, and what I wanted to achieve at the start of the season. I’m still going and I have got quite a few more to go.”
The victory held special significance for Saka, as it erased the haunting memories of a missed penalty at the same venue last April, which marked a turning point in Arsenal’s previous title pursuit. Reflecting on the past, Saka emphasized the importance of learning from setbacks to become stronger.
“If you’re going to be a penalty taker, I don’t know any penalty taker that scores every single penalty,” said Saka. “I’m not happy to miss but I understand it’s part of the game, so when I won the penalty [yesterday] I was ready to take it again and score. I’ve had many lessons in my career and the best choice is to learn and take the learning process, which makes you stronger.”
The Gunners dominated the match, leading 4-0 at halftime with contributions from William Saliba, Gabriel, and Leandro Trossard, in addition to Saka’s penalty. Saka secured his brace in the second half, while Declan Rice added a stunning long-range effort for the sixth goal.
Arsenal’s attack, previously struggling this season, showcased newfound vigor post-winter break, scoring an impressive 16 goals in four games. Captain Martin Odegaard attributed the team’s success to an evolving ruthlessness, emphasizing the relentless pursuit of improvement.
“I think coming from a big game, a big win, and to come here and back it up with this performance is a brilliant sign,” said Odegaard. “During the game as well, we just wanted it more and more and I really liked the performance and the mentality of the team. We always want to improve, we always want more. I think we showed that during the game as well. When you go three or four nil up, it’s easy to drop a little bit, but we just kept on going and wanted more. That’s why I really liked.”