19 Jan 2015

Arsenal beat City, Hammers boost European hopes

11:49 am on 19 January 2015

Arsenal ended their away hoodoo against English Premier League football title challengers with a 2-0 victory at Manchester City that left Chelsea five points clear at the top.

All White Winston Reid in action for West Ham twists to successfully head the ball.

All White Winston Reid is enjoying a successful period with West Ham Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Santi Cazorla gave Arsenal the lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute, after returning City skipper Vincent Kompany felled Nacho Monreal, and Olivier Giroud doubled the lead in the 67th minute with a deft header.

City included Sergio Aguero in the starting lineup, after a month-long injury absence, but the Argentine was largely anonymous against a vastly improved Arsenal defence.

The result lifted Arsenal to fifth on 39 points and one behind Manchester United in fourth.

The end of second-placed City's 12-match unbeaten run left them on 47 points to Chelsea's 52 with their next league outing a daunting trip to Stamford Bridge on January 31st.

Earlier European hopefuls West Ham United revived their push for a top four finish with a 3-nil victory over relegation-threatened Hull City at Upton Park.

After the visitors battled bravely in the opening period, in-form Andy Carroll opened the scoring for West Ham with a simple finish in the 49th minute.

Substitute Morgan Amalfitano and the impressive Stuart Downing then applied neat finishes within three minutes of each other as West Ham reignited their top-four challenge.

The result sent the Hammers up to seventh with 36 points from 22 games, just four behind Manchester United.

West Ham have more points at this stage of a Premier League campaign than ever before while Hull are 18th, level with Queens Park Rangers and just two points above bottom-of-the-table Leicester City.