Mikel Arteta admitted Arsenal need to rediscover their “ruthless” streak after they blew a two-goal lead for the second time in a week.
The Gunners suffered another dose of the title jitters as West Ham came from two down to draw 2-2 at the London Stadium.
The Premier League leaders raced two goals in front inside the opening 10 minutes through Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard, but, just as they had against Liverpool last weekend, they faltered badly.
Said Benrahma’s penalty and Jarrod Bowen’s volley, either side of a missed spot-kick by Bukayo Saka, rescued a surprise point for the hosts and put another dent in Arsenal’s title bid.
“We started extremely well again, dominated the game, dominated the pitch and scored two beautiful goals, and after that we made a huge mistake,” said Gunners boss Arteta.
“We stopped playing with the purpose to score a third and fourth one. It looked too easy. We gave them hope and credit to West Ham, they took it.
“They did what they did really well, extremely direct, and we struggled to get out of that game. If you don’t defend your box like you should then you have to do many more things better.
“Then after 50 minutes you can go 3-1 up and the game is probably over, and two minutes later you concede a goal. That is part of football.
“My worry is after 2-0 that we made that huge mistake and did not understand what the game required in that moment. We need that ruthless mindset to go kill a team and today we haven’t done it.”
Arsenal looked to be cruising after Jesus tapped into an empty net and Odegaard volleyed Gabriel Martinelli’s cross past Lukasz Fabianski.
Yet West Ham were handed a lifeline when Declan Rice intercepted Thomas Partey’s weak clearance and squared the ball to Lucas Paqueta, who was brought down by Gabriel to allow Benrahma to score from the spot.
The points looked safe when Michail Antonio handled in the area and Saka stepped up to take the penalty, but the England winger put it horribly wide.
Moments later Bowen swept in a high ball from Thilo Kehrer to equalise, and relegation-threatened West Ham could have won it when Antonio’s late header clipped the crossbar.
“Very good after going 2-0 down,” said Hammers manager David Moyes.
“When you ever go 2-0 down to the team leading the league you’re thinking ‘my goodness’. But I didn’t think we deserved to be 2-0 down.
“We tried to put Arsenal under pressure and we looked a bit quicker all round the pitch. We need to get back to that. But we’re pleased, it’s a big result.
“Sometimes the fine lines are so small. They got a penalty and at 3-1 it’s going to be difficult. We got a bit of fortune, but then we grew and I quite fancied us to get a third one.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub