x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Arsenal back on top of Premier League

The Gunners move back to the top of the table with a 2-0 victory against West Ham with goals from Denilson and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas insisted there will be "no excuses" as they bid to win the Premier League title, following Thomas Vermaelen's dismissal in the 2-0 win over West Ham. The Gunners moved back to the top of the table with Manchester United and Chelsea playing tomorrow. Denilson fired the Gunners in front after only five minutes. However, Vermaelen was deemed to have been the last man when he pulled down Guillermo Franco, and was shown a straight red card, but Manuel Almunia saved Alessandro Diamanti's penalty and Fabregas made it 2-0 with nine minutes left from the same spot following a handball by Matthew Upson. "At times it was very difficult and it always has been in the last few years against West Ham," Fabregas told ESPN. "It's always a difficult game, a London derby, everyone wants to win, the fans are really up for it and in the last few years it has been tough." Asked whether he saw Vermaelen's challenge, the midfielder said: "No, but I heard it was 50-50. The referee said it was 100 per cent, so he will know better. "He (Vermaelen) is an amazing player and an amazing guy, but there are no excuses. We want to go all the way with the squad we have. We have a quality squad and we want to prove that." Man of the match Alex Song said: "We had 10 against 11 and we managed. When we play like we did today, nobody can beat us." West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola said: "We did have a big part of the game. I thought in the first half we played the best game of the season and certainly deserved something more. In the second half I was a little bit disappointed, I wanted to play a little bit more left-to-right, right-to-left to move them (Arsenal) around a bit. "We lost a bit of discipline and conceded the second goal. It was disappointing because it was a big opportunity for us and we probably deserved something more." * PA Sport