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Key talking points as Gunners hit hopeless Hammers for six
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Matthew Hill
LiveScore
Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice ran riot against West Ham
Bukayo Saka and Declan Rice ran riot against West Ham

Arsenal backed up their impressive victory over Liverpool in the best possible fashion by routing West Ham 6-0 at the London Stadium.

We round up the key talking points on a memorable afternoon for the Gunners.

Over in a flash

Half an hour into this contest, Arsenal may have been wondering if they were in for a frustrating afternoon.

Dominant but without a goal to show for it, Mikel Arteta must have been growing fearful his side were giving a traditionally well-structured West Ham something to hold on to. 

However, those fears were extinguished in a brutal 15-minute period prior to half-time, where the Gunners put four past their hapless hosts.

Centre-backs William Saliba and Gabriel nodded home Declan Rice deliveries either side of Bukayo Saka's penalty, before Leandro Trossard curled in a fabulous fourth.

Bad to worse

If the half-time memo from David Moyes was damage limitation, it is fair to say his words fell on deaf ears.

The Hammers continued to be cut open at will by their opponents and did not lay a glove on Saka as he danced through their defence to grab his second and his side's fifth.

Insult was soon added to injury when former skipper Rice lashed home a spectacular sixth and the suffering only ended there due to Arteta withdrawing many of his key men.

Thousands of Hammers fans had been pictured leaving the game at half-time and their decision ended up being well and truly vindicated.

William Saliba broke the deadlock for Arsenal
William Saliba broke the deadlock for Arsenal

Moyes under pressure

As impressive as Arsenal were, this was a capitulation from the home side which heaps further pressure on to the shoulders of their under-fire boss.

Moyes' place in West Ham history is assured after last season's Europa Conference League triumph but his style of football has been a bugbear for many fans in recent times.

One thing that is not usually associated with the experienced Scot is his teams going down without a fight — making this tame performance all the more concerning.

It will be interesting to see how the Hammers hierarchy react to such a harrowing defeat against a London rival.

David Moyes cut a deflated figure during his side's 6-0 loss
David Moyes cut a deflated figure during his side's 6-0 loss

Stars of the show

After a lean spell in front of goal by his own high standards, Gunners fans must be delighted to see Saka back to his dazzling best.

The England ace notched his fourth and fifth strikes in his last five Premier League outings and appears to have hit his stride at the perfect time.

Meanwhile, Trossard once again showed what an effective option he is for Arteta in forward areas, running the hosts ragged with his intelligent movement and precise passing.

The star of the show was inevitably Rice, however — two assists and a stunning goal seeing him applauded off by all four corners of the London Stadium.

Declan Rice turned in a fabulous performance against his old employers
Declan Rice turned in a fabulous performance against his old employers

Tantalising title race

From a neutral's perspective, the Premier League title race could not be more perfectly poised.

Liverpool lead the way on 54 points with +32 goal difference but now have City and Arsenal breathing down their necks on 52 points and an identical +31 differential.

City's game in hand, which comes against Brentford a week on Tuesday, means Pep Guardiola's men remain favourites but all three sides must fancy their chances on recent form.

If the Gunners keep ticking off the wins, their trip to the Etihad on March 31 could prove the campaign's pivotal clash.

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