Declan Rice’s sweet finish for his first West Ham goal downs wasteful Arsenal

After all the fuss over Marko Arnautovic’s future, the limelight belonged to a local lad who places his love of the game above the riches that are surely going to come his way. The script seemed to demand an audacious performance from Arnautovic but instead the day belonged to Declan Rice, who sealed West Ham’s best win under Manuel Pellegrini with his first goal for the club.

There is unlikely to be a bigger roar at the London Stadium this season. West Ham have a proud tradition of producing their own players and they have unearthed a gem in Rice, a 19-year-old whose maturity continues to take the breath away. He turns 20 on Monday and played like a seasoned professional against Arsenal, frustrating Unai Emery’s side time and again with a series of well-timed interventions in defensive midfield, and he displayed his outstanding technique when he settled a tight encounter with a fine shot in the 48th minute.

Continue reading…