West Ham beat Arsenal

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/F/Football.jpg' class='caption'> A Marlon Harewood goal in the final minute of Sunday's game gave West Ham a 1-0 victory and left Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger fuming.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:37 IST
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A Marlon Harewood goal in the final minute of Sunday's game gave West Ham a 1-0 victory and left Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger fuming. Wenger had good reason to be annoyed when referee Rob Styles didn't give his team a penalty after Hammers right-back Jonathan Spector brought down Alexander Hleb in the 68th minute. The French manager also refused to shake hands with West Ham counterpart Alan Pardew at the end of the game after being involved in a pushing match with him following the goal. Wenger didn't attend a press conference after the match, while Pardew tried to put the incident in the past. "It's a pity if this overshadows the game,'' Pardew said. "I was celebrating the goal, that's all I was doing. I will apologise if I offended him.'' And what a goal it was in the 89th minute. Matthew Etherington made down the left wing and tangled with Mathieu Flamini with both players hitting the deck, but Etherington was quickly back on his feet and carried on with his run. Well deserved win The former Tottenham winger played a quick one-two with Teddy Sheringham on the edge of the penalty area, and on receiving the ball back, crossed from near the bye-line. Substitute Harewood got in front of Kolo Toure to flick the ball past Jens Lehmann at the near post and set Upton Park alight. The managers and players then tangled, as Wenger believed Arsenal should have had a free kick for a foul on Flamini. West Ham fully deserved the victory and if Arsenal has serious designs on overtaking Manchester United and Chelsea at the top of the table, they will have to play much better. "We were physical today. We wanted to upset them and we managed it,'' Pardew said. "Today was all about West Ham and getting three points.'' Arsenal's superstars certainly didn't relish the competitive edge to West Ham's game. For long spells, skipper Thierry Henry drifted around as if uninterested in the proceedings while the Gunners was practically nonexistent. West Ham was inches away from taking the lead in the seventh minute. Etherington laid a short corner to Yossi Benayoun who knocked it back to him and the winger's cross shot skidded low across the Arsenal goal, with Bobby Zamora just failing to connect with it at the far post. Injury problems Arsenal opened up the home defence in the 13th. Hleb's chipped cross from an inside-right position was headed back from the far post by Henry to Robin Van Persie, who mistimed his shot into the ground and wide. Benayoun missed a gift at the other end in the 22nd minute. Zamora had threaded Spector through on the right and he crossed perfectly to the neat post with the ball sitting up beautifully for Benayoun, who headed the wrong side of the post from two yards. Arsenal stitched together a slick passing move when Francesc Fabregas picked out Henry in a centre-forward position. The skipper executed a first-time pass which he cushioned into the path of Tomas Rosicky, who from the edge of the box, crashed his shot wide. West Ham lost influential centre-back Anton Ferdinand just before the break after he injured an ankle blocking Henry's attempted drive, but the home defence held fast to secure their first clean-sheet of the season. Master stroke The double substitution of Sheringham and Harewood for Lee Bowyer and Zamora proved a master stroke by Pardew. Sheringham, the oldest player in the Premiership at 40, showed his class and with his first touch set up Hayden Mullins for a crack at goal, which the midfielder failed to take although Lehmann had to drop to make the save. The master dissected the Arsenal defence with another shrewd pass in the 76th minute which released Harewood. The muscular striker bore in on goal but disappointingly drove his shot straight into Lehmann. With 10 minutes to go, Toure hit a thunderbolt of a shot from all of 25 yards that ripped into the back rigging of Robert Green's goal. It was vital for Pardew's team to build on last week's victory over Blackburn Rovers, and this win not only lifted them out of the bottom three, but registered only their second home win over Arsenal in the Premiership after beating them at Upton Park in October 1999.(AP)

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