Walcott fires Arsenal top of EPL with West Ham win

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm •  Published: December 26, 2013
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LONDON (AP) — Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal returned to the top of the English Premier League by fighting back to win 3-1 at West Ham on Thursday.

Arsenal fell behind when goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny spilled Kevin Nolan's shot and Carlton Cole pounced to score a minute into the second half.

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian was also culpable for Arsenal's equalizer, with Walcott cutting in from the right and striking between his legs in the 68th.

Walcott headed Arsenal in front three minutes later, and Lukas Podolski netted in the 79th to ensure a three-game winless run in the league ended.

"From our disappointing results in the last few games it's nice to get a good positive away win," Walcott told BT Sport. "It's great to be top but it's going to be a very tough league this year, everyone is very tight, a lot of people are taking a lot of points off each other so we've just got to make sure we look after ourselves."

Arsenal displaced Liverpool from top spot, with the Reds dropping to fourth after losing 2-1 at Manchester City. Arsenal is two points ahead of Chelsea, which beat Swansea 1-0 on Boxing Day when every team was in action.

The only blot on the win was the 23-year-old Aaron Ramsey being forced off with an apparent thigh strain.

"The Christmas period is certainly over for him. It was his birthday today," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "I don't know how long it will be. We will have to see tomorrow morning. He knew straight away, but we have to see."

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