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

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After all the fuss over Arnautovic’s desire to take a lucrative offer from an unnamed Chinese club, the biggest roar at the London Stadium was reserved for the moment when a crisp finish from Declan Rice gave West Ham the edge over one of the blander Arsenal sides in recent memory.

“I am sure Declan will be a top player,” Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham’s manager, said.



While body language experts debated whether Marko Arnautovic was waving goodbye or thanking the crowd for a warm round of applause after his substitution in the second half, it was a day when the limelight ended up shining on the local lad who has been earmarked as the leader of West Ham’s next generation.



There was a brief flurry from Arsenal, Iwobi threatening, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang firing over.

Rice’s latest immaculate display underlined why West Ham tied him down to a new long-term deal last month, not to mention why he is coveted both by England and the Republic of Ireland.

West Ham were the stronger side in the final third, with Felipe Anderson’s quick feet causing problems and Samir Nasri determined to silence the constant taunts from the away end away end.

The former Arsenal midfielder was influential in the No 10 role and produced the assist for Rice’s goal.
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