Arsenal found no problems in returning to form after the international break with a victory against West Ham as Martin Odegaard showcased several flashes of brilliance.
Mikel Arteta’s side found themselves a goal down at halftime after Said Benrahma put the Hammers ahead from the penalty spot. The second half then served as a reminder of just how good the Gunners can be.
Goals from Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Eddie Nketiah wrapped up the three points for Arsenal in the second half after a dominant spell after the break.
While Odegaard himself didn’t get on the scoresheet, he did have a fantastic performance. The 24-year-old produced two assists and ran the show for Arsenal from midfield.
Odegaard told the Arsenal website: “I think we just said, ‘keep on playing, keep on believing, keep doing the same things.’ A few adjustments, but I think we played pretty good in the first half as well.
“Just lacked the goal and they scored out of nothing. But I think we played well, and we kept on doing a lot of the same things. And then we got more space in the second half. I think they were tired in the end, so brilliant, brilliant performance.
I think the work we’ve done. We’ve had a few players in the World Cup, but the ones who have been here have been working so hard.
“We had a really great camp in Dubai, some good games there and hard work really. I think everyone is hungry to come back and prove that we’re good enough to be where we are. So hard work and a lot of commitment to the club.”
“I felt good today. I think the whole team was good. I had some more rest than other players, not being in the World Cup. So I think I’ve used that in a good way and I felt good.”
Arteta’s side are now eight points clear of Manchester City, having played an extra match. Odegaard insists that they will remain focused on themselves and not the sides around them.
“Yeah, but as we’ve said many times, we focus on ourselves. We don’t care too much about the other teams. We’re just focused on ourselves. Keep working hard, stay humble. We look for the next game and win that one. That’s all that matters.”
Odegaard was in fine form against West Ham and this back-heel nutmeg against Jarrod Bowen and Lucas Paqueta proves just how good he is playing at the moment.
THIS IS FØØTBALL 🤩pic.twitter.com/tPsnKSEgc3
— Arsenal Presser (@APresserV2) December 26, 2022