A busy second half for the Hammers saw their first win at home in over a year and their first ever victory over Arsenal in the WSL.

It was derby day at Chigwell Construction Stadium for West Ham and Arsenal this afternoon, and with a promising start to 2024, the Gunners were favourites to gain the three points.

West Ham manager, Rehanne Skinner, only made one change in the side since their victory against Bristol City, with Hawa Cissoko coming in to replace Emma Harries.

For Arsenal, Leah Williamson made her first start since rupturing her ACL and American international, Emily Fox, proved herself to be a regular in the starting line-up.

The game was neck and neck in the first half, with West Ham taking a defensive approach with a strong showing from their back line, until Russo managed to open the scoring late in the first half.

The goal came in the 43rd minute, after Smith won an aerial battle that rebounded to Russo who managed to drive the ball into the back of the net with a header.

This is the forward’s seventh goal involvement in her past eight games for Arsenal.

There was a hand-ball controversy after the ball got stuck between Zadorsky and Asseyi inside the box, but no penalty was given.

Despite this, Arsenal went into half time with a promising lead and a close call from Miedema, who’s ball hit the woodwork after an incredible last-minute tackle from Hayashi.

In the second half, an incident between Catley and Ueki led to a penalty for West Ham which was taken and scored by top French goal-scorer in the WSL, Viviane Asseyi.

After opening the floodgates for West Ham, Arsenal were off to a concerning start in the second half, prompting Eidevall to make all five of his substitutions.

Ultimately, however, this had very little impact with Cissoko scoring another goal for the Hammers in the 58th minute giving them the lead, 2-1.

With both teams fighting very different battles, the points were always going to be vital for both sides. For West Ham, claiming victory over Jonas Eidevall’s side provided a glimmer of hope from the threat of relegation. But has it cost Arsenal the title race?

Only time will tell.

Featured image courtesy of Louis via Flickr. No changed were made to this image. License details found here.

By Abby Rampling-Mott

Trainee multimedia journalist based in Preston. Abby is also a co-host on the LG Women's Football podcast.