Each time Declan Rice touched the ball, the boos, from a cross-section of the home faithful, rung around. It was not the return he, nor Mikel Arteta, imagined on a night that will remain long in the memory in these parts.
Both Mohammed Kudus and Edson Alvarez were exceptional, breaking up play at will, driving through a meek and confused opposition midfield.
Lucas Paqueta shone, too. Though it was Kudus’ goal, after 50 minutes, that set the tone, and the match for West Ham.
Nayef Aguerd’s aerial cross from just centimetres over the halfway line fell to Kudus in the box. He used his right foot to stab the ball down from behind, before using his left to rifle it past Aaron Ramsdale.
West Ham are through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup after victory over Arsenal
Declan Rice endured a miserable return to the London Stadium as his Arsenal side fell to defeat
Ben White opened the scoring for the Hammers with a header into his own net after 16 minutes
Kudus has now scored seven goals in 15 appearances this season; some coup he is turning out to be.
The Hammers’ best win thus far this season, and a Carabao Cup quarter-final spot, at the expense of the Gunners’ worst.
MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS
WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6.5; Coufal 6.5, Mavropanos 6.5, Aguerd 7, Emerson 6.5; Soucek 6.5, Alvarez 8; Kudus 8.5 (Kehrer 89), Benrahma 6.5 (Ward Prowse 81), Lucas Paqueta 8; Bowen 7.
Scorers: White (own goal) 16, Kudus 50, Bowen 60.
Manager: David Moyes 6.5.
ARSENAL (4-3-3): Ramsdale 6; White 5, Kiwior 5.5, Gabriel 6, Zinchenko 5.5 (Tomiyasu 57, 6); Vieira 5.5, Jorginho 5.5 (Rice 57, X), Havertz 7; Nelson 6.5 (Saka 66, 6), Nketiah 5.5 (Odegaard 80), Trossard 6 (Martinelli 66, 6).
Scorers: Odegaard 90+6.
Manager: Mikel Arteta 5.
Referee: Simon Hooper 6.
When asked whether his side are becoming a cup team, after winning the Europa Conference League trophy last season, Moyes said: ‘(It was) a good, solid team performance. Maybe we’re becoming quite a good cup team possibly.
‘I want to be a really good league team if we can be. But if I can’t quite do that, then I have to do well in the cups if I can.’
In truth, one would have to stretch their minds back some time to think of a worse performance under Arteta.
That bad, it made the boos for each of Rice’s touches when he came on in the 57th minute background noise.
And that bad, Ramsdale’s error for Jarrod Bowen’s goal, in which he palmed the ball into his own net after a slight nick off Jakub Kiwior, was an oversight.
Arteta knew so. He said: ‘Very disappointed, I’m responsible for that. We’re out of the cup and we wanted to play a very different game.
‘We have to use this defeat, this pain to prepare the best way to go to Newcastle and win.’
On the first goal, which saw Tomas Soucek pull Ramsdale’s shirt in the box, he added: ‘If there’s VAR, there’s no goal for sure… but again, I don’t want to use that as an excuse.’
The Gunners had made six changes from the 5-0 rout over Sheffield United, yet their line-up still looked menacing.
Take the defence, for example. White, Gabriel and Oleksandr Zinchenko have all been mainstays this season thus far.
West Ham were on a three-match losing streak, beaten in the league by strugglers Everton on Sunday.
They went full strength, starting both Paqueta and Alvarez with the pair suspended from Saturday’s league fixture against Brentford because of an accumulation of yellow cards.
Mohammed Kudus doubled West Ham's lead with a superb striker into the bottom corner
Kudus took a wonderful touch to set himself before squeezing his shot through
Jarrod Bowen sealed the win for David Moyes's side with a deflected strike on the hour mark
On an early break forward, Paqueta nearly provided Bowen a chance after five minutes but weighted his pass too heavy.
Kai Havertz, slowly building up confidence of late, showed early signs of threat, particularly in the air. A flick on header off a Reiss Nelson free-kick required Lukasz Fabianski to tip the ball over, and he had another headed chance saved in the first half.
Nelson looked particularly sharp but Paqueta swept to any loose delivery and that defensive cover, along with Kudus, was setting up West Ham attacks forward.
The first goal on 16 minutes arrived in a fortuitous fashion. Alvarez floated in a goalward cross from the middle of the pitch, which Gabriel headed away under pressure by Kudus. The resulting corner, taken by Bowen, saw White get in front of Ramsdale and head the ball into his own net.
He grabbed a black pole behind the goal, his eyes closed with embarrassment.
Martin Odegaard got a consolation for Arsenal with a low strike in the dying seconds
Arsenal last won the League Cup in 1993 and their wait will continue until next season at least
Paqueta began the restart in the same fashion as the first period, his pass this time reaching Bowen.
The forward tried a dink shot, Ramsdale spreading himself wide. The ball dribbled to near the left post before White cleared.
Yet four minutes later, the lead had been doubled, Kudus rifling that superb goal past Ramsdale.
They were not finished there, Bowen capitalising off White’s clearance. His shot was palmed in by the goalkeeper.
Martin Odegaard pulled one back off the game’s last kick, but that did not matter one iota.
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