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Rice gives West Ham rare win over Arsenal

Declan Rice’s first goal for West Ham United gave his side a rare English Premier League win over Arsenal on Saturday.

Rice scored the only goal at the London Stadium as the Hammers earned just their second league win over the Gunners in 22 games.

The 19-year-old capitalised on a poor Arsenal clearing header by sending a shot into the top corner early in the second half.

Former Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, rebuilding his career at West Ham after a doping ban, was at the heart of much of West Ham’s best work on his Premier League debut for the club.

It was the Frenchman’s neat lay-off that allowed 19-year-old midfielder Rice the space to curl a superb shot past Bernd Leno.

West Ham coach Manuel Pellegrini believes Rice is becoming the “complete player”.

“He is improving in every game,” Pellegrini said.

“He has showed good technique and good in aerial duels, I think we are seeing the complete player. At 19 years old, I am sure we will see a top, top player.”

Pellegrini added: “I am pleased with the consistency. We played with the mentality of a big team, so I am happy for all of that.”

The win lifts West Ham up to eighth place while Arsenal remain fifth.

Leaders Liverpool try to avoid a third straight defeat when they visit Brighton and Chelsea host Newcastle among Saturday’s six other matches.

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