West Ham Teenager Rice gives Hammers rare win over Arsenal

West Ham Rice gives Hammers rare win over Arsenal

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Declan Rice is becoming a “complete player” after the 19-year-old gave the Hammers victory over Arsenal.

Rice’s superb finish – his first Premier League strike – was the only goal at London Stadium, denting Arsenal’s top-four ambitions.

Bildergebnis für West Ham Teenager Rice gives Hammers rare win over Arsenal

“He is improving in every game,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports.

“He has showed good technique and is 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.”

Rice beat Bernd Leno with a first-time shot after a good lay-off by Samir Nasri, who was making his first top-flight appearance in England since August 2016.

The maiden top-flight goal comes two weeks after Rice signed a new contract that will keep him with the Hammers until 2024.

Before that, the international future of Rice, who can play at centre-back or in centre midfield, had been in the headlines.

He has earned three caps for the Republic of Ireland, all in friendlies, and the London-born man could yet decide to declare for England.

In a highly-competitive London derby, Alexandre Lacazette was denied by an excellent save from Lukasz Fabianski as Arsenal failed to score in the league for the first time since the opening day of the season.

West Ham were full value for their win, with Marko Arnautovic, Rice, Nasri and Felipe Anderson all going close when the game was goalless.

While West Ham move up to 8th in the table after a 6th win in nine league games, Arsenal remain fifth.

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