Issa Diop should not avoid David Moyes’ wrath after producing a shaky showing as West Ham United drew 3-3 with Arsenal on Sunday.
The Irons stormed to a three-goal lead after the first half an hour at the London Stadium, but wilted following the break and were punished for missing two big chances to seal a win.
Mikel Arteta’s visiting side were gifted a route back into the game approaching half-time when Alexandre Lacazette’s shot deflected in off Tomas Soucek and could smell a point when Craig Dawson blasted the ball into his own net in the 61st minute.
With the deficit slashed, the Gunners kept applying the pressure and eventually found a route to goal when Lacazette rose highest at the back post to meet Nicolas Pepe’s cross to equalise.
West Ham could have put the game to bed with the score at 3-2 only for Michail Antonio’s outstretched effort to smash against the base of the post, while Kieran Tierney denied Jarrod Bowen a second by blocking the winger’s effort.
Diop had thwarted Lacazette two minutes into the second period by hooking the ball away on the goal line after his compatriot lobbed goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski in an instance that set the tone for the rest of the half.
Yet, despite his goal-line clearance, Diop was far from at the top of his game on Sunday and deserved more criticism for his efforts, while Dawson was slammed for being just as outplayed.
Diop was noted as being the ‘better of the two at the back’ by the Evening Standard, while football.london awarded Dawson a five out of 10 rating to Diop’s six as the Watford loanee produced a ‘dodgy second half’.
Dawson’s own goal will have counted against him, but the 30-year-old knew he had to try and lift the ball clear otherwise Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang would have been gifted an easy chance at the back-post having drifted in behind Vladimir Coufal with ease.
Dawson’s overall efforts in hopes of preventing Arsenal coming from three goals down to take a point were often at a higher rate than Diop, too, despite neither defender attempting a single tackle on Sunday, per FBref.
While Diop pressured opposing players five times – only substitutes Mark Noble (0) and Ryan Fredericks (2) registered fewer for West Ham – Dawson tried to force a turnover eight times, including on three occasions in the middle third and once in the attacking zone.
Diop only applied pressure outside of the Hammers’ defensive third on one occasion, as the £67,000-per-week enforcer relied on his teammates to keep Arsenal in their territory and away from Fabianski’s area.
Dawson additionally blocked the ball twice as often as Diop and made five-times as many clearances, with the £4.5m-rated titan striving to keep play at the other end of the field a team-high 10 times – only Pablo Mari (12) made more for the Gunners.
Their performances further meant Dawson eclipsed his average 1.5 blocks per 90 minutes this season while Diop failed to meet his 1.83. Dawson also bettered his average 6.36 pressures and 5.93 clearances, while Diop performed blow his averages of 6.13 pressures and 4.09 clearances.
While Dawson’s own goal will have counted against him, the Watford loanee still produced a number of defensive actions to help keep Arsenal from equalising until the closing stages that Diop often did not. More focus should be on Diop, he was equally as poor as the Watford loanee.
AND in other news, a West Ham winter target is set to be available for £17m this summer…