Mikel Arteta took the blame for Arsenal’s painful 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat at West Ham.
Arteta made six changes to his line-up for the fourth-round clash, starting with Declan Rice on the bench on his Hammers homecoming.
Rice, who lifted the Europa Conference League trophy as West Ham captain last season, was back at his old club for the first time since his £105million switch to the Gunners.
But he will not be getting his hands on the Carabao Cup this season after strikes from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen, following an early own goal by Ben White, sent the north Londoners crashing out.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Gunners boss Arteta. “I’m responsible for that, we’re out of the cup, we wanted to play a very different game and compete.
“The game took a direction because of the first goal but we have to see much more from the team and earn the right to win.
“I’m disappointed with myself. We wanted to play in a different way and we weren’t able to do that. Every time we lose the pain is there.
“We have to use this pain and this defeat to prepare the best way for Newcastle on Saturday.”
The touch 🤌The finish 🤩
— Carabao Cup (@Carabao_Cup) November 1, 2023
West Ham took the lead after 15 minutes when Bowen’s corner was inadvertently headed past Aaron Ramsdale by White at the near post.
The second goal arrived in the 50th minute when Ghana winger Kudus collected a long ball into the box from Nayef Aguerd, skipped past Oleksandr Zinchenko and rifled a low shot through the legs of Gabriel and into the net.
Rice was the only goalscorer the last time West Ham beat Arsenal, in the Premier League in 2019.
“You should have signed for a big club” was the mischievous chant aimed at the 24-year-old when he came out to warm up.
Much of the build-up to the match centred around the reception the England midfielder would receive and when he was sent on in the 56th minute the boos were quickly drowned out by a standing ovation from most of the home fans.
But, before Rice had a chance to get into the game, West Ham had a third after Bowen collected White’s headed clearance and lashed it past Ramsdale via a deflection off Jakub Kiwior.
Martin Odegaard scored a consolation goal with the last kick but it was West Ham’s night as they marched into the quarter-finals.
“It was a really good solid team performance. The forward players did a really good job and for long periods we were good defensively. For most of it we coped well,” said boss David Moyes.
“Maybe we are becoming quite a good cup team. I want to be a really good league team if I can be but if I can’t quite do that then we have to do well in the cups if we can.
“We have only won against Arsenal, we don’t get trophies for that.”