Arsenal's title hopes took an immediate dip on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
The Gunners were defeated 2-0 by West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium on a day that dampened the spirits of the North London club's fans who were buoyant prior to the Sunday afternoon fixture.
West Ham went ahead late in the first half when summer signing Dimitri Payet, who impressed throughout, sent a floating free-kick into the area which was met by Kouyate who had beaten a reactive Petr Cech to the ball to head home emphatically.
The second goal came in the 57th minute when Zarate caught the former Chelsea goalkeeper by surprise, sending a long range effort inside Cech's right post, sparking the Hammers faithful.
Arsenal created plenty of chances as they chased the game but were unable to break the West Ham resistance which was led by keeper Adrian and a calm defence consisting of Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, James Tomkins and Aaron Crewel, while 16-year-old debutant Reece Oxford impressed in a defensive midfield role where he shackled Arsenal's plethora of attacking players.
Emirates Stadium, London - 59,996
Debutants: ARS - Petr Cech (club)
- Will it be the same old story for Arsenal?
- Does Arsene Wenger need a quality striker to really challenge for the title?
- How good can Oxford be? Do West Ham have an exciting season ahead of them under Bilic?
First game like this was not in the script - Mistake and no points but tomorrow is another day to get ready for the next game ! #COYG
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) August 9, 2015
well done guys! ! ! right first time! sweating and fighting all along we reach the goal #ARSWHU@whufc_officialpic.twitter.com/70cnqwqn1y
— Angelo Ogbonna (@OgbonnaOfficial) August 9, 2015
So happy for the 3 points , really hard match but we did it !! pic.twitter.com/qqRMfi9BfZ
— Mauro Zarate (@mau_zeta) August 9, 2015
Happy to start the season with a win vs Arsenal. Great team performance and great support from the fans. #COYI#WHU
— Ox (@Reeceoxford_) August 9, 2015