Rice spotted laughing on Arsenal bench appearing to talk through West Ham moment

Rice spotted laughing on Arsenal bench appearing to talk through West Ham moment

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice could be seen revelling in the moment shortly after scoring a stunning goal against his former club West Ham on Sunday afternoon.

Rice, 25, was influential in Arsenal’s emphatic 6-0 win at the London Stadium, laying on goals for William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes before completing the rout with a majestic 30-yard strike, which fizzed past Alphonse Areola in the home goal.

The former West Ham captain was relentlessly booed by Hammers fans on his return to east London but refused to celebrate his strike out of respect for his former employers. He was all smiles, however, on the Arsenal bench during the closing stages of the match.

Eagle-eyed fans spotted Rice deep in conversation with Bukayo Saka – who bagged a brace – and Ben White shortly after being substituted off by Mikel Arteta with the match sewn up. He could be seen laughing while apparently talking through his spectacular goal.

Fans reacted to the clip, which went viral on social media after being broadcast on Sky Sports. One posted: “Declan Rice laughing at West Ham on the bench”.

While the majority of West Ham fans were less than welcoming to their former favourite, Arteta defended Rice post-match and insisted that he still “loves” the club.

“I’m really happy with him,” the Spaniard told reporters. “I know that it was an emotional day for him because he loves West Ham. But he had to focus on what he had to deliver. Set pieces were one of those. I was really pleased to see the class of the crowd to give him what he deserves.”

Arsenal’s emphatic victory is their biggest away day triumph in the Premier League era and Arteta waxed lyrical about a performance that also laid down a market to title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Join the debate! What did you make of Arsenal’s performance against West Ham? Let us know here.

Arsenal midfielder Declan Rice refuses to celebrate after scoring against his former club, West Ham

Rice refused to celebrate after scoring against his former club
Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

He told Sky Sports in his immediate post-match interview: “I’m extremely happy. The way we performed, the way we played, such a big score in a really difficult place. It tells you a lot about how well the boys played today.

“It’s great to make [club] history, especially the way we have done it. We’re in a good moment and when you have good moments, you have to build and maintain the momentum. The team from the beginning looked really sharp. We had to put right the last two results against them and that was a good motivation for the boys.” Arsenal end the weekend in third, level on points with Manchester City and two points behind current league leaders Liverpool.

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