Santi Cazorla Arsenal West Ham
Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla scores a penalty against West Ham in their English Premier League gameReuters

Arsenal showed plenty of spirit and we-can-hold-on-under-pressure skills again as Arsene Wenger's men picked up their second straight win of the festive season courtesy a 2-1 win over West Ham.

The three points at Upton Park allowed Arsenal to leapfrog West Ham and into fifth place, just behind fourth-placed Southampton on goal difference.

Arsenal were expected to be given a tough test by West Ham, and that was exactly what transpired, with Alex Song, the former Arsenal midfielder, firing in from distance to beat Wojciech Szczesny and hit the back of the net early in the game.

However, the goal was ruled out by referee Neil Swarbrick after a couple of West Ham players were deeemed offside and interfering with Szczesny's vision. It was a debatable decision, but one that cannot be argued against as the West Ham players, Diafra Sakho in particular, was clearly offside with the ball going through the striker's legs and into the back of the net.

That did not please Sam Allardyce too much, though, but the match moved on with West Ham the better team overall in the first half hour or so, even if Arsenal looked quite dangerous on the counter-attack, especially with that man Alexis Sanchez in the mood again.

It was Arsenal's other outstanding player -- Santi Cazorla -- who opened the scoring, though, winning a clear penalty off a foul by Winston Reid, the defender who has been heavily linked with a January move to the Emirates, before dispatching the spotkick perfectly himself on 42 minutes.

Three minutes later and Arsenal were 2-0 up as Mathieu Debuchy, who did not have the greatest of defensive games, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain combined down the right, before the latter pinged in a perfect low cross for Danny Welbeck to poke home.

Those two goals would have hit West Ham quite strong going into halftime, but the home team came up with a good response in the second 45, halving the deficit on 54 minutes as Cheikhou Kouyate climbed above Debuchy to head a cross from James Tomkins off the Arsenal defender.

West Ham threw everything at Arsenal in the rest of the match, but it was the away side who had the better opportunities, with Cazorla and Oxlade-Chamberlain forcing fantastic saves from Adrian, while Welbeck had a couple of good opportunities to put the game to bed as well.

The Hammers went all out in the final few minutes even throwing Adrian forward for setpieces, but the Gunners rearguard just about stood firm to take the three points.