West Ham United 4-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
WEST HAM UNITED put their recent troubled behind them by convincingly thrashing bogey team, Wolverhampton Wanderers by four unanswered goals at the London Stadium.
Successive Premier League defeats, dissenting fans and positive COVID tests – I think it’s fair to say that West Ham United have had better initiations to a season during their 125-year history.
And with issues mounting amidst a tough run of fixtures, the last thing the Hammers would want is to face a side that has beaten them on all four occasions since returning to the top flight in 2018.
With David Moyes amongst those self-isolating, his assistant, Alan Irvine, took over pitchside tasks. But despite facing a Wolves side missing one or two key players, the Scotsman insisted it would still be a huge challenge for the East Londoners.
“I don’t think it will unsettle them as they have a lot of very good players and their level of performance in their games has shown they will be a good team again this year,” he explained.
“From our point of view, obviously we didn’t win or get a point at Arsenal but there were a lot of pleasing things as well as in the cup games. We were disappointed with how we played against Newcastle but happy since then.”
The Hammers had performed well at the Emirates a week previous – without reward. But they picked up where they left off. Jarrod Bowen profiting from a quick free-kick by Pablo Fornals – running at the Wolves backline before beating Rui Patrício with a neat left-footed finish from fifteen yards.
Patricio saved from Tomas Soucek after Arthur Masuaku had raced down the left, while Declan Rice attempted to pick the Wolves defensive lock as Bowen again lurked menacingly. Indeed, the home side were asking some stern questions. Patricio again saved the West MIdlanders bacon with an acrobatic stop to keep out Soucek’s goal bound header.
The Wolves threat had been minimal. Adama Traoré and Raul Jiménez had been well-marshalled by the Hammers rearguard, while Pedro Neto’s attempt drifted wide of the mark as Nuno Espirito Santo’s side struggled to make any real headway.
West Ham should have doubled their lead three minutes before the break. Fornals fired over a gaping goal after Particio had palmed away Antonio’s fierce angled attempt. And that almost proved costly when Ruben Neves tested Lukasz Fabianski’s resolve with the next action of the match.
But eleven minutes after the restart, West Ham doubled their money. Fornals hit the foot of an upright after Antonio had picked him out – Bowen in the right place at the right time to slot into an unguarded goal from close range.
West Ham were thoroughly enjoying themselves. This time Soucek was to profit. His header took a deflection off Raul Jiménez following Aaron Cresswell’s flag-kick – Patricio unable to prevent a third.
West Ham were ruthless, and evidently not finished either. Substitute Sebastien Haller powerfully headed beyond Patricio in stoppage-time after Masuaku had expertly picked him out, confirming an emphatic, comfortable success.
West Ham United return to Premier League action on Sunday, October 4 when they face Leicester City at the King Powers Stadium (Noon).
West Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks (Ben Johnson 49’), Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Arthur Masuaku, Jarrod Bowen (Mark Noble 88’), Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice (Capt), Pablo Fornals, Michail Antonio Antonio (Sebastien Haller 88’) Subs not used: Andriy Yarmolenko, Felipe Anderson, Manuel Lanzini, Darren Randolph (GK)
Goals: Jarrod Bowen 17’, 57’, Raul Jiménez (own-goal) 66’ Sebastien Haller 90+3’
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patrício, Willy Boly, Conor Coady (Capt), Romain Saïss, Nélson Semedo (Ki-Jana Hoever 74’), Rúben Neves, João Moutinho (Vitinha 74’), Ruben Vinagre, Adama Traoré (Fabio Silva 62’), Raul Jiménez, Pedro Neto Subs not used: John Ruddy (GK), Leander Dendoncker, Meritan Shabani
Booked: Conor Coady (foul)
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Assistants: Adam Nunn and Dan Cook
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Graham Scott
Assistant VAR: Derek Eaton