Hammers clip Canaries’ wings with embarrassing ease

Brian Jeeves

Norwich City v West Ham United – Premier League – Carrow Road – Report

Norwich City 0-4 West Ham United

West Ham United cleared their heads and brushed already relegated Norwich City aside with embarrassing ease in what proved to be a one-sided Premier League encounter at Carrow Road.

With both sides perhaps feeling a little sorry for themselves it was impossible to gauge exactly what sort of a contest would ensue. Hammers boss, David Moyes chose to focus on a season of positives: “It’s fantastic from where we were when you took over, but once you grow you want to be competitive and challenging, and I think in the main we’ve challenged teams in the Premier League and most in Europe this year,” the Scotsman explained.

“To get so close and not get to a final is disappointing. I think we’re a team which is capable of doing that.”

However, any talk of after-effects were swiftly extinguished. The visitors started the better and opened the scoring in the eleventh minute. Tim Krul should have done better in dealing with Said Benrahma’s right-footed drive. The ball squirmed through the stopper after Pablo Fornals and Manuel Lanzini had fashioned an opening.

Norwich already looked every bit, a team that had accepted their fate. Krul and Max Aarons got their wires crossed after Lanzini and Bowen had combined – Michail Antonio picked up the pieces to double the Hammers’ lead, much to the anger and dismay of the home crowd.

Firmly in control, Bowen missed the target from close range as the East Londoners threatened to run riot. But a third did arrive in first-half stoppage-time. Benrahma leathering home a third after Lanzini and Bowen had again created an opportunity.

Former Hammer, Sam Byram was denied after VAR invited referee, Robert Jones to have another look at his close-range finish immediately after the restart. The conclusion was handball against the Canaries’ full-back.

Nevertheless, the introduction of Tony Springett and Lukas Rupp provided an extra impetus to the host following the horror show of the opening forty-five minutes. 

West Ham were provided with an opportunity to add a fourth when VAR again intervened, this time ruling hands against Norwich defender, Jacob Sorensen. Lanzini completed the formalities from the resulting spot-kick.

Gallows humour took hold of the home support after substitute, Przemyslaw Placheta finally tested Lukas Fabianski. A chorus of ‘We’ve had a shot’ rang around the stands as the hosts starred down the barrel of a twenty-fifth defeat this term.

Billy Gilmour’s dead-ball attempt was too high, while Teemu Pukki’s effort was a fraction wide. But Norwich’s race, and indeed season, had long since been run. Fabianski denied Pukki in the final moments. Most Canaries fans had already headed for the exits.

West Ham United return to Premier League action on Sunday, May 15 when Manchester City visit the London Stadium (2pm).

Norwich City: Krul, Aarons, Hanley (Capt), Williams, Byram, Gilmour, Sørensen, Rashica (Springett 46′), Dowell (Placheta 71′), Lees-Melou (Rupp 46′), Pukki Subs not used: Gunn (GK), Gibson, Tzolis, Giannoulis, Gibbs, Rowe

Booked: Brandon Williams (foul)

Goals: None

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma, Dawson (Noble 67′), Cresswell, Rice (Capt), Lanzini, Fornals, Benrahma (Vlašić 75′), Bowen, Antonio (Yarmolenko 46′) Subs not used: Areola (GK), Johnson, Fredericks, Masuaku, Král, Souček

Booked: Jarrod Bowen (foul)

Goals: Said Benrahma 11′, 45+3′, Michail Antonio 30′, Manuel Lanzini (penalty) 64′

Referee: Robert Jones

Assistants: Ian Hussin and Wade Smith

Fourth Official: Kevin Friend

VAR: Graham Scott

Assistant VAR: Simon Long

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk