Ings brace sets Hammers on the way as Forest are thumped

West Ham United v Nottingham Forest – Premier League – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 4-0 Nottingham Forest

Danny Ings bagged a brace as West Ham United scored four times during a crazy fifteen-minute second-half spell to rout Nottingham Forest at the London Stadium.

This proved to be the Hammers’ biggest victory of the season and it couldn’t have come at a better time with pressure mounting on boss David Moyes as his side languished amongst the relegation places.

Moyes remained calm: “I’m not looking too far ahead. I’m looking at the next game, which is Nottingham Forest, and we have to try and get the win against them,” the Scotsman said ahead of the game.

“It’s hugely key that we try and win that game. Our home form in the last two games has seen us draw with Chelsea and beat Everton, and the other six have been away from home, so hopefully, we can keep a good vibe going at home.”

Moyes provided Ings with his first start in a West Ham shirt following his move from Aston Villa in January, while Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen were named in a line-up offering a little more intent.

Ahead of kick-off, West Ham paid their respects to the legendary commentator, John Motson, who passed away on Thursday, as well as remembering their favourite son, Bobby Moore, whose tragic death, 30 years previous, is still mourned by followers of the East London outfit.

With the seriousness surrounding their situation hitting home, West Ham made a began brightly. Jarrod Bowen’s flag kick almost caught Forest stopper, Keylor Nava, unawares, while Felipe deflected against his own post after Paqueta had drilled in during a frenetic start

Morgan Gibbs-White fired into Lukasz Fabianski’s midriff as Forest countered, while Benrahma’s effort saw comfortably saved by Navas at the foot of an upright. West Ham’s possession-based football was creating very little genuine threat as Forest, expertly drilled by boss, Steve Cooper, coped competently with whatever the home side had to offer. 

Tomas Soucek’s glancing header was too high as West Ham created the first opportunity of the second period. However, their build-up play had become laboured and predictable, leaving the home crowd nervy and agitated. It was scrappy stuff.

Bowen almost provided a spark when his low drive from twenty yards hit the inside of a post with Navas stranded. Soon after, the Forest keeper hacked clear as Soucek looked to profit. 

Fabianski required lengthy treatment following a coming together with Felipe. The Hammers’ number one was eventually replaced by Alphonse Areola.

But nobody amongst the sixty-thousand audience could have predicted what was to follow.

Ings set the ball rolling by opening the scoring midway through the half when he hooked home Bowen’s centre. VAR checked. The crowd held their breath. The hosts had the lead.

And within a minute it was 2-0. Benrahma centred. Ings arrived to bundle home and pay off another slice of his sizable transfer fee.

Declan Rice is congratulated by Said Benrahma (left) and Jarrod Bowen after scoring West Ham United’s third goals against Nottingham Forest (Rob Newell Camera Sport)

Incredibly, West Ham soon added a third. And what a classy finish. Skipper, Declan Rice curled beyond Navas and high into the net. Three goals in eight minutes. One wondered what all the worry was about.

The madness continued. Michail Antonio had only been on the field a matter of seconds before rising unmarked to powerfully head home Pablo Fornals’ superb cross. It had all been too easy for West Ham.

Michail Antonio heads West ham United’s fourth gal against Nottingham Forest (Rob Newell CameraSport)

The victory, West Ham’s biggest of the season, lifted them out of the relegation zone. They now turn their attention to the Emirates FA Cup where they face Manchester United at Old Trafford in a fifth-round tie on Wednesday, March 1 (7:45pm).

West Ham United: Fabiański (Areola 69′), Coufal (Cresswell 46′), Ogbonna, Aguerd, Johnson, Rice (Capt), Paquetá (Lanzini 83′), Souček, Bowen, Benrahma (Fornals 83′), Ings (Antonio 84′) Subs not used: Scamacca, Downes, Kehrer, Emerson

Booked: None

Goals: Ings 70′, 73′, Rice 78′, Antonio 85′

Nottingham Forest: Navas, Williams, Worrall (Capt), Felipe, Lodi (Toffolo 77′), Freuler, Shelvey (Ayew 67′), Colback, Gibbs-White, Johnson (Sturridge 86′), Wood (Lingard 77′) Subs not used: Hennessey (GK), Mangala, Danilo, Scarpa, Dennis, 

Booked: None

Goals: None

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistants: Simon Long and Matthew Wilkes

Fourth Official: John Busby

VAR: Tony Harrington

Assistant VAR: Stuart Burt

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk