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West Ham United 2-1 Brentford
David Moyes was left with plenty to ponder over after handing the majority of his West Ham United squad valuable game time in what proved to be a competitive warm-up fixture with Sky Bet Championship outfit, Brentford, at the London Stadium.
The West Londoners missed out on a place in the top flight after slipping in the play-off final to capital rivals, Fulham. And it was Thomas Frank’s side who caught the eye during the opening period.
The Hammers escaped early on when Sergi Canos drove past Lukasz Fabianski only to see his effort come back off the foot of an upright. And the Bees were at it again minutes later – Josh Dasilva firing wide after finding some room from eighteen yards.
But it was the home side who opened the scoring with their very first foray forward. Andriy Yarmolenko provided a crisp right-footed finish after Pablo Fornals had expertly played the Ukrainian in.
The impressive Canos again tested Fabianski, while Ethan Pinnock’s close-range effort was deflected over as the Bees, undeterred, continued to create. West Ham responded, but Luke Daniels was equal to Fornals, saving one-handed, low to his right.
Nevertheless, it came as little surprise when the busy Bees restored parity shortly after the half-hour mark. Rico Henry and Canos combined down the left – the former picking out Marcus Forss to neatly nod home from close range.
Moyes made seven changes at the break, notably handing minutes to Jarrod Bowen, Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio. However, it was Brentford who continued to threaten with goalscorer, Forss testing Fabianski with an angled attempt.
But once again, the Premier League side – headed by the half-time arrivals – who showed a ruthless streak. Antonio made a probing dart into the Bees box before teeing up Soucek to steady and fire beyond the stranded Daniels.
Worryingly, Antonio pulled up fifteen minutes from time with what appeared to be a hamstring problem – the winger was replaced by Conor Coventry. Meanwhile, Daniels clawed away from Manuel Lanzini, then clung on to Felipe Anderson’s low strike as the Hammers looked to extend their advantage.
West Ham United will face AFC Bournemouth at the London Stadium on Saturday, September 5 (3pm) in their annual Betway Cup fixture.
West Ham United (first-half): Lukasz Fabianski, Aaron Cresswell, Fabian Balbuena, Andriy Yarmolenko, Mark Noble (Capt), Pablo Fornals, Jack Wilshere, Angelo Ogbonna, Sebastien Haller, Ryan Fredericks, Grady Diangana
West Ham United (second-half): Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks (Ben Johnson 58’), Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku, Tomas Soucek, Josh Cullen, Manuel Lanzini, Jarrod Bowen, Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio (Conor Coventry 74’)
Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko 5’, Tomas Soucek 60’
Brentford: Luke Daniels, Rico Henry, Ethan Pinnock, Christian Norgaard, Sergi Canos, Mathia Jensen, Josh Dasilva, Marcus Forss, Pontus Jannson, Bryan Mbeumo, Henrik Dalsgaard
Brentford (from 60 minutes): Luke Daniels, Mads Roerslev, Charlie Goode, Mads Bech Sorensen, Dominic Thompson, Paris Maghoma, Emiliano Marcondes, Jan Zamburek, Joel Valencia, Tariqe Fosu, Gustav Mogensen
Goals: Marcus Forss 32’
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis and Adam Nunn
Fourth Official: Keith Stroud