West Ham's third win on the bounce saw them jump to seventh in the Premier League as goals from Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio consigned relegation-threatened West Brom to yet another defeat.
A subdued game sparked into life when, after a largely chanceless 45 minutes, Bowen chested a cross home just moments before half-time. Finishes with a chest aren’t exactly a common occurrence, but Bowen did well to adjust his body and get a touch to Vladimir Coufal’s hammered ball across the face of goal to give the Hammers a half-time lead.
West Ham’s lead lasted just six minutes after the restart, with Matheus Pereira arrowing a shot from the edge of the box right into the bottom corner. But that equaliser lit a fire under David Moyes’ side and they went on to dominate the remainder of the game, with Antonio’s close-range volley with a little under 25 minutes remaining winning it for the Hammers.
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The win moves West Ham up to seventh, ahead of Southampton and Chelsea, while West Brom remain five points from safety having won just twice in 19 games.
Talking Point – Can Big Sam keep this squad up?
Sam Allardyce has a reputation as a survival specialist, the sort of manager who will apparently lift a struggling team out of their troubles. But he hasn’t quite had the impact he would have been hoping for at West Brom, and they would have been fortunate to leave east London with a point from this game.
It’s not hard to see what Big Sam is trying to do, adding a set-piece and long-ball threat to a team with a sprinkling of quality in the front three. But it’s all a bit disjointed at the moment and the Baggies are in danger of becoming stranded.
Man of the Match – Declan Rice (West Ham)
The West Ham captain looked ever inch a Premier League veteran, running the game from the base of the midfield.
Still just 22 years old, Rice has the potential to become something truly special, and he’s already not half bad.
Declan Rice, West Ham United captain
Image credit: Getty Images
West Ham: Fabianski 7; Coufal 7, Dawson 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6; Soucek 6, Rice 8; Bowen 7, Benrahma 7, Lanzini 6; Antonio 8.
Subs: Fornals 6, Yarmolenko 7, Noble 6.
West Brom: Johnstone 6; O'Shea 7, Ajayi 6, Bartley 7, Gibbs 6; Gallagher 5, Livermore 5; Sawyers 6, Pereira 7, Grosicki 6; Robinson 7.
Subs: Furlong 6, Robson-Kanu 6.
45’ GOAL! – Right on the cusp of half-time it’s a goal for West Ham, and it’s Jarrod Bowen who’s got it. Benrahma gets into space and puts a deep cross into the box for Coufal to hammer back into the mixer, and Bowen reacts amazing quickly to chest it in from about five yards out. VAR checks it for handball, but it’s all good and West Ham go in a goal to the good.
51’ GOAL! – Wow, out of absolutely nowhere West Brom are level. Matheus Pereira picks the ball up in the centre of the park and nobody closes him down as he drifts tow the edge of the box before pulling the trigger. It’s an arrow of a shot that nestles straight into the bottom corner and VAR, after checking for a possible offside and obstruction of the keeper, allows the goal to stand. 1-1 and game on!
58’ – West Ham go close to regaining their lead twice in quick succession as Lanzini’s shot is brilliantly headed off the line by O’Shea before Rice’s follow-up from the edge of the box shaves the post on its way wide.
60’ – How close is that! West Ham take a free-kick quick and Declan Rice gets on the end of a slide-rule pass before firing a shot across the face of goal and narrowly wide of the far post. The Hammers have really stepped it up since the equaliser.
66’ GOAL! – The goal was coming and it’s Michail Antonio who’s got it. Yarmolenko, fresh off the bench, heads a Cresswell cross back into the middle and Antonio reacts quickly to volley home under pressure from two defenders. A full deserved goal for West Ham and they have their lead back. 2-1.
89’ – Was that the chance?! I think it might have been the chance! Furlong makes a terrific run across the face of the defence to meet a low cross into the box, but he doesn’t quite wrap his foot around it enough and his effort flies agonisingly wide. Big Sam yells out in frustration, very nearly causing his heavily-chewed gum to fly out onto the turf.
- West Ham’s 32 points from 18 games is the club’s highest ever tally at the halfway stage of a Premier League season.
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