Bees Buzzing After Hammers Victory
West Ham United had the chance to make it three wins in a week when newly-promoted Brentford made the trip to Stratford on Sunday afternoon but unfortunately, Thomas Frank’s side had other ideas as they inflicted more London derby misery on the Hammers by coming away with a last-ditch 2-1 win.
Łukasz Fabiański, Kurt Zouma, Pablo Fornals and Tomáš Souček were all restored to the starting line-up by David Moyes, while Vladimír Coufal was a doubt for Thursday’s encounter against SK Rapid Vienna but was deemed fit enough to start here.
The Hammers went into this game off the back of two good results this week, whereas the visitors picked up a point in an incredible 3-3 home draw with Liverpool.
Despite a full crowd roaring the home side on for the second time in just three days, Frank’s men started the game the sharper of the two. They won a corner early on but both Declan Rice and Aaron Cresswell were in the right place to get crucial blocks in.
The danger wasn’t over however, as the ball dropped to Bryan Mbuemo to have a shot on goal but fortunately for the hosts, the effort went over the top but it did hit the crossbar en route.
Two minutes later, the Frenchman was in the thick of the action again as he managed to get past both Angelo Ogbonna and Cresswell to reach Rico Henry’s cross but to West Ham’s relief, Fabiański wasn’t troubled, as he headed wide.
The early pressure from Brentford sparked the home side into life and Jarrod Bowen went close. The former Hull City man swung his boot at Michail Antonio’s cross but he saw his attempt deflect off the post. It didn’t matter anyway, as the ball had gone out of play so the effort wouldn’t have counted.
Brentford were still the dominant side and despite that scare, continued to pile forward. Ivan Toney sent Ethan Pinnock’s flick towards goal but Fabiański was alert and saved well.
With fifteen minutes having been played, Zouma had the chance to open his account for the East Londoners, having only joined the club on Deadline Day. He met Cresswell’s corner kick and beat two Brentford players to the ball but unfortunately the chance was wasted, as it went into the side-netting.
By this point, it seemed that West Ham had finally found their rhythm but just as they were enjoying their own spell of pressure, the Bees went ahead.
Toney has been a handful for many teams since joining Brentford in the summer of 2020 and he was proving to be the same here. The striker played in Sergi Canos, whose fierce attempt brought an outstanding save from the Hammers’ goalkeeper but the Pole wasn’t so lucky at the second time of asking. He thought he had saved on the line but the Goal Decision System had confirmed that the ball clearly crossed the line.
West Ham needed to respond and Bowen thought he should have been awarded a penalty but referee Peter Banks gave nothing.
Saïd Benrahma wanted to get in on the goalscoring act against his former club and although he went close twice, neither attempt hit the back of the net and after a lengthy stoppage time period, following an injury to Brentford defender Shandon Baptiste, Banks blew the whistle for the break.
The East Londoners went down the tunnel hoping for a Leeds-style comeback when they reemerged.
When the second-half got underway, Benrahma tried his luck again but his 30-yard free-kick was superbly pushed away by goalkeeper David Raya.
Seconds later, West Ham were thwarted by the Spaniard again as the former Blackburn stopper prevented Bowen from finding a way past him after the winger was played through by the Algerian.
Chances kept coming for the home side but neither Souček or Bowen were able to get the better of Raya.
It was then the turn of Fornals to be denied, as Pinnock blocked the effort.
The Hammers had been relentless since the break and with ten minutes of normal time to play, their pressure finally paid off. Bowen brought loud cheers from the majority inside the stadium when he only had Raya to beat, after Rice had flicked on Cresswell’s corner.
A poor header from Pinnock meant the ball dropped back into Bowen’s path and the previously unbeatable Spaniard was given no chance as he sent a precise finish into the net.
As per the match against Manchester United here last month, there was a further twist to come.
The fourth official had added three minutes of stoppage time to the end of the game and deep into that, the visitors snatched all three points.
Substitute Yoane Wissa, who had earlier been introduced for Mbeumo, somehow found a way past Fabiański after the Pole had initially saved from visiting skipper Pontus Jansson, the ball came back to Wissa who then produced a rocket which went beyond the Pole and into the net, despite the best efforts of West Ham’s defence.
Moments before the final whistle, Rice appeared to be in some discomfort after a heavy challenge but thankfully, he managed to see out the last few seconds.
Unusually in a Premier League match, Moyes didn’t see any need to make use of his bench.
There is now a weeks break for the next set of World Cup qualifiers. Domestic action returns for West Ham on October 17 when Moyes faces a trip to his former club Everton.