West Ham United picked up their first home win of the season and moved out of the relegation zone following a 2-0 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers in Saturday’s late kick-off. The result means that Bruno Lage’s side have now replaced the Irons in the bottom three.
David Moyes made three changes from the 1-0 defeat at Everton before the international break, as Craig Dawson, Maxwel Cornet and Gianluca Scamacca all came in and took the places of Vladimír Coufal, Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio, who dropped to the bench.
In my preview to this game, I referred to the fact that it may be a cagey affair, as the hosts were desperate to clinch a first win in front of the home faithful since 3 April.
Cornet was making his full Premier League debut but unfortunately, Moyes had to make a change with only thirty four minutes gone, as he was forced off with an injury. Fornals was the man to take his place.
Both teams had their chances in the opening stages but the contest remained level until the twenty ninth minute when Scamacca produced another powerful shot to beat visiting goalkeeper José Sá to notch his first league goal for the club, having already claimed three in the UEFA Europa Conference League.
The relief of having finally scored a first-half goal in a top-flight encounter was still with the Hammers as they went down the tunnel for the break and they were hoping to extend their advantage in the second-half.
Lage’s side could have made it a nervy start for the home side when referee Paul Tierney restarted the action but fortunately for the majority inside the stadium, Adama Traoré, who had earlier replaced the injured Pedro Neto attempted a volley but it didn’t trouble home stopper Łukasz Fabiański, as it missed the target by a matter of inches.
Having survived that scare, the East Londoners went up the other end and made their lead a more comfortable one. Jarrod Bowen claimed his first goal of the campaign ten minutes into the second forty five after being perfectly set up by Thilo Kehrer in order to beat Sá.
Moyes again turned to his bench just after the hour, as Antonio replaced Scamacca.
The visitors had further chances to reduce the arrears but they weren’t able to make the most of them as new signing Diego Costa headed wide. However, they did have the ball in the net, as Daniel Podence was on the end of the striker’s cross and beat Fabiański but it was quickly ruled out for offside.
Both Fornals and Antonio tried to add more goals but Sá was eventually able to hold on to the ball, while, the Spaniards attempt went wide minutes later.
West Ham made a final change on seventy four minutes with Lucas Paquetá making way for Emmerson Palmieri.
Three minutes of stoppage time were signalled before Tierney brought proceedings to a close and the East Londoners have now moved up to fifteenth in the table. They will want to build on this win when they travel to Belgium to take on RSC Anderlecht in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday evening.