Hammers Proud Of Win At Derby

It is West Ham United who will travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United in the week commencing 27 February, as they are through to the fifth-round of the Emirates FA Cup after beating Sky Bet League One side Derby County 2-0 on Monday night.

Angelo Ogbonna was named Captain for the evening, as both regular Skipper Declan Rice and Vice-Captain Aaron Cresswell were both dropped to the bench, with David Moyes making six changes from the team that won the crucial Premier League clash with Everton nine days earlier. Alphonse Areola, Ben Johnson, Pablo Fornals, Tomáš Souček, Thilo Kehrer and Flynn Downes all came into the starting line-up with Łukasz Fabiański, Vladimír Coufal, Saïd Benrahma and Lucas Paquetá amongst the substitutes. Moyes also named youngsters Divin Mubama and Levi Laing in the matchday squad.

The Hammers were full of confidence going into this game and wanted to build on the win over the Toffees and just ten minutes in, they were on their way to doing just that. Emerson Palmieri, Souček, Fornals and Michail Antonio were all involved in a move which was finished off by Jarrod Bowen, as the former Hull City winger volleyed past home goalkeeper Joe Wildsmith from close-range.

Even though West Ham created further chances, they were unable to capitalise on them as the high press they employed on Paul Warne’s side was proving very effective.

Palmieri was then challenged by Korey Smith and it looked as though he would have to go off injured but thankfully for those who had made the long trip to the East Midlands, he was able to continue and Smith was booked.

The Rams were giving it a real go here but never really troubled Areola, this was in evidence when former Luton Town striker James Collins tried his luck with a volley but the Frenchman watched it go wide.

The Irons were content to settle for a one-goal advantage going into the break, as referee Thomas Bramall blew his whistle.

Moyes was happy with his team’s first-half showing but would have expected more from his side, given that they were playing a lower league opponent. Well, the start to the second-half was similar to the first.

The Irons made a bright start and the Scotsman got his wish just five minutes after the restart. Bowen turned provider this time and although Derby defender Craig Forsyth tried to block his cross, the ball still found its way into the feet of Antonio and he was able to head in past Wildsmith and give the home side a mountain to climb.

Warne’s team were trying to find a way back into the game but Haydon Roberts couldn’t get a good enough connection onto Smith’s cross, as the hosts looked to apply some pressure.

Instead, it was the visitors who found another gear and would have gone further in front, only for Wildsmith to produce a outstanding save.

On sixty four minutes, Moyes made his first change, bringing on Benrahma for Antonio.

The Algerian scored the only goal at his former club Brentford to set up this tie and he was clearly making an impact again. He combined well with Palmieri and the Italian defender found Bowen who wanted to score another brace, just as he did against the Toffees but unfortunately, he was thwarted by Wildsmith.

Wildsmith was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, as minutes later, he was called into action again as Johnson got in on the act, but the hosts survived and the youngster did brilliantly to deal with the defender’s attempt.

It was thought that Moyes might have had to take Johnson off as the tie drew to a close but, much like Palmieri in the first-half, he got back to his feet and was ready to go again.

The Scotsman made a double change with just over twenty minutes remaining, as Cresswell and Mubama replaced both Palmieri and Bowen.

The visitors were still searching for the goal that really would finish the contest off but with the game seemingly wrapped up, the East Londoners made a final change with three minutes of normal time to play, as Manuel Lanzini entered the fray , taking the place of Fornals.

All of which meant that it was two victories out of two for the Irons, who now hope to win consecutive Premier League games with three points against Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the late kick-off on Saturday.

One player that may feature in that match is youngster Harrison Ashby, who has made the move up to the North East and Magpies’ Head-Coach Eddie Howe sees him as a first-team player.

With just hours to go in the January transfer window, further updates on moves both in and out of Stratford will be confirmed here if anything is announced.