West Ham United recorded their first double since the 4-0 victory over Norwich City last May after a 1-0 triumph against newly-promoted Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
David Moyes made five changes from Wednesday’s 5-1 home defeat to Newcastle United, as Aaron Cresswell, Angelo Ogbonna and Vladimír Coufal came into the defence while Emmerson Palmieri, Nayef Aguerd, Thilo Kehrer and Saïd Benrahma all dropped to the bench. Pablo Fornals was given a rare Premier League start and Michail Antonio was partnered upfront by Danny Ings.
Lucas Paquetá wasn’t involved in the matchday squad, due to a knock that was picked up in training after the last match.
The home side went into this encounter looking to resurrect their form that has seen them gain thirty nine points this season but they had lost their last four top-flight matches.
As a result, West Ham, who needed to atone for their defeat to the Magpies in midweek started on the front foot. Cresswell set up Coufal to try his luck but he wasn’t able to get a proper connection and the chance had gone.
The Cottagers then were sparked into life following the pressure that they were being put under and Tosin Adarabioyo played in Andreas Pereira. Fortunately Kurt Zouma saw the danger and made a timely block.
After both sides were sizing each other up, the Hammers made the breakthrough on twenty three minutes. A great team move involving Captain Declan Rice, Coufal and Jarrod Bowen ended with the winger racing past defender Tim Ream and crossing into the box and Fulham defender Harrison Reed was the unfortunate one, as he got the final touch to leave those in the away end celebrating.
Having grabbed the advantage, the Irons were looking to go further ahead as the kept pressing. Nothing was coming off for them until Rice combined with Fornals but unfortunately when the ball was played back to the skipper, he couldn’t beat home goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
After having quite an eventful game against Eddie Howe’s team, Łukasz Fabiański had little to do but he was nearly tested here when Antonee Robinson, went close but fortunately for the visitors, the defender sent his effort wide.
Referee Jarred Gillett brought the first-half to a close and the Hammers were looking comfortable, knowing that they were only forty five minutes away from a long-awaited victory on the road.
Marco Silva’s side went in search of an equaliser when the action was back underway but the East Londoners were determined not to let them find a way through.
Ings was doing all he could to help his team out and he managed to block everything that the hosts were throwing at his side.
The former AFC Bournemouth, Burnley, Southampton and Liverpool frontman was back on striking duties minutes later but he sent the ball straight at Leno.
That was the striker’s last action however, as Moyes made a double change with an hour gone. Ings was replaced by Flynn Downes, while Benrahma came on for Fornals.