In terms of the Premier League, West Ham United’s form has rolled over into November. They were beaten 3-2 by Brentford at The Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
David Moyes again made changes to his side, as both Lucas Paquetá and Edson Álvarez were suspended. Alphonse Areola started in goal, while James Ward-Prowse also returned to the starting line-up and was made Captain for the day. Tomáš Souček and Emmerson Palmieri retained their places from midweek, as did Saïd Benrahma, who was returning to his former club.
Konstantinos Mavropanos filled in for the injured Kurt Zouma and in so doing, made his top-flight debut for the club, while Vladimír Coufal was selected in order to make his 100th Premier League appearance. Aaron Cresswell, Łukasz Fabiański and Divin Mubama were on the bench.
The visitors had a great chance to go ahead in the very early stages of the match but home goalkeeper Mark Flekken made amends for his mistake and thwarted Michail Antonio before the former Nottingham Forest man could knock the ball into the empty net.
Both sides were full of confidence going into the encounter off the back of good recent results and the Bees had a whole week to prepare.
The game was flowing from end to end and Bryan Mbeumo tested Areola but the Frenchman was able to keep his free-kick out. Shortly after though, Neal Maupay put Thomas Frank’s men ahead when Frank Onyeka’s ball deflected off the head of the Everton loanee and he was able to finish with the easiest of headers.
The goal didn’t seem to bother the Hammers who then went close themselves when Jarrod Bowen tried his luck. Unfortunately though, his effort was off target. They found the net themselves with only eighteen minutes played. Mohammed Kudus has scored some brilliant goals since moving to the club in the summer but this one was probably the best of the lot!!! Antonio delivered an inviting cross into the area and the Ghanaian gave Flekken no chance, as a powerful scissor-kick beat him.
The Irons had already won two games on the road this campaign and were seeking to claim another. Eight minutes later, Kudus was close to his second but the shot only hit the post however, cue pandemonium in the away end, as Bowen followed up to turn the game around. The celebrations from the West Ham fans were cut short when the goal was referred to VAR but after a lengthy check, the cheers could resume, as it was allowed to stand.
There was then a break in play, as Flekken was challenged by Mavropanos and the goalkeeper required lengthy treatment but he was able to continue for the rest of the half.
With the hosts now looking to get back on level terms, Christian Nørgaard had an opportunity but could only head over, while Mbeumo also missed.
The game was still in its opening period but Moyes’ men should have made the points safe when Bowen crossed the ball into the box and Benrahma was looking to turn home but confusion between the Algerian and Antonio meant that they didn’t finish the opportunity off.
After missing their chance, the East Londoners could have paid a heavy price but astonishingly, the Bees managed to make a hash of their attempt when Mbeumo could only shoot wide.
The Hammers went into half-time ahead but wanted to make sure that they turned an advantage into three points and put a miserable October behind them.
If Moyes’ men were to notch up a victory here, they would have to do it facing a new goalkeeper with Flekken having to be replaced by Thomas Strakosha.
It was the side from West London who made the better start to the second-half however, as after Nørgaard had fired an effort over Areola’s crossbar, the teams were once again level.
The Bees are renowned for getting results here but the visitors were planning to do what both Everton and AFC Bournemouth had done and leave them stung, while taking the three points back across London.
However, the game was again level after just ten minutes of the second-half. Mavropanos had impressed on his debut up to this point but, what followed was a moment that he’d rather not remember!!! Mbeumo sent in a cross and under pressure from the home side, the Greek defender headed past his own goalkeeper.
It would be fair to say that the Irons weren’t matching the levels they had shown in the first-half after the restart. Kudus wanted to see if he could grab another goal but unfortunately, he got it all wrong and sent his effort over the top, before Nayef Aguerd did brilliantly to get a vital block in and prevent this game from taking another twist.
Moyes made a double change on sixty four minutes, sending Pablo Fornals and Danny Ings on to replace both Antonio and Benrahma.
After the introduction of those two players from Moyes, the game did take an unwanted twist for the East Londoners and it was a carbon copy of the own goal!!! Mathias Jensen crossed for Nathan Collins to beat Areola.
There was still time to make it 3-3 but unfortunately, Souček could only head over after he had done well to meet the ball from Kudus.
The energy had completely gone from West Ham’s performance and referee Thomas Bramall blew the final whistle they had lost yet another match the latest defeat leaves them in the bottom half of the table.
They will look for revenge against Olympiacos when the Greek side visit Stratford on Thursday night in the UEFA Europa League.