After presiding in ninth place in the Premier League table for a number of weeks, West Ham United have moved up to eighth after a 3-0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday afternoon.
David Moyes made one change from the victory over SC Freiburg, as Kurt Zouma replaced Konstantinos Mavropanos. Łukasz Fabiański retained his place, despite Alphonse Areola being involved in the matchday squad once again. Edson Álvarez also started after concerns over a hip injury weren’t as bad as first feared, while youngster Divin Mubama was on the bench.
Wolves boss’ Gary O’Neil named former Hammers’ defender Craig Dawson in his starting line-up.
West Ham bounced back from defeat at Fulham last weekend by winning UEFA Europa League Group A just three days earlier and they took the momentum gained from that game into this encounter, as they were in control from the first whistle.
It took time for them to break through the visitors’ defence though but they finally got going with twenty two minutes gone. Mohammed Kudus was on the scoresheet in the week and he was at it again here. A great team move involving Emerson Palmieri, Álvarez and Lucas Paquetá ended with the Brazilian midfielder sending the Ghanaian away and he squeezed a right-footed shot past visiting goalkeeper Daniel Bentley.
James Ward-Prowse tried his luck with a free-kick but it was too close to Bentley and he managed to get a good hold on the ball.
The task got even harder for O’Neil’s men minutes later, when Paquetá provided the assist for Kudus to score his second goal.
There was a VAR check for a foul which might have led to a penalty for the Irons but it was quickly decided that nothing was going to be given.
The visitors had good chances too but fortunately, their efforts were blocked by the home sides’ resolute defending.
It all meant that West Ham were comfortable going into the break, as referee Christopher Kavanagh blew the half-time whistle.
The two teams reemerged from the dressing rooms ready for the action to get back underway with the East Londoners continuing to get in the way of everything the visitors were throwing at them. However, just before the hour, Pablo Sarabia was presented with the easiest of finishes past Fabiański from Nélson Semedo’s cross. VAR had turned down a penalty claim from the home side earlier but on this occasion, the decision went in their favour as the goal was ruled out for offside.
Having suffered that disappointment, Wolves had other opportunities but neither Matheus Cunha, nor João Gomes could make the most of them.
Both managers made substitutions with seventy minutes gone, as Moyes replaced Álvarez with Pablo Fornals while former West Ham midfielder O’Neil decided to introduce Rayan Aït-Nouri in place of Toti Gomes.
Four minutes after those changes had been made, the Hammers went further ahead when Jarrod Bowen raced ahead of former teammate Dawson to finish the job off.
Moyes made a double change on eighty six minutes, as both Danny Ings and Mubama entered the fray for Kudus and Paquetá.
The majority inside the stadium thought they were in for more goals when it was announced that seven minutes of stoppage time would be played before the final whistle was blown. Just seconds into the allotted period, Moyes made his fourth change, as Thilo Kehrer came on for Vladimír Coufal.
Despite the delight of the extra minutes being added, no more goals were scored and the Irons can now look forward to a Wednesday night trip to Anfield for a Carabao Cup quarter-final tie.