Wolves Surrender To Hammers

David Moyes picked up his ninth career win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday afternoon, as West Ham United finally secured their first double of the season. They once again came from to win 2-1 at Molineux.

One change was made from the team that drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, as Edson Álvarez returned from his two-match ban to take the place of Michail Antonio who dropped to the bench. Defender Nayef Aguerd was fit enough to be involved in the matchday squad but it was deemed too risky to start the Moroccan.

The home side were on a four-match losing run and in an effort to halt that, they could have opened the scoring as early as the third minute but fortunately for those in the away end, Rayan Aït-Nouri’s long-range effort didn’t trouble Łukasz Fabiański in the visitors’ goal.

Up the other end, Tomáš Souček missed a golden chance to put the Hammers in front. The Czech midfielder failed to get a telling touch onto Jarrod Bowen’s pass after the winger brilliantly dispossessed Nélson Semedo.

Semedo was involved in the next chance too. He managed to get onto the end of a long ball and set up Pablo Sarabia but thankfully, Fabiański was alert to the danger.

The hosts continued to threaten, as Aït-Nouri had a chance for the home side but the move was broken down when Irons’ Captain Kurt Zouma halted his progress with a last-ditch slide tackle.

Moyes’ men were still under relentless pressure when Tommy Doyle tested Fabiański but once again. The Pole was still proving a tough opponent though, as he did well to keep it out.

As the half wore on, Wolves did get the chance to edge ahead when referee Tony Harrington awarded them a penalty after Emmerson Palmieri upended Aït-Nouri. Some reports suggested that the decision was rather harsh on the former Chelsea defender but nevertheless, Sarabia gave his side the lead, as the ball hit the post before nestling inside Fabiański’s net.

The action was back underway and Bowen sent over a corner as the East Londoners searched for a immediate leveller. Unfortunately, the set-piece didn’t lead to anything and the home side were back on the attack. However, the travelling support were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief when João Gomes shot straight at Fabiański.

There was just time for the former Arsenal and Swansea City stopper to prevent Sarabia from beating him for a second time.

If West Ham were going to get only a third win of 2024, then they would have to come from behind again!!!

Moyes made a double substitution during the break, as Souček was replaced by Antonio, while Ben Johnson entered the fray for Vladimír Coufal.

Whatever the Scotsman said to his team during half-time definitely had an effect on proceedings as they proved to be a different proposition.

Antonio, who was making his 300th appearance for the club was straight into the action. Having said that, his first attempt was easy for home goalkeeper José Sá to hold onto.

The visitors were dealt a real blow when Bowen went down with a hip injury. This forced the Irons’ boss into his third change of the afternoon, as Aaron Cresswell replaced him. There are hopes that Bowen will be available for Thursday’s UEFA Europa League quarter-final first-leg against Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen.

At the same time that Moyes sent on Cresswell, Wolves Head-Coach Gary O’Neill introduced Matheus Cunha in place of Aït-Nouri.

It has to be said that it wasn’t the best of introductions for Cunha, as one of his first involvements was to foul Palmieri and give away a free-kick. It was left to James Ward-Prowse to assume responsibility for the set-piece but unfortunately, his effort only succeeded in hitting the wall.

Just after the hour mark, there were celebrations from the travelling support as Palmieri headed past Sá after meeting a cross from Mohammed Kudus. However, their joy was short lived as it was ruled out, following a foul on Semedo.

Shortly after, West Ham were on level terms as Harrington awarded another penalty, this time for handball by home skipper Max Kilman. Lucas Paquetá was given chance to bring his side back into the contest and he made no mistake in beating Sá.

Although the East Londoners had made a marked improvement in the second-half, finding the equaliser gave them extra determination to go on and try to claim all three points.

Johnson and Kudus both tried their luck but Sá managed to repel both of their attempts.

On eighty four minutes, Ward-Prowse scored directly from a corner and Moyes’ side were minutes away from adding to their points tally.

Having turned the game on its head, the last thing that the away fans would have wanted to see was ten minutes of stoppage time being added.

They managed to negotiate most of that time without coming under any real pressure but, with two minutes of the extra ten remaining, Kilman headed past Fabiański. However, after checking the pitchside monitor, Harrington disallowed the goal and the Hammers went back to East London with maximum points.

They head back to Germany on Thursday night, hoping to have one foot in the semi-final stage of the UEFA Europa League.