West Ham tame Wolves for first points of the season

A brace from Jarrod Bown, a goal form Sebastien Haller and an own-goal was enough for West Ham as they picked up their first points of the season.

WEST HAM TEAM NEWS

There was only one change to the West Ham team that lost to Arsenal last weekend in the Premier League. Fabian Balbuena was called up to the team due to the absence of Issa Diop. The Frenchman is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19.

David Moyes was also another absentee from the match. The scot also tested positive for COVID-19. With Moyes, missing touchline duties were passed to assistant manager Alan Irvine and coaches Paul Nevin, Kevin Nolan and Stuart Pearce. Despite not being present Moyes will still be keeping an eye on proceedings.

“Alan [Irvine] and the rest of the staff will be in direct control from their positions in London Stadium but I will certainly be in close and continuous contact by telephone” Moyes wrote in the Matchday programme

Mark Noble was back in the squad after recovering from an ankle injury. The club captain was joined on the bench by League Cup stars Felipe Anderson, Sebastien Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini.

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MATCH REPORT – FIRST HALF

The match got off to a slow start, both teams set up to try and pack the midfield and were cancelling each other out. The only dangerous moment of the first ten minutes was Adama Traore bursting past both Arthur Masuaku and Aaron Cresswell but was unable to keep his cross in play.

The visitors did start to put the Hammers under pressure, Traore was causing the left side of the West Ham defence all sorts of problems. The only thing the winger was lacking was quality in his final product.

It was West Ham who took the lead on the 17th minute, however, after a foul on Michail Antonio. Referee Martin Atkinson played a good advantage as Pablo Fornals played on. The Spaniard found Bowen upfield. The winger collected the ball and carried it to the bow before cutting inside and firing into the bottom left corner.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United scores the opening goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium on September 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

The Hammers looked a different side after going ahead. Antonio had a shot well saved by Rui Patricio, and Fornals also had an opportunity before being ruled offside. The best chance fell to Tomas Soucek. Fornals played in the Czech, but his first-time shot drew a good save.

Wolves did start to threaten the Hammers defence after a brief onslaught. Pedro Neto went for an ambitious effort from 25 yards. The Portuguese’s shot was well wide of the mark.

West Ham hit right back and almost doubled their lead. After some good work from Antonio, the Englishman looped a cross in. the cross was met by Soucek who headed the ball down, drawing a great save from Patricio.

The Home side should have doubled their lead just before halftime. Antonio turned his defender and hit a powerful shot goalwards. The shot was palmed away by Patricio straight to Fornals. The midfielder, with the goal at his mercy, could not get over the ball and fired over.

Wolves almost scored an equaliser only a minute after the Fornals miss. Ruben Neves hit a show from 20-yards from the top of the West Ham box. The shot was hit with power and was curling in, Fabianski was equal to it and made a good stop.

SECOND HALF

The second half started badly for the Hammers as Ryan Fredericks was forced off with an injury, the full-back went down off the ball. Academy graduate Ben Johnson was called upon to replace him.

The injury did not affect West Ham too much as they doubled their lead. Antonio was played in down the left-wing. The 30-year-old found Fornals with a cross; the midfielder hit his shot against the post. Thankfully Bowen was there to volley home to double the Hammers advantage before the hour mark.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United scores a goal to make it 2-0 during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium on September 27, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

The goal forced Nuno Espirito Santo into his first substitution of the match. Adama Traore was replaced by Wolves’ record signing from Porto, Fabio Silva.

Despite making an attacking change, it was the Hammers that almost scored again. Masauku whipped in a beautiful cross into a dangerous area. Bowen was just unable to get to it, and Saiss cleared for a corner. West Ham did capitalise from the corner.

Cresswell took the corner and powered into the area around the near post. Soucek met the cross with his head and flicked it into the Wolves net past Patricio, via a deflection from Raul Jimenez‘s shoulder. The goal has gone down as a Jimenez own-goal.

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 27: Tomas Soucek of West Ham United scores his sides third goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at London Stadium on September 27, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Andy Rain – Pool/Getty Images)

3-0 down Santo made his final changes of the match as he tried to salvage something from the game for Wolves. Ki-Jana Hoever and Vitor Ferreira replaced Nelson Semedo and Joao Moutinho

Into the final ten minutes, Wolves did start to put the Home side under some pressure. The Hammers did look very comfortable as they began to protect the lead that they had deservedly found themselves in. Wolves still lacked quality in the final third to trouble the West Ham goal.

Alan Irvine made his first changes for West Ham in the 87th minute. Mark Noble made his return for the Hammers, replacing goalscorer Jarrod Bowen. Sebastien Haller was also introduced in place of Antonio, who had been very impressive.

Haller added a forth for the Hammers despite only being on the pitch for two minutes. Masuaku played a perfect cross to the Frenchman at the back-post. The striker in an acre of space placed his header in the far corner to wrap up the points for the Hammers.

West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (C) scores the fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at The London Stadium, in east London on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Andy Rain / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by ANDY RAIN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

MAN OF THE MATCH – JARROD BOWEN

Two huge goals for West Ham and Bowen. The Englishman had only scored one competitive goal for the Hammers before tonight; he now has three to his record. Bowen’s first goal was a brilliant finish, and his second was an instinctive finish.

Next: Recent rumours show West Ham are back to scattergun approach

The win was West Hams first over Wolves since the West Midlands club was promoted. It also means that the Hammers move up the table to tenth in the Premier League. Next up for the Hammers is Everton in the League Cup on Wednesday.