West Ham Earn Victory Over Former Manager Sam Allardyce

Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Childs - Pool/Getty Images)
Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Childs - Pool/Getty Images) /

Goals from Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen were enough for West Ham to claim all three points against Sam Allardyce’s West Brom side. The Baggies did get a goal between the strikes from the home side. Matheus Pereira beating Fabianski with a powerful strike.

The win means that West Ham move up into the table and now find themselves seventh in the Premier League table. The Hammers, for the moment, are above Chelsea and only five points off the summit of the League.

Match Build-Up

David Moyes made one change to his West Ham that beat Burnley on the weekend. Pablo Fornals dropped out of the starting eleven and was replaced by Manuel Lanzini. The big news was that Michail Antonio was fit enough to start the game. There was a doubt the Englishman would not be able to start so soon after the previous match.

The Hammers did have another bonus courtesy of West Brom. Robert Snodgrass was not in the matchday squad due to an agreement between the clubs over his transfer. The Scot had looked good against Wolves, so his absence would have been a miss for the Baggies.

West Ham are now being investigated by the Premier League due to the absence of Robert Snodgrass.

There was a strange decision by Moyes. The manager dropped Ademipo Obudeko from the bench, meaning no official striker on the bench. There was however room for five defenders amongst the substitutes. Perhaps Moyes was giving a hint to the board that he needs a new striker pronto.

Match Report

The opening stages of the match were very cagey. Neither side usually play their best football when they have the majority of the ball; this became clear very quickly in the match. The first chance of the game fell to the man of the moment Craig Dawson.

West Ham dominated the early possession but were struggling to break down a resilient Sam Allardyce team. The Baggies were looking to hit the Hammers on the counter and did work a shooting opportunity, but Matheus Pereira fired over from 25-yards.

There were two chances for West Ham in the following minutes. Vladimir Coufal and Lanzini both had efforts from the edge of the box. Neither striker caused major worry for the Sam Johnstone in the Baggies goal.

Vladimir Coufal, West Ham.
Vladimir Coufal, West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Childs – Pool/Getty Images) /

Semi Ajayi gave the Home side a great opportunity to take the lead. The defender brought down Antonio in a dangerous area on the edge of the area. Lanzini took the responsibility and got the ball over the wall but not under the crossbar.

Said Benrahma went close from range five minutes before the break. The Algerian was playing well and turning defenders inside out. Benrahma’s effort from 30-yards was powerful, but Johnstone got his body behind the ball and made the save.

The Hammers did get themselves in the lead with the last action of the half. Benrahma overhit a cross which was collected by Coufal. The Czech defender hammered the ball back into the danger area. Jarrod Bowen was the recipient and cleverly chested the ball into the net. The goal was no less than West Ham deserved after a strong 45 minutes.

Jarrod Bowen, West Ham.
Jarrod Bowen, West Ham. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

Second Half

Moyes sent out the same eleven for the second half. The Baggies would have to be more adventurous if they were to get something out of the match. Allardyce’s side exactly that.

Periera burst forward and hit a powerful shot past Fabianski into the net from 20-yards. There was a question of offside, but VAR quickly rejected it. The goal was the first the Hammers have conceded this year and in over seven hours of football.

Matheus Pereira, West Brom.
Matheus Pereira, West Brom. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

West Ham almost got themselves back in the lead before the hour mark. Lanzini’s goalbound effort was headered off the line before Rice’s long-range shot flashed past the post. Rice went close again from a set-piece routine. The midfielder’s shot was always bending away from goal.

Moyes wanting to take the initiative made a double change. Andriy Yarmolenko and Pablo Fornals were sent on in place of Lanzini and Benrahma. The Hammers were dominating the ball and were looking dangerous, but the West Brom defence was standing firm.

The resistance did not last for long as Antonio grabbed his fifth goal of the season. Cresswell whipped in a dangerous ball. The cross was headered back across goal. Antonio then scissor-kicked the ball past Johnstone to restore the lead.

Michail Antonio, West Ham.
Michail Antonio, West Ham. (Photo by Matthew Childs – Pool/Getty Images) /

The goal opened the game back up as West Brom were forced to come out of their shell again. The Hammers were looking confident and sensed another goal. Soucek was denied a penalty by VAR and Rice and a wild effort go over.

The Baggies were the next side to go close. Conner Gallagher forced a save from Fabianski. The midfielder hit a volley from the edge of the area, but the effort lacked power and conviction. The visitors were getting the ball forward but looked vulnerable on the counter.

Moyes did make his final change with the Hammers in the lead. Antonio was starting to look tired and was replaced by club captain Mark Noble. The striker is still not fully fit, and the added rest will do him good going forward.

West Brom did push for an equaliser in the closing minutes of the match. West Ham, however, were able to stand firm with their newfound defensive solidity. The Hammers earned the win and continued their winning run in 2021.

Man Of The Match – Vladimir Coufal

Coufal was his brilliant self against West Brom. The defender played a key role in the opening goal, volleying his cross first-time for Bowen. Coufal was also solid defensively and made attacks down the right very difficult for the Baggies.

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Next for the Hammers is their FA Cup fixture against Doncaster at the London Stadium If West Ham progress past the League One side they will take on either Manchester United or Liverpool in the next round.