Brentford 3-2 West Ham United
Premier League, Gtech Community Stadium, Saturday 4 November
Two second-half goals for the hosts saw West Ham United fall to a 3-2 Premier League defeat away at Brentford.
A thrilling match that twisted and turned saw the Bees take the early lead through Neil Maupay’s header early on, only for the Hammers to level thanks to Mohammed Kudus’ brilliantly volleyed finish from Michail Antonio’s cross.
Jarrod Bowen gave the Irons the advantage before half-time, tucking home after Kudus hit the woodwork to become the first West Ham United player in history to score in six straight away games.
However, Brentford would bite back in the second period, forcing an own-goal by Konstantinos Mavropanos before Nathan Collins’ header sealed the win at the Gtech Community Stadium.
While the winter weather was certainly making itself known in west London, with cold winds and heavy rain, the two teams set out in the first half to give a performance that would warm both sets of fans in attendance.
Bryan Mbuemo tested Alphonse Areola first with a whipped free-kick before the Bees took the lead on eleven minutes. Amid a sustained spell of pressure for the hosts, Maupay was in the right place to glance a header past Areola from Frank Onyeka’s mis-hit effort.
Bowen shaped an effort narrowly wide moments later but the Hammers would only be behind for eight minutes, with Kudus scoring another glorious finish in Claret and Blue.
Antonio played a delightful, left-footed cross and Kudus met the ball exquisitely, finding the far corner with a special scissor-kicked finish; his second brilliant goal in as many games after his tough and strike against Arsenal on Wednesday.
Having trailed early on, the turnaround was complete on 26 minutes. Kudus was involved again, hitting the post with a first-time effort from six yards, but Bowen was in the right place to pounce and tuck in for the visitors.
In scoring, Bowen not only became the first West Ham United player in history to score in six straight away appearances, but also the first Premier League player to net in his team’s first six away games of a season.
There was still plenty of time for more excitement in a frantic first half. Christian Nørgaard headed over for Brentford and Mbuemo again went close with a curled effort that left Areola stranded.
However, the Hammers should have really gone in for the interval with a third goal on the scoresheet. Bowen’s low cross was tantalising and left the Brentford defence for dead. Both Antonio and Saïd Benrahma attacked the ball but, having got their wires crossed, somehow failed to find the net from close range.
An enthralling first-half came to a close with another Brentford chance, with Mbuemo again going close. The forward, and most of those in attendance at the Gtech Community Stadium, thought the 24-year-old had levelled with a first-time shot, but the effort was narrowly wide of the net.
With the lead at half-time, the Hammers knew they would need to endure a Brentford onslaught in the second half as the hosts sought a way back into the game.
Nørgaard saw an effort go over the bar from just inside the area, but the Bees would grab an equaliser in desperately unfortunate circumstances for the Hammers.
Mbeumo took possession of the ball on the far right and played in a teasing cross. A sea of bodies rose in the West Ham area and, amidst pressure from the Brentford attack, Mavropanos was forced to play the ball. His header could only go goalward, past Areola, and into his own net.
It was a harsh moment on the Hammers but the resolute away side strove to get back into the match. Kudus tried his luck, firing over the bar, before Nayef Aguerd was called upon to make a crucial block on the line.
But a fifth goal of an enthralling fixture would come for the home side. Mathias Jensen played a pin-point cross and Collins rose highest to power in Brentford’s third at the back-post.
In need of an equaliser, Souček attacked Kudus’ cross but could only head over, before substitute Pablo Fornals bent an effort narrowly above the crossbar from the edge of the box.
But, despite West Ham’s best efforts to get into dangerous areas, the three points remained in west London and with the hosts.
Brentford: Flekken (Strakosha 46), Pinnock, Ajer (Roerslev 78), Collins, Nørgaard (c), Janelt (Mee 90+1), Oneyka, Jensen (Yarmolyuk 78), Mbueno, Wissa (Ghoddos 88), Maupay
Subs not used: Zanka, Olakigbe, Bierley, Mayowa Adedokun
Goals: Maupay 11. Mavropanos og 55, Collins 69
West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Ward-Prowse (c), Souček, Kudus, Bowen, Benrahma (Fornals 64), Antonio (Ings 64)
Subs not used: Fabiański (GK), Johnson, Cresswell, Kehrer, Ogbonna, Cornet, Mubama
Goals: Kudus 19, Bowen 26
Booked: Emerson, Souček, Moyes, Mavropanos
Referee: Thomas Bramall