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West Ham United 0-2 Fulham
Premier League, London Stadium, Sunday 14 April 2024, 2pm BST

West Ham United suffered a first home Premier League defeat to Fulham in 23 years as they were beaten 2-0 at London Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Goals in each half from Andreas Pereira sealed victory for the visitors. His first, which was rather fortuitous, arrived after a positive start from the Hammers, before he finished off a slick counter-attacking move involving Alex Iwobi on 72 minutes to earn victory for the visitors.  

Defeat leaves David Moyes’ charges eighth in the standings, ahead of an away trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday 21 April.

Boss Moyes made three changes to the XI that started the 2-0 UEFA Europa League defeat against Bayer Leverkusen last time out, Edson Álvarez, Nayef Aguerd and Danny Ings all featuring from the start, in place of Tomáš Souček, Kurt Zouma and Aaron Cresswell.

Michail Antonio was at the heart of the first real chance of the match within the first three minutes, the Jamaican international missing the target from close range after Vladimír Coufal was initially denied by Bernd Leno after collecting Emerson’s crossfield pass.

West Ham continued to push for the opener and, after an effort from Mohammed Kudus curled narrowly wide of the target, some inside London Stadium thought the Hammers had taken the lead when Lucas Paquetá blasted into the side-netting.

The visitors, while safe in possession, did not look like truly threatening Łukasz Fabiański’s goal in the opening exchanges, but took the lead with their first shot at goal which came against the run of play after nine minutes.

A long, searching ball over the top of the West Ham defence by Alex Iwobi was not fully cleared by Dinos Mavropanos, and the ball dropped kindly for Periera, who rounded Fabiański and slotted home.

Fulham were soon in the ascendancy and almost doubled their lead four minutes later. Willian surged down the left-hand side before pulling the ball back for Pereira behind the Hammers’ back-tracking defence, his shot whistling inches wide of the post.

Up the other end, Mavropanos had a chance to spare his blushes when he rose highest to meet James Ward-Prowse’s corner but headed straight at Leno, before the Fulham goalkeeper held a long-range effort by the England midfielder.  

Moyes’ side were architects of their own downfall throughout a disappointing first half, where West Ham were slack in possession on several occasions, with it almost costing them dearly.

It was nearly déjà-vu for Pereira and Fulham as they came close to doubling their lead just after the half-hour mark, but his shot was too central and Fabiański was able to get down low to save.

A wave of Fulham pressure continued as half-time approached, with Fabiański producing a crucial double save to deny Muniz and Willian from point-blank range, before superbly saving from the striker once more following a goalmouth scramble.

Marco Silva’s side burst out the blocks in the second half and almost instantly doubled their lead through top goalscorer Muniz, though he couldn’t quite squeeze the ball beyond Fabiański after twisting and turning inside the box.

The Hammers were claiming for a penalty at the other end minutes later, Kudus going down under a challenge from Antonee Robinson, after a neat one-two with Paquetá, though his appeals were waved away by referee Stuart Attwell.

West Ham had goalkeeper Fabiański to thank for another sublime full-stretch save that prevented them going 2-0 down after 57 minutes. Willian picked the ball up at the edge of the area and drove at the home defence before playing in Iwobi, whose shot across goal was tipped around the post.

As the Irons continued to pour forward in search of a leveller, with Ings firing just over, they were undone by a slick counter-attack as Fulham doubled their lead through Pereira.  

The scorer got the move started in the middle of the park as he played the ball out wide to Iwobi on the right, and he, in turn, squared the ball across the face of goal for the Brazilian to tap home unmarked on the penalty spot.

Moyes handed U21s youth talent George Earthy a Premier League debut from the bench as the Hammers looked for a route back into the contest and, after showing formative signs, the 19-year-old was involved in a clash of heads minutes later and after a long stoppage, was stretched off.

The last attack of a disappointing afternoon fell to Adama Traoré, who had a go from the edge of box, but his tame effort was comfortably dealt with by Fabiański.

West Ham United: Fabiański ©, Coufal (Johnson 69), Aguerd, Mavropanos (Zouma 60), Emerson, Ward-Prowse (Souček 69), Álvarez, Paquetá, Kudus, Antonio (Earthy 82) (Cornet 91), Ings
Subs not used: Anang (GK), Ogbonna, Cresswell, Mubama

Booked: Paquetá

Fulham: Leno ©, Castagne, Adarabioyo, Bassey, Robinson, Palhinha (Reed 90+8), Lukić, Iwobi (Wilson 74), Pereira (De Cordova-Reid 74), Willian (Traoré 90+2), Muniz (90+2)
Subs not used: Rodák (GK), Jiménez, Cairney, Diop

Goals: Pereira 9, 72

Booked: Pereira, De Cordova-Reid

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 62,459


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