Chicharito scores and Carroll returns in Brentford win

Andy Carroll in action at Brentford


Chicharito was on target and Andy Carroll returned to action as West Ham United scored a 2-1 win over Championship side Brentford in a behind-closed-doors friendly.

Manuel Pellegrini took advantage of the November international break to give his remaining senior players and a number of promising youngsters a run out at Griffin Park.

Before kick-off, a minute’s silence was held and a wreath laid on the centre spot in memory of Brentford’s technical director Robert Rowan, who sadly passed away earlier this week at the age of 28.

When the action commenced, West Ham initially dominated for long periods and deservedly led at the break through Robert Snodgrass’s 43rd-minute header.

Brentford improved after half-time and levelled through Emiliano’s long-range strike, but Chicharito had the final say, winning and converting a penalty 12 minutes from the end.

Earlier, the Irons created enough chances to win the game comfortably, with a combination of Daniels and his defenders contriving to keep the ball out of the Brentford net.

After a fairly even opening, the visitors took control and, after setting up Michail Antonio to shoot wide, the lively Nathan Holland went close himself on the half-hour mark, cutting inside and stinging Daniels’ palms with a rasping right-foot effort.

Chicharito then went close twice in the space of three minutes shortly before Snodgrass’s opener.

First, the Mexican raced clear from halfway, only to be superbly challenged by Josh McEachran. Then, he latched onto a perfectly-weighted through ball from Snodgrass, only for the advancing Daniels to make the save with his body.


A minute's silence was held in memory of Brentford technical director Robert Rowan


The goal finally arrived at the end of a breathless passage of play. The Scot’s initial shot was saved by Luke Daniels, Chicharito’s follow-up was deflected onto the post and Lucas Perez slammed a half-volley against the underside of the crossbar before Snodgrass calmly nodded the loose ball into the top left-hand corner.

Having seen his team go ahead, Pellegrini switched to a 4-4-2 formation, with Carroll returning after four months out with an ankle injury to join Chicharito in attack. The latter soon had another decent chance to score, but headed Arthur Masuaku’s cross wide from eight yards.

As so often happens in football, the team seemingly in control was made to pay for not putting the game away with a goal out of nowhere from the opposition. On this occasion, it was Brentford’s Emiliano who landed the sucker punch, collecting 25 yards out and firing a well-struck shot past Adrian.

It could have got worse for the Hammers when the Spaniard was forced into a pair of smart saves by Sergi Canos and Moses Odubajo.

West Ham regained control, though, with Carroll and Chicharito both going close before the latter was awarded a penalty for a shove by left-back Rico Henry.

And victory was secured when the No17 sent Daniels the wrong way from 12 yards with a confidently-struck spot-kick.

There was still time for Snodgrass to fire wide, Lucas to test Daniels and Brentford substitute Joe Hardy to drag a shot inches past the post, but it was West Ham who ended a competitive and worthwhile exercise on the winning side.

West Ham United: Adrian, Antonio (Zabaleta 69), Rice (Oxford 46), Ogbonna, Masuaku (Cresswell 69), Coventry (Carroll 46), Noble ©, Snodgrass, Lucas, Holland (Felipe Anderson 46), Chicharito 
Subs not used: Anang (GK), Johnson, Powell

Brentford: Daniels, Odubajo, Racic, Barbet, Henry, McEachran (Yennaris 46), Clarke (Hardy 78), Dasilva, Emiliano (Oksanen 62), Judge, Canos
Subs not used: Cole, Carroll