Yarmolenko & Soucek strike to see off Bees
West Ham United 2-1 Brentford
West Ham United's winning start to pre-season continued on Saturday as David Moyes' men saw off Brentford at London Stadium.
Andriy Yarmolenko and Tomas Soucek were on target with a goal either side of the break to ensure Marcus Forss' 32nd minute leveller would not end their 100 per cent record in preparation for the 2020/21 campaign.
Following wins over Wycombe Wanderers and Ipswich Town in midweek, the 2-1 success against the Bees was another step forward ahead of the Premier League campaign, which kicks-off in two weeks' time against Newcastle United.
It was Brentford who started the brighter, however, and Sergi Canos was the width of a post away from giving them a second minute lead.
His right-footed strike from the edge of the box had Lukasz Fabianski worried, but bounced off the foot of the far post and back out to safety, where the hosts scrambled to safety.
Josh Dasilva then fizzed an effort just wide of the mark from 20 yards, and West Ham responded by opening the scoring with just five minutes played.
Pablo Fornals laid the goal on for Yarmolenko expertly, delaying his pass until the winger had burst into space in the right channel. Bees full back Rico Henry could not recover in time, sliding in vain as Yarmolenko’s shot nestled in Luke Daniels’ net.
Brentford, perhaps feeling a touch unfortunate to concede the first goal, came back strongly and Angelo Ogbonna needed to block Ethan Pinnock’s shot from close range after a set-piece dropped inside the West Ham box.
At the other end Grady Diang and Pablo Fornals combined nearly to make their way into the Brentford box on 26 minutes. Fornals tried to return possession to his teammate with a backheel, and although it was cut out, the ricochet fell nicely for the Spaniard to shoot goalwards and force Daniels into a scrambling save.
Brentford’s main threat was coming down their left hand side, and full back Henry got up the pitch well to latch onto Canos’ cushioned header on 30 minutes, but looped his shot over the bar when well placed.
Two minutes later, the pair combined to better effect, as Henry’s run inside off the flank was met by a pass from Canos, allowing the left back to drill over a cross which Forss directed into Fabianski’s net with a forceful downward header.
With the scores level at the break, David Moyes made seven changes to his side, and two of the half-time arrivals combined to re-establish the lead for the hosts just past the hour.
Michail Antonio had too much strength for Henrik Dalsgaard as he forged a path into the Bees’ area, and as Pontus Jansson got back towards him, the No30 laid off for Soucek to take a touch and roll into the net.
Charlie Goode stabbed a shot straight at Fabianski as Brentford tried to hit-back from a set-piece, but West Ham finished the stronger and twice tested Daniels in the closing stages.
Felipe Anderson was involved in both chances, setting up the first for Manuel Lanzini with a square pass just outside the box. Lanzini took a touch and tried to bend a shot inside the right hand post, but the Bees keeper dived to push away.
Then, with four minutes left, the Brazilian winger ran round the outside of centre-back Goode and shot low towards the far post. Again, Daniels was equal to the effort, plunging down to his left to save.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Fredericks (Johnson 58), Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell (Masuaku 46), Noble (Cullen 46), Wilshere (Soucek 46), Diang (Bowen 46), Fornals (Lanzini 46), Yarmolenko (Felipe Anderson 46), Haller (Antonio 46 (Coventry 74))
Subs: Randolph, Baptiste
Goals: Yarmolenko 5, Soucek 61
Brentford: Daniels, Henry (Roerslev 62), Pinnock (Goode 62), Norgaard (Sorensen 62), Canos (Thompson 62), Jensen (Maghoma 62), Dasilva (Marcondes 62), Forss (Zamburek 62), Jansson (Valencia 62), Mbeumo (Fosu 62), Dalsgaard (Mogensen 62)
Goal: Forss 32
Referee: Stuart Attwell