West Ham United 4-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
West Ham United recorded their first Premier League win of the season in true style on Sunday evening, sweeping Wolverhampton Wanderers aside to triumph 4-0 at London Stadium.
The Hammers carried a menace to their play all night and peppered Rui Patricio’s goal throughout the 90 minutes.
Jarrod Bowen’s curling finish was all they had to show for their efforts in a dominant opening period, but they found the clinical edge they needed after the break to leave Wolves, deservedly, well-beaten.
Bowen made it 2-0 with 57 minutes played, showing his predatory instincts to follow up after Pablo Fornals’ shot hit the post and knock into an empty net, before Tomas Soucek’s header flicked off Raul Jimenez and flew into the net for the Hammers’ third.
Sebastien Haller, in fine form in the Carabao Cup, then came off the bench to score his fifth goal of the season in added time as the Hammers got their campaign up and running.
Fabian Balbuena returned to the Hammers’ starting XI as Issa Diop missed out after testing positive for Covid-19 in the week.
Like Diop, his manager David Moyes was forced to follow the action from home, but they would both have been delighted with the start their side made.
The opening goal, with 17 minutes played, was the result of sharp minds from the Hammers. While Wolves allowed themselves to switch off for a second when Willy Boly upended Michail Antonio on halfway, the Hammers were alert.
Fornals took the free-kick immediately, releasing Bowen in the right channel. He stood up Conor Coady as he entered the box and arced his left-footed shot beautifully into the far corner, beyond Patricio’s dive.
West Ham were showing positive intent in attack, counter-attacking with real purpose and forcing Patricio into four more saves before the break.
The first, from Antonio’s angled shot, was routine, but the next two to twice deny Soucek owed much to his sharp reactions.
First, he had to spring to his left to turn the Czech midfielder’s first-time effort aside after Arthur Masuaku fed a low cross into the box.
Then, with half-an-hour on the clock, Antonio’s cross from the left hand side looped up off Coady’s outstretched foot and invited Soucek to attack the cross. He did just that, but Patricio was equal to the headed effort, parrying low to the right.
There was still time for Fornals to go close too, getting under the ball when it rebounded invitingly to him after Patricio batted Antonio’s fierce shot back into the middle of the box.
Lukasz Fabianski’s only serious save of the first half came virtually on the whistle when he had to plunge to the left to stop Ruben Neves’ dangerous drive, and there could be no doubt the hosts merited their interval lead.
Ryan Fredericks was forced off with an injury early in the second half, with Ben Johnson coming on in his place, but West Ham were not knocked off stride and continued to create the better openings.
Their reward finally same 12 minutes after the restart, with the forward triumvirate of Antonio, Fornals and Bowen all involved again.
Antonio got the better of his battle with Coady all night and he beat the Wolves man for pace to reach a clipped ball into the left channel. He cut back onto his right foot to assess his options and picked out Fornals with a well-directioned square pass outside the area.
The Spaniard’s low shot clattered against the base of the post and Bowen was on the spot to gobble up the chance and grab his second of the evening.
It very quickly got even better for the hosts as Soucek added a third, timing his run to perfect to meet Aaron Cresswell’s fizzed-in corner at the near post. The header flicked off Jimenez and gave Patricio no chance as it flew into the net.
West Ham weren’t finished yet, and Haller added more gloss to an already handsome scoreline in added time. Again Patricio was left as a mere spectator as the Frenchman got on the end of a teasing Masuaku cross to plant his header into the net and make it 4-0.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Ogbonna, Balbuena, Cresswell, Fredericks (Johnson 49), Rice, Soucek, Masuaku, Bowen (Noble 88), Antonio (Haller 88), Fornals
Subs: Randolph, Lanzini, Felipe Anderson, Yarmolenko
Goals: Bowen 17, 57, Jimenez og 66, Haller 90+3
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Semedo (Hoever 73), Moutinho (Vitinha 73), Neves, Vinagre, Traore (Silva 62), Jimenez, Neto
Subs: Ruddy, Dendoncker, Shabani, Kilman
Referee: Martin Atkinson