Five things we loved about West Ham United’s win at West Bromwich Albion…
1. Records continue to tumble
West Ham United won a Club-record ninth away Premier League game of the 2020/21 season at The Hawthorns on Wednesday evening.
The Hammers followed victories at Leicester City, Sheffield United, Leeds United, Everton, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Burnley by coming from behind to win 3-1 against West Bromwich Albion.
To give you an idea of how impressive nine away wins is, we won just seven away games on the way to finishing seventh in 2015/16, seven in finishing ninth as a newly promoted team in 2005/05, and five when finishing fifth in 1998/99.
We also won seven away games in our first Premier League season in 1993/94, but played 21 away matches, rather than 19.
Last season, the Irons won just ten games in total, home and away, but a win over Southampton at London Stadium on Sunday would make it 19 victories in 38 Premier League matches – three more than we’ve won in any single Premier League season in our history.
2. Double double
In the American National Basketball Association (NBA), players record a ‘double double’ when they reach double figures in two different scoring categories – points, rebounds, assists, blocks or steals – in a single game.
Well, on Wednesday evening, two West Ham United players combined to record their own ‘double double’ as both Tomáš Souček and Michail Antonio reached ten Premier League goals for the season.
Their strikes at The Hawthorns mean two Hammers have hit double figures in the same Premier League season since Jermain Defoe and Frédéric Kanouté did so in 2001/02.
With Jesse Lingard on nine and Jarrod Bowen on eight, that could become a ‘triple double’ or an even rarer ‘quadruple double’ at London Stadium on Sunday – an achievement any NBA player would be proud of!
3. Bouncebackability boings the Baggies
It would have been very easy for West Ham United to start feeling sorry for themselves after losing Łukasz Fabiański to injury in the warm-up, Declan Rice had missed an early penalty and Tomáš Souček had flicked Matheus Pereira’s corner into his own net – but they didn’t.
Instead, the Hammers weathered a first half storm generated by Sam Allardyce’s determined West Bromwich Albion side and 5,500 loud and proud Baggies supporters at The Hawthorns and scored an all-important equaliser through their Czech midfielder just before half-time.
West Brom came again after the break, but again West Ham stood firm and got their reward in the final ten minutes, when the quality shone through and Angelo Ogbonna and Michail Antonio scored all-important goals.
West Ham have now collected 16 points from losing positions this Premier League season – fourth behind Manchester United (31), Leicester City (20) and Liverpool (19) – illustrating the bouncebackability of David Moyes’ squad.
4. Sixth of the best
West Ham United’s win at West Bromwich Albion means the Hammers now need just a point from their final game of the season to secure just the sixth top-six finish in our 102-year history as a League.
On just five previous occasions since being elected from the Southern League in 1919 have the Irons finished in the top six in the top-flight – 1926/27, 1958/59, 1972/73, 1985/86 and 1998/99.
A point from Sunday’s game against the Saints would also take us to a new record Premier League high of 63. That would also be our highest top-tier tally since collecting 84 in 42 games in the record-breaking 1985/86 season, when we finished third.
5. Super Saïd
After scoring his first West Ham United goal to grab a valuable point at Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, Saïd Benrahma played his part again at West Bromwich Albion.
The Algerian registered his sixth Premier League assist of the season at The Hawthorns with a gem of a pass for Tomáš Souček to equalise from close-range.
And while it may have looked simple, the No9 did brilliantly to control Pablo Fornals’ deflected cross and thread the ball between goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and defenders Conor Townsend and Semi Ajayi to the Czech, who could not miss.
Only Aaron Cresswell, with eight, has assisted more Premier League goals than Benrahma, who will surely continue to create as he gets more and more comfortable with top-flight football.