West Ham United 2-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers
Premier League, London Stadium, Saturday 1 October 2022
Gianluca Scamacca beautifully struck his first Premier League goal, as an energised West Ham United defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-0 at London Stadium on Saturday evening.
The towering Italy striker set the tone for a third straight home win against Wolves when his rasping volley found the net midway through the first half.
An equally clinical finish from Jarrod Bowen then doubled the Hammers’ lead shortly after the interval.
Wolves striker Daniel Podence later saw his effort ruled out for offside, but it was the Hammers, who battled to secure a second league win of the season.
Two moments of real quality from Hammers forwards proved to be ultimately decisive in east London.
Whilst both Podence and Jonny forced early saves from a defiant Łukasz Fabiański between the sticks, the Hammers had the better of the first half and soon had a goal to show for their chances.
Scamacca and Bowen were both a nuisance to the Wolves' defensive line throughout the first 45 minutes. The Hammers No7 saw his effort dip past the past and later would have poked home from close range but for the brilliant work of Max Kilman.
The chances continued to fall to those in Claret & Blue when Maxwel Cornet, who was later replaced by Pablo Fornals, due to injury, fired a Tomáš Souček cross over the bar, before the Irons’ pressure eventually told with 29 minutes played.
As they did throughout, Bowen and Scamacca combined effortlessly to see the latter net the opening goal in a delightful fashion. Whilst a darting Bowen was crowded out as the Hammers No20 drove into the penalty area, the ball broke to Scamacca, who was calmness personified when given his chance to find the net.
The Italy striker beautifully controlled the ball on the edge of the area and then struck a fierce volley past a well-beaten José Sá. It was a lesson in how to strike the ball – and then some.
As the second half began, Wolves’ substitute Adama Traoré might have pulled his side level when his volley faded wide of the Hammers’ post, but it was West Ham who struck the second goal of the evening on 54 minutes.
With ease, Bowen brought a spinning ball under control after a Thilo Kehrer shot spun into his path and then nipped past Rayan Aït-Nouri. The Hammers No20 saw his third goal in the past three home meetings against Wolves whistle into the near bottom corner to double the Irons’ lead; his effort was accompanied by another roar from the joyous Claret & Blue Army.
Wolves had their chances to pull a goal back in east London but Diego Costa, on his Premier League return, headed wide from inside the area. Podence later had the ball in the net when he tapped home Costa’s cross from close range, but the former Chelsea striker was ruled offside in the build-up and the Hammers' two-goal lead intact.
Substitutes Fornals and Michail Antonio both had sighters of goals as the Hammers pressed for a third. Antonio’s cross-shot stung the palms of Sá, while Fornals saw later his effort drift wide of the visitors’ post.
But two goals proved to be enough of a cushion for David Moyes' men, who recorded a third consecutive clean-sheet against a visiting Wolves side.
An important victory, well deserved thanks to two equally impressive strikes either side of the break.
West Ham United: Fabiański, Kehrer, Dawson, Zouma, Cresswell, Rice ©, Souček, Bowen, Lucas Paquetá (Emerson 74), Cornet (Fornals 34), Scamacca (Antonio 65)
Subs: Areola (GK), Ogbonna, Coufal, Downes, Lanzini, Benrahma
Goals: Scamacca 29 Bowen 54
Booked: Rice, Cresswell
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Sá, Semedo (B.Traoré 72), Jonny, Kilman, Aït-Nouri, Moutinho ©, Neves, Nunes (Campbell 72), Guedes (Costa 57), Neto (A.Traoré 24), Podence
Subs: Sarkic (GK), Mosquera, Toti, Ronan, Bueno,
Booked: Neves Moutinho
Referee: Paul Tierney