From the Vaults: West Ham United v Fulham 22nd February 2019

Continuing my series of photo highlights from previous home matches as the season continues under the COVID-19 restrictions where stadiums remain empty. I miss the opportunity to document our home games so its nice to look back at previous images.

The dramatic win at the London Stadium against a hard working Fulham side where Ademola Lookman failed to convert a last kick of the game penalty to share the spoils, we look back at a 3-1 win for the Hammers over Fulham that delivered the Cottagers 18th Premier League defeat leaving them 19th in the table on 17 points.

West Ham climbed to 9th in the table on 36 points under Pellegrini and finished the season  10th on 52 points, whilst Fulham’s miserable form under Claudi Ranieri continued as they were relegated in 19th Place on 26 points.

Controversy surrounded West Ham’s equaliser by Hernandez after Babel had put Fulham ahead on 3 mins after a bright start for the visitors as the Hammers began to get back in to the game. The Hammers capitalised on Fulham keeper Rico’s failure to clear a corner as Antoni and Ogbonna flicked on for Hernandez to head the ball home. The goal stood despite replays showing the ball had struck Hernandez on the arm and even Matthew Upson, commentating on the game, called it out as a deliberate hand ball.

Fulham never looked like getting back in to the match as Diop rose up to head home a Snodgrass corner to leave the Hammers a head at half time. The match is remembered as well for the excellent performance of Rice, who had recently declared his availability to play for England, as he kept the play ticking over with a solid defensive display with six tackles, three interceptions and regaining the ball 13 times earning Rice the man of the match award.

Rice commented that the manager had been telling him all season to protect the back four saying he loves playing in that holding role.

Hernandez was substituted by Arnautovic who drew an excellent save by Rico and provided an assist for Antonio with a chipped ball for the third goal. Lanzini made a substitute appearance after an absence from a knee injury to bring a boost to the Hammers for the rest of the season.

Back to the 7th November 2020 as the Hammers climb to 11th in the League after Soucek’s goal stood as Haller was in an offside position but deemed not to be interfering with play. Areola, the Fulham goalkeeper made some crucial saves for the Cottagers in the first 10mins of the match but with some wasted chances the Hammers patience played dividends up until the last second of the match as Lookman kicks his penalty straight at Fabianski securing all three points.

Imagine what the atmosphere would have been like in a packed stadium after that last kick of the ball with the players celebrating as Lookman, who has been one of Fulham’s better players this season, held his head in his hands!

Enjoy the photos from 2 seasons ago.

Stay safe everyone.

Published by dawudmarsh

Photographer based in London.

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