Hammers Win Puts Champions League Chase Back on Track
I hope my post finds you all safe and well.
I also hope you don’t mind me sharing with you all that there is finally some good news regarding my family and our living situation. We viewed a possible longer term temporary place and depending on some extra work being done to it, we should be moving in within the next couple of weeks. It’s such a relief to get out of the hotel at last, although it’s not suitable for a permanent place, it is at least closer to the boys school and our work. The location will make a huge difference in the quality of our lives and hopefully bring back some normality that we have struggled to live without. Thank you all for your ongoing support and kind words, it is very much appreciated by us all.
Well, the Hammers got back to winning ways with an excellent home win against a Wolves side who are making their way up the league positions despite a recent defeat to Arsenal in the week. The result sets the Hammers back on track for European aspirations next season and the delight at the final whistle was spread throughout the Hammers faithful as Moyes punched the air on the sound of the final whistle.
Antonio still struggled to score but proved to be a handful for the Wolves defence throughout the match with his forward runs and setting up Soucek to score on the hour mark to give the home side a well deserved victory. In fact, Antonio could have scored himself, but chose to square the ball to Bowen instead of going for goal himself after another penetrating run into the opposition box from the left.
Players and the club showed their support for their Ukrainian team mate Andriy Yarmolenko, whose family and community have been so deeply affected by the ongoing devastating military attacks and Russian invasion of their homeland. The team wore blue tops during the pre match warm up and club captain, Declan Rice, held up a West Ham shirt with Yarmolenko’s name and number on it as players lined up before the start of the match.
Wolves manager, Bruno Lage, made five changes to his side and they struggled for any influence over the game, especially in the early stages as the Hammers pressed and grew in the game with both Rice and Soucek commanding in midfield. Both players offered a complete performance, working together in midfield and covering much ground as they fulfilled their defensive duties along with forward runs up the pitch.
Soucek’s goal was a perfect reward as he celebrated his 27th birthday, visiting the waiting fans at the end of the match. But the Hammers could have won by a bigger margin with Bowen, Antonio as mentioned and Fornals all wasting good opportunities to score as Wolves lacked the pace Bruno said his changes for this game were meant to create. Not even the introduction of Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence nor Pedro Neto could inspire their team as few opportunities came to neither Fabio Silva nor Hwang Hee-chan, who were both well covered by both Craig Dawson and Kurt Zouma, both putting in very good performances.
The result gave the Hammers the leap over Arsenal into 5th place and puts the chase for a Champions League spot still very much on.
I hope you enjoy the photos from the match.
PS The first shot is from the window of the gym at the hotel looking down onto the stadium
PSS For Rice’s shot I tried to follow the ball so its in focus and the players are blurred – not sure if it worked so well but thought I’d include these shots anyway.
Take care everyone.