It was an emotional return to the London Stadium as I have not seen my brother for quite some time and it was wonderful to see him. It was also great to see so many familiar faces – few faces I did not recognise from the final game before the lockdown last year. The hairs on the back of my neck raised as we heard the crowd singing and immersed ourselves in the bustle before the game. So glad to be back.
With the backdrop of one of the largest fan protests against owners Gold, Sullivan and Brady before the match, a superb performance on the pitch and a first goal for new recruit Jarrod Bowen secured a well deserved win to lift the Hammers out of the drop zone into 16th spot, albeit on goal difference.
What will surely stay in the memory is Declan’s performance just a couple of days before his 20th birthday that showed why he has a great future in front of him after scoring his first Premier League goal during a series of impressive performances.
Memories of the bitter row between the clubs hung over proceedings with fans goading the visitors by holding up Tevez masks in the first league fixture between the teams since the 2007 season that saw Sheffield United relegated from the Premier League.
The Hammers made the Reds defence look amateurish as they repeatedly failed to track runners from free-kicks, highlighted cruelly for the equaliser as Antonio caught the defence napping as they seemed to be ready for Anderson to play high into the area, instead of a low pass to set up Michail for his diagonal run and shot fired pass Allison.
Despite a winless October West Ham put in a performance that Manuel Pellegrini described at the time as the best by the team since he took charge. Lead by man of the match Felipe Anderson, the Hammers we bold, thrilling but showed a brittle side, superior against a struggling Burnley, but not convincing.
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.
Antonio’s impressive over head kick to open the scoring was just another excellent moment we almost expect from a player who has transformed into a goal scoring machine since lockdown restart.
Pellegrini hailed the Hammers as a more solid and consistent side as the excellent start to the 2019-20 season continued with a 2-0 home win over Manchester United. Goals from Yarmolenko and Cresswell pushed the Hammers back into 5th with only goal difference separating them from Arsenal and Leicester City.
Our opening season defeat to Newcastle continues the poor form we have against the Magpies that was all too evident last season in the 2-3 defeat at London Stadium that continued a five game stretch without a Premier League win at that time.