West Ham United 4 Wolverhampton Wanderers 0
Sunday 27 September 2020
Just as we were expecting another hammering at the hands of always-in-form Wolves, we did the unexpected again and gave them a great tonking.
Since the start of the 2017-18 season, only Mohamed Salah (50) and Sergio Aguero (38) have scored more home league goals in England's top four tiers than West Ham's Jarrod Bowen (36)
Jarrod Bowen scored twice as West Ham registered their first Premier League win of the season - lifting the Hammers from 18th up to 10th in the table, with Wolves dropping down to 16th.
It was no more than the hosts deserved, David Moyes' side delivering a fine performance while he controlled team affairs from home after testing positive for coronavirus on Tuesday.
Dominant throughout, they rarely looked like relinquishing their lead once Bowen had opened the scoring at the London Stadium.
Bowen, who had managed just one goal for West Ham since joining them in January, superbly set them on their way, curling a left-foot effort into the bottom corner after being sent clear by Pablo Fornals' quick free-kick.
The former Hull forward doubled West Ham's lead after the break, prodding in from close range after a Fornal effort had come back off the post.
The Hammers had lost each of their last four top-flight fixtures against Wolves without scoring a single goal, but they created several excellent chances to put the game out of sight.
Tomas Soucek made it three with a header that flicked in off Raul Jimenez from Aaron Cresswell's corner, and Sebastien Haller's stoppage time header added the gloss to a fine victory.
After showing improvement in their narrow defeat to Arsenal last Saturday this performance represented a large leap in the right direction for the Hammers.
Having started the evening in the bottom three, few would have predicted that they would end up thrashing Wolves using a similar template.
While manager Moyes was not present, it was clear from the opening moments that his side had been set up to operate on the counter-attack.
That, coupled with taking advantage of a 3-4-3 Wolves formation without natural full-backs, helped the Hammers establish control.
Ryan Fredericks, Bowen, Arthur Masuaku and Fornals all impressed working in or coming off wide positions and Michail Antonio's physical presence and pace provided another type of outlet up front.
The 30-year-old, who has kept record signing Haller out of the side since his conversion into a central striker at the end of last season, was a menace throughout.
And he tellingly contributed to both of the hosts' opening two goals, winning a free-kick from Willy Boly for the first and powering clear on the left to tee up Fornals before Bowen's second.
Moyes, communicating with assistant Alan Irvine from home throughout, will have been buoyed by the nature of the victory and the fact that his side could have enjoyed an even more emphatic win, had Fornals and Soucek both converted good chances from close range.
It was also the perfect way in which to go into a challenging set of fixtures in October when the Hammers will face Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and champions Liverpool.
This was West Ham United's biggest home league win since David Moyes' first game back in charge at the club on New Year's Day this year (4-0 v Bournemouth), while it was also their first league clean sheet at the London Stadium since then.
West Ham have scored three or more goals in three consecutive home matches in all competitions for the first time since March 2011.
Wolves suffered their heaviest Premier League defeat since March 2012 against Manchester United (5-0).
West Ham's Jarrod Bowen scored his first league double since December 2019 for Hull against Stoke in the Championship; he had only scored once in his first 22 Premier League appearances before tonight.
Since the start of last season, Pablo Fornals has assisted more goals in the Premier League than any other player for West Ham (six).