West Ham 2-0 Huddersfield- Thoughts and reports

The club’s first home league game of the season at the London Stadium was a pivotal one for both fans and coach Slaven Bilic. Just hours before the game he had seen Crystal Palace sack Frank de Boer, thus landing the Dutchman the unwanted record of having the shortest reign as Premier League manager, and had expressed fears that he could be the next one to go- with Palace having been ahead of the Hammers in the table when De Boer was shown the door. And the last time West Ham lost their opening three games of a PL season, they were relegated.

Huddersfield were third in the league going into the fourth round of fixtures and would’ve potentially gone joint top if they beat the Hammers, who were winless in three. The promoted Terriers had won two and drawn one, and in some people’s eyes, were favourites going into this game. More importantly they hadn’t let in a goal in their three games so far.

However Town were perhaps guilty of giving West Ham too much respect- they really didn’t threaten Joe Hart in the first hour, and it perhaps proved to be their undoing. They gave Hart a fair bit to do in the last 20, with Ince hitting the post, but it was too little too late.

Bilic opted for five at the back, and it seemed to work quite well. The defence still felt a bit shaky, but a clean sheet is a clean sheet, and it was a welcome one for a club that had conceded eight times in three games prior to this.

West Ham’s opener had an element of luck about it, with Pedro Obiang’s effort taking a deflection off Mathias Jorgensen and past Jonas Lossl. The second came minutes later when Andre Ayew, a substitute for Javier Hernandez, stabbed home from close range after Fonte’s first time effort from Aaron Cresswell’s corner had been blocked.

Michail Antonio was one of the shining lights for West Ham, with his pace and energy constantly causing Huddersfield problems. Andy Carroll, making a rare appearance, proved to be a nuisance for Town as well.

With the next set of games seemingly easier on paper for Bilic- essentially teams West Ham would have hoped to finish above when the season began, let’s hope they’ve turned a corner with this win.

Huddersfield drop to sixth, while West Ham rise to 18th. Not much table movement, but they’ve got their season up and running, and that’s extremely vital.

West Ham 2-0 HTAFC Obiang 72, Ayew 77

Starting XI: Hart, Cresswell, Reid, Fonte, Collins, Zabaleta, Obiang, Kouyate, Antonio, Carroll, Hernandez

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