West Ham v Fulham Match Report 22 February 2019

Fulham suffered their ninth straight loss in London derbies as they went down 3-1 to local rivals West Ham at the London Stadium on Friday night.

The Hammers made only one change, leaving out former Fulham defender Ryan Fredericks for Pablo Zabaleta at right back, while Fulham chose to give a former Irons player Havard Nordtveit a debut, with the Norwegian lining up in central defence for the visitors.

Zabaleta had a horror start to the game with a terrible backpass in the very first minute of the game, but fortunately for West Ham, Ryan Babel was not able to take advantage as Lukasz Fabianski managed to use his head to deny the former Liverpool star.

However Babel did get on the scoresheet a few minutes later. Between Cresswell and Ogbonna, no one really attempted to mark the Dutchman, and he got onto the end of a fine cross from Ryan Sessegnon to put Fulham 1-0.

West Ham started slowly and it was Fulham who produced much of the play in the first quarter of the game. However things changed with Javier Hernandez’s 29th minute equaliser- the Mexican appeared to use his hand, but the goal stood, and with that the game shifted into West Ham’s favour.

Issa Diop had given Fulham a warning when he had headed wide from a 7th minute corner, but the Cottagers’ defence didn’t appear to have learnt the lesson, and paid for it when the Frenchman scored his first Premier League goal and put the home side 2-1 up.

West Ham appeared content to hold on to their lead in the second half. Fulham had one excellent chance in the 67th minute but Aleksandar Mitrovic, fine player that he is, was no match for the pace of Ryan Fredericks, who had replaced Zabaleta at half time, and that opportunity was gone as quickly as it had been created.

The final fifteen minutes saw the much awaited return of Manuel Lanzini. The Argentine showed some delightful touches as West Ham began to pile the pressure. Marko Arnautovic went close twice, only to be denied by Sergio Rico, but the Hammers finally got their third, with some horrendous Fulham defending allowing Michail Antonio a free header in the box and the winger marked his 100th appearance with a goal.

Much welcome return to winning ways for West Ham, but as for Fulham, they were pushed closer to the drop. They weren’t too bad here, but the individual defending for each of West Ham’s goals was horrible, and at Premier League level, you get punished swiftly, as the Cottagers discovered at the London Stadium in front of a 59,950 strong crowd- West Ham’s biggest of the current season.

West Ham 3 (Hernandez, Diop, Antonio) beat Fulham 1 (Babel)

Speak Your Mind

*