End of Lee Mason Hoodoo, Chicha’s 50th and more- five talking points from West Ham v Fulham

West Ham claimed their first victory in over a month as they beat Fulham 3-1 at the London Stadium. In front of their biggest ever crowd at the London Stadium, Manuel Pellegrini’s side prevailed thanks to goals from Javier Hernandez, Issa Diop and Michail Antonio. Here are our talking points from this Friday clash.

End of Lee Mason hoodoo

West Ham had lost five in a row under Lee Mason coming into this game, while Fulham were unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games under him.

Mason was the referee when Watford had won at the London Stadium in December in what was considered an upset by the Hornets. That was enough cause for concern for West Ham fans going into this clash despite Fulham’s dreadful away form, but Manuel Pellegrini’s men managed to break the hoodoo with this 3-1 win.

Small moments win matches

They won’t probably be in the highlights reel (the second most certainly wont!), but there were two big moments in this game- the first coming just 36 seconds into the clash when Ryan Babel had all the time and space in the world, but failed to score in a one on one with Fabianski. West Ham’s good run in December owed a lot to the Pole, and he had a big role to play here too. The Hammers managed to come from 1-0 down- they might have not been able to do so from 2-0 down.

The other moment came from Ryan Fredericks midway through the second half. Mitrovic had the lead on Fredericks and was bearing down on goal, but the right back made use of his pace to get ahead and thwart the danger. West Ham were leading 2-1 at this stage, and that effectively ended Fulham’s chances of a comeback.

Atrocious Fulham defending

Fulham’s defending is perhaps the reason they’ll go down. Their marking for the West Ham goals, especially the Diop and Antonio ones, were schoolboyish. Claudio Ranieri looked a resigned man on the sidelines- Fulham have apparently tried 11 different CB combinations in the PL this season, but nothing seems to be working for the Cottagers and they look destined for the drop. This was the seventh time in 9 this season that they took the lead, but ended up on the wrong side of the scoreline.

Ful starting

Javier Hernandez’s 50th Premier League goal

It was a long wait for Javier Hernandez’s 50th goal, with the Mexican having scored his 49th against Palace back in December.

Like the other 49, this one was also from inside the box, although there was an element of controversy about it. However neither West Ham nor Chicharito would mind it too much- swings and roundabouts as some would term it, given that luck didn’t favour the Hammers when Liverpool scored an offside goal against them a couple of weeks ago.

Manuel Lanzini return

It was great to see Manuel Lanzini back in action for the first time this season. He was given about fifteen minutes of action and looked decent. Even had two scoring chances when the ball came to him at the edge of the box, but preferred to pass to a team mate instead.

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