Talking Points and Media Player Ratings- West Ham 4-3 Huddersfield

West Ham avoided a major embarrassment at home against strugglers Huddersfield Town as Javier Hernandez’s brace helped them snatch a last gasp 4-3 win. Up against a Town side that hadn’t scored away from home since Boxing Day, the Hammers were 3-1 down midway through the second half before a late fightback saw them down Jan Siewert’s men. Here are our talking points from the game, as well as the player ratings from the media.

Fabian Balbuena needs to start soon: The Balbuena-Issa Diop partnership was one of the highlights of the season for the Hammers before the Paraguayan got injured. He’s now fit, but Pellegrini, perhaps out of loyalty to Angelo Ogbonna, has chosen to continue with the Italian’s partnership with young Frenchman Diop in the heart of defence.

There have been some good moments with the Ogbonna-Diop partnership, but the consistency that Pellegrini would like is missing. Together, the solidity you’d expect from a side wanting to challenge for Europe isn’t quite there- too many defensive lapses for the fans’ liking.

West Ham remain a force at home: Given West Ham’s struggles on the road, the surprise 2-0 loss to Cardiff last weekend wasn’t totally unexpected for long suffering fans. Losing to bottom of the table Huddersfield at home (a side that struggles to score away goals), would’ve been unacceptable. Fortunately, the Hammers raised their game in the second half and the Terriers crumbled under the pressure. While they won, Pellegrini’s face at the final whistle told everything- this was not a performance to be proud of. And they could very easily have lost had Kongolo and Puncheon not messed up their chances in the 89th minute, with one’s effort saved by Fabianski and the other smashing his effort over the bar from just a few yards out.

Marko Arnautovic risks tarnishing his West Ham legacy: Arnautovic, on paper, is West Ham’s best striker on their books. After a strong set of performances under David Moyes and Pellegrini, he seemed to be well on his way to becoming a club favourite before the decision to ask for a transfer in January shook everything up. Since then, the Austrian has been a shadow of his former self, and was even booed off the pitch in the second half when he was replaced by Lucas Perez. Both- the substitution and the booing, would’ve been unthinkable early in the season, but here we are.

Here are the player ratings, compiled from different sections of the media. Javier Hernandez is obviously the favourite for his twin second half headers. Aaron Cresswell was the best defender on show.


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