At the London Stadium, West Ham were looking to secure their first Premier League win of the season on the back of three losses, as they welcomed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
It was a battle for possession and control, as Wolves came with more determination as the whistle blew, signaling the start of the match. Early misses by Raul Jimenez and Joao Moutinho put Wolves on the front foot with good movement from Matt Doherty down the right flank. Wolves best scoring chance came in the 11th minute when Helder Costa cut back and left a pass for Dohetry, whose right footed shot was saved by Lukas Fabianski.
The Hammers welcomed back Aaron Cresswell to the starting XI, showing offensive flashes down the left flank and creating numerous opportunities. The few scoring chances that presented themselves for the Hammers nearly paid off moments before halftime. On 35′ Cresswell lofted a cross, which found Felipe Anderson, as he headed down, into the path of Robert Snodgrass, who forced Patricio into a low save to his right.
West Ham continued to pressure Wolves, with Cresswell and Snodgrass creating another chance near the 6-yard box. A deflected cross fell for Snodgrass, who tried a back heel flip requiring a quick save.
A halftime substitution saw Andriy Yarmolenko replace Snodgrass and the Hammers attack looked more formidable. There was good action to start the second half with a quicker tempo to the game. An early chance for Antonio, who just didn’t get enough on the ball, went wide
A great opportunity down the left created by Cresswell, found Marko Arnautovic on the end line, lofting a ball toward Antonio with a header that was destined for the top corner of the next that was slapped away from Patricio, keeping the game scoreless.
Action picked up with 30′ remaining, as Wolves sprang to life off a free-kick to the left of Fabianski. Joao Moutinho delivered a great ball into the box, as Jimenez directed it goalwards forcing a save.
Wolves looked far more dangerous with the introduction of Adama Traore and Leo Bonatini. The latter hooked up with Jimenez down the left flank, as Jimenez found Bonatini near the spot, firing a shot that saved by Fabianki, as Wolves continued to look dangerous.
Wolves best chance of the game came in the 78′, as Ruben Neves cross field pass found Dohery who pushed a pass ahead of Jimenez, who got the ball under his feet, though was unable to put a shot on target.
West Ham countered, with time ticking down and it was their talisman, Arnautovic, playing a give and go with Chicharito, as he found himself down the right flank with a step over, Arnautovic cut back, letting a shot fly that was saved off the head of Patricio.
With less than two minutes remaining in injury time Carlos Sanchez had the ball nicked off him by Neves, who delivered a great pass to Traore inside the 18-yard box, who slotted it past Fabianski. 1-0, Wolves.
It was another case of West Ham not getting offensive production under Manuel Pellegrini. “There are a lot of things that we need to improve…we didn’t score from the chances we created. You are not going to take points if you don’t score from the chances you make,” he said after the game.
Wolves put together their best performance of the season, which is what many were eagerly anticipating with their return to the Premier League. “In the first half we controlled it, second half West Ham pushed and had chances, then at the end of the game it was counter-attacks after counter-attacks. “But the attitude of the boys was to keep looking for the win and we managed it at the end,” said manager, Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Man of the Match performance goes to Rui Patricio, as the Wolves goalkeeper put together a match winning performance on the back of three saves