West Ham United 3-1 Cardiff City: Hammers win second in a row to break their unwanted record
Lucas Perez celebrating his second goal of the night against Cardiff City

West Ham United 3-1 Cardiff City: Hammers win second in a row to break their unwanted record

The Hammers managed to win their second game in a row for the first time since January 2017.

alan-rzepa
Alan Rzepa
West HamFABIANSKI, ANTONIO, DIOP, OGBONNA, MASUAKU, SNODGRASS, RICE, NOBLE, ANDERSON, CHICHARITO, ARNAUTOVIC.
Cardiff CityETHERIDGE, ECUELE MANGA, MORRISON, BAMBA, BENNETT, ARTER, GUNNARSSON, RALLS, CAMARASA, HOILETT, PATERSON.
SCORE0-1, MIN. 49, PEREZ. 0-2, MIN. 54, PEREZ. 0-3, MIN. 61, ANTONIO. 1-3, MIN. 96, MURPHY.

West Ham showed their attacking prowess by dominating Cardiff City at the London Stadium, winning 3-1. 

Another brace, this time by Lucas Perez and a Michail Antonio header sealed the final aftermath in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

The consolation goal for Cardiff came in the 96th minute by Josh Murphy.

More team changes ahead of tough month

After beating Newcastle United only three days earlier, Manuel Pellegrini needed to change his lineup as West Ham hosted Cardiff at home.

Although the formation wasn't changed from 4-4-2, the team selection left people wondering.

Arthur Masuaku came back again replacing injury-hit Aaron Cresswell with Antonio starting ahead of the rested Pablo Zabaleta at full-back positions.

Angelo Ogbonna got his first start of the season replacing Fabian Balbuena who was sidelined by a knock picked up against Newcastle.

Tough start overshadowed by a forgotten hero

The game was going to be a challenging one for both teams which were coming into it high on confidence after their respective wins on the weekend.

It started off very end-to-end as both West Ham and Cardiff were dangerous, creating dangerous chances.

Marko Arnautovic and Ogbonna came fairly close for the Hammers, but the most dangerous chance came for Cardiff.

In the 35th minute, Junior Hoilett was fouled in the box by Arnautovic following a corner kick, which resulted in a penalty for The Bluebirds.

Joe Ralls stepped up to take it, but Łukasz Fabiański guessed the right way to retain the game level.

A while later Arnautovic came off injured after pulling his hamstring, which led to the substitution of the future hero, Perez.

In the 49th minute, Robert Snodgrass chipped the ball over Sean Morrison and Sol Bamba releasing Perez who first-time volleyed the ball straight at Neil Etheridge, but he wasn't able to keep it out.

Five minutes later Masuaku went down the wing, played a beautiful through ball to the Spaniard who nutmegged Etheridge to score his first brace in the claret and blue shirt.

The Hammers' pressure didn't stop there, and if it wasn't for the Phillippine keeper, the scoreline could and should have been much higher for West Ham.

At the hour mark Snodgrass whipped in a beautiful cross which was headed in by Antonio to put his team three goals up.

Unfortunately for the home team, Cardiff managed to pull one back with the last kick off the game.

Murphy tapped the ball into the back of the net after shambles following a corner kick, as Fabianski wasn't able to punch the ball clear.

There was a call for a foul since Aron Gunnarsson stood in front of the Polish keeper in his six-yard box making him unable to move towards the upcoming ball, but the referee had none of it.

Takeaways

Despite the three points and a very favourable scoreline, there were some negatives as well as positives about West Ham's performance.

Strength in depth for Hammers

Firstly, a very good sign for the team is their subs bench. For the last few years, the Hammers massively struggled in terms of depth and having game-changers on their bench. It came to a point where in the 2016/2017 season, their bench was filled in with a goalkeeper, centre-back and four youngsters, so looking at the performance of Lucas and Grady Diangana, every West Ham fan should be excited about the future.

West Ham versatility key

Secondly, the convertibility of players like Antonio or Masuaku. Both players are mainly wingers, but Tuesday night showed that under good defensive management they can also thrive as full-backs in a back four. Slaven Bilić once tried using Antonio as a right back or right-wing back, but that ended horribly wrong for the Hammers, and the Englishman got quickly moved back up the field.

Chemistry showing 
After spending £100m in the summer and a poor start to the campaign there were doubts over if the team would click fast enough to guarantee a top half finish for the Hammers. Fortunately for them, it took less than three months, and when a change is needed to be made to the starting XI, no player looks out of place.

Man of the match

Even though Perez scored a brace ultimately guaranteeing all three points, the man of the match was undoubtedly Fabiański. Three very clutch saves with one of them being a first-half penalty which if scored could possibly have changed the whole outcome of a game.

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