Gillingham FC 0-2 West Ham United: Hammers dispatch League One opposition in a tough matchup
(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Having last years 4-0 loss against AFC Wimbledon on the back of their minds, West Ham United have gone all out to avoid another embarrassing Cup exit.

Pablo Zabaleta opened the scoring in the second half after a cross from Arthur Masuaku before Pablo Fornals set the scoreline with a stoppage-time finish.

  • Story of the game

The game started with West Ham on a front foot but Gillingham quickly started putting the pressure on, seemingly getting more of the game than the Hammers with a quick succession corners in the opening minutes.

They kept on piling onto the visitors who couldn't create much apart from occasional crosses from Ryan Fredericks and Arthur Masuaku.

The first actual chance for West Ham came in the 23rd minute through Sebastien Haller. But when through on goal he was pulled back, and from the following free-kick Robert Snodgrass hit the wall.

On the half-hour mark, the Gills had a free-kick, but it was too deep and went out for a goal-kick.

But out of nothing, an injury struck the Hammers with Fredericks coming off with a hamstring injury. That will probably make David Moyes jump into the transfer window with a search of a new right-back.

A few minutes later Haller got the ball into the back of the net, but the whistle was blown for a foul just before.

And after the half-time, the Frenchman had a great chance to bring his side in front, but the ball hit a bobble just before he went to strike it.

A few minutes later he had another chance but hit the inside of the near post from a very tough angle.

The Hammers picked up the pace massively and in quick succession, Manuel Lanzini got two good chances on target but the score remained goalless.

After a patch of domination from West Ham, a free-kick was whipped in by Snodgrass towards Declan Rice who was held by Thomas O'Connor but the referee waved it off. No VAR looks to be hurting the Hammers this time.

And the Hammers finally got what they wanted. With 15 minutes to go a great play between Anderson and Masuaku allowed to latter to put a good cross into the box which after hitting Pablo Fornals fell into the path of the substitute Pablo Zabaleta who managed to put it past Bonham.

Deep in the stoppage time, Fornals sealed the game making it two-nil.

Gillingham tried their best to come back into the game and rescue a replay but they couldn't do anything to put the ball past Łukasz Fabiański.

  • Takeaways

No more faulty man management

After struggling with poor substitutions and team selections under Manuel Pellegrini, it looks like West Ham can leave this period behind.

David Moyes was able to correctly change and set his team up with brilliant substitutions when they were struggling as both subs, Zabaleta and Fornals, sealed the Hammers' win.

Formation change a sign of things to come

Having experimented with a three-at-the-back formation in his first stint at the club it looks like Moyes wants to go back to using it yet again, as in this exact tactic he set his team up today.

After a poor first half from everyone on the pitch, the second one looked much much brighter with both wingbacks getting involved in opening the scoring.

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