West Ham United continued their impressive Premier League campaign with a 3-0 win over basement club Sheffield United.
After having an early penalty chalked off early on by VAR, the Hammers were given a reprieve five minutes before the break. Chris Basham clattered into on-loan Jesse Lingard and captain Declan Rice smashed home from the spot.
Issa Diop doubled the hosts’ lead just before the hour mark when his flick header nestled into the far corner from Ryan Cresswell’s corner.
Ryan Fredericks sealed a comfortable win deep into stoppage time when he cut inside and picked his spot in the bottom corner.
Chris Wilder brought Enda Stevens and Ben Osborn back into the starting 11 in place of Max Lowe and John Fleck, as he missed out through injury.
David Moyes made three changes from the Hammers’ last Premier League game against Fulham. Diop, Ben Johnson, and Manuel Lanzini came into the fold.
Story of the match
The game started at a quick pace with both teams getting forward quickly. But it was West Ham who thought they’d got a great chance to open the scoring less than five minutes in.
Craig Dawson was brought down by Enda Stevens in the area after Aaron Ramsdale parried an initial free kick from Declan Rice. On-field referee Simon Hooper pointed to spot, but VAR Michael Oliver chalked it off as Dawson was offside when the free kick was initially taken.
After a frantic opening 15, both teams settled more into the game and chances became few and far between. The Blades were playing some nice football in and around the final third, but they were suffering from the same issue they’ve been suffering from all season – overplaying it and a lack of quality when it matters.
West Ham did finally get their first penalty of the season when Chris Basham flew into a last-ditch challenge on Jesse Lingard five minutes before the break. Chris Wilder’s side caused their own problems when a stray pass from Oli Norwood was intercepted and fed through to Lingard. Declan Rice took charge and buried into the bottom corner.
Sheffield United had a great chance to equaliser early on in the second half. Captain Billy Sharp floated a lovely cross from inside the area to the back post. David McGoldrick met it with his head, but Lukasz Fabianski managed to tip over for a corner despite a deflection.
However, it was the Hammers who scored next. Ryan Cresswell whipped in an out-swinging corner from the left and Issa Diop guided it on with his head into the far corner, just short of the hour mark, for his first goal of the season.
Vladimir Coufal had a great chance to make it 3-0 when he caught Enda Stevens napping and ran through one-on-one. However, Aaron Ramsdale made a good save at his near post to deny the Czech international.
It went from bad to worse for the Blades when John Egan’s night ended prematurely as he was stretchered off after picking up an injury denying Jesse Lingard an opportunity to have a shot at goal inside the area.
Ryan Fredericks wrapped up a comfortable performance with the last kick of the game. He cut in from the left, unmarked and unchallenged, and picked his spot in the bottom corner.
West Ham United XI: Fabianski, Diop, Dawson, Cresswell, Johnson, Rice, Soucek, Coufal, Lanzini, Bowen, Lingard
Sheffield United XI: Ramsdale, Bogle, Basham, Egan, Ampadu, Stevens, Lundstram, Norwood, Osborn, Sharp, McGoldrick