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English Premier League

West Ham United 2 – 0 Sheffield United



West Ham United 2 - 0 Sheffield United

West Ham United 2 – 0 Sheffield United. West Ham marked David Moyes’ 900th league game as a manager by heaping more pain on struggling Sheffield United.

Jarrod Bowen swept home his fifth goal in seven Premier League games this season to put the Hammers ahead before Tomas Soucek squeezed home their second despite heavy pressure.

And while a repeat of the Blades’ 8-0 humbling by Newcastle never looked on the cards, the hosts’ margin of victory could have been greater had they taken more of their plentiful first-half opportunities.

Soucek side-footed over a golden early chance, while Blades keeper Wes Foderingham saved a Bowen header and Nayef Aguerd’s follow-up was cleared off the line, while Michail Antonio also curled just wide.

Oli McBurnie scuffed wide for the visitors just after the Hammers’ second and although the Blades improved after the break, Alphonse Areola only had one save of note to make from Anel Ahmedhodzic’s close-range header.

Victory gets the Hammers back on track after successive defeats by Manchester City and Liverpool as they stay seventh, while the Blades remain bottom with just one point from seven games.

Hammers boss Moyes passed 25 years in management back in January, having made his debut in the dugout with Preston in 1998.

And while he has been an occasionally divisive figure among supporters at some clubs – not least his current one – that longevity must be applauded, particularly in the modern era.

In a game where boardroom patience levels and managerial reigns are shorter than ever, the Hammers are only Moyes’ sixth club in that quarter-century span, which could be regarded as a telling statistic in itself.

Moyes this week was forced to defend the Hammers’ style of play, given they had the second-lowest possession figures in the top flight – but their opening goal here would have been the envy of any team.

A patient build-up gave way to a lovely passage of one-touch football that ended with Bowen coolly steering a first-time finish into the bottom corner from Vladimir Coufal’s pull-back.

Once Soucek evaded the attentions of two defenders to tuck Antonio’s slide-rule pass beyond Foderingham, the game was over, extending Moyes’ perfect home career record against the Blades to eight wins.

Perhaps with Thursday’s Europa League trip to Freiburg in mind, the Hammers eased off in the second half but rarely looked in danger of conceding as they recorded a first league clean sheet of the season.

The form of Bowen, in particular, will please Moyes, with the forward showing the sort of form that earned him an England call-up last year – only Erling Haaland has more goals in the top flight than the 26-year-old this term.

Only a fortnight has passed since the Blades’ previous trip to the capital, when they conceded two goals deep into time added on to lose at Tottenham – and that late heartbreak seems, in hindsight, to have severely damaged their confidence.

While this display was an improvement on their Newcastle nightmare, it would have been hard not to be – and they never really seemed to possess the belief they showed against Spurs just a couple of weeks prior.

There were some bright moments at London Stadium, particularly after the break, and substitute Anis Ben Slimane looked lively with a couple of late efforts but they were left to rue a nervy first period when they looked vulnerable every time the Hammers attacked.

The scars from the Magpies mauling will fade in time – and this was a step towards that – but they remain without a clean sheet since promotion and face a hugely important trip to Fulham in a week’s time given Manchester United and Arsenal are their subsequent two opponents.

source – BBC

English Premier League

Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest




Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest

Wolves 1-1 Nottingham Forest. Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper remains under pressure despite his side battling out a draw away at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Harry Toffolo put Forest ahead with his first goal for the club, only for the hosts to peg them back via Matheus Cunha’s low strike.

It means that Forest have only won one of their past 12 games and are four points above the relegation zone.

Wolves, meanwhile, rise to 12th in the Premier League.

Toffolo put Forest ahead at Molineux after 12 minutes. The left wing-back rose to head home Neco Williams’ deep cross, beating the covering Wolves defenders.

But the hosts upped their game and equalised following a slick passing move, culminating in Pablo Sarabia cutting back for Cunha, with the Brazilian applying the finish.

Cheikhou Kouyate should have put Forest ahead shortly before half-time but was denied, one-on-one by Jose Sa, who returned in goal for Wolves after missing Tuesday’s win over Burnley with a back spasm.

Anthony Elanga smacked the bar from eight yards out early in the second half and Toffolo missed a golden chance with another header as Forest dominated while seeking a much-needed winner.

Despite a spirited display from his side, Cooper’s position remains under threat and the Forest manager was visibly emotional as he thanked the away fans after full-time, waving and thumping his chest.

Cooper appears to be on borrowed time as Forest manager despite Saturday’s result, which came on the back of a 5-0 defeat by Fulham on Wednesday.

If the man who guided his side back to the Premier League in 2022 is to leave the club, he will not go without trying everything first.

Cooper made seven changes to the starting XI from the side thumped at Craven Cottage, including a change of goalkeeper with Matt Turner returning and, crucially, a change of formation to a 3-5-2 after playing a back four against Fulham.

That change of shape was crucial in putting Forest ahead, as the wing-backs combined for the opener – Williams’ cross from the right met by Toffolo steaming in from the left.

It delighted the noisy and sizable travelling support, who sang Cooper’s name from the opening seconds to after the final whistle.

But despite all those changes, Forest remain porous at the back and were cut apart when Wolves got their passing moves going. They have now conceded 12 goals in their past four away league matches – and were grateful to Turner who made a good low save from Cunha in the second half.

While several of Wolves’ games this season have been defined more by VAR than action on the field, Gary O’Neil’s side are capable of playing some very good football.

Central to that is Cunha, who has become the fourth Brazilian to score or assist in five consecutive Premier League games, after Arsenal players Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli and former Manchester City midfielder Elano.

Wolves have now scored in 15 consecutive Premier League matches, as they climb further away from what looked like early relegation worries.

It also gave Gary O’Neil reason to cheer in his 50th Premier League game.

source – BBC

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English Premier League

Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford




Sheffield United 1 -0 Brentford

Sheffield United 1-0 Brentford. A wonderful goal by James McAtee was enough for Sheffield United to beat Brentford and give Blades manager Chris Wilder a first win since his return to the club.

The Manchester City loanee’s first Premier League goal lit up a rainy Bramall Lane in first-half injury time as he cut inside onto his left foot and curled a beautiful shot into the far corner.

Blades sub Anis Ben Slimane missed a great chance to make it 2-0 after 56 minutes but shot straight at Mark Flekken in the Brentford goal.

Brentford, without top scorer Bryan Mbeumo through injury, struggled to create many openings as they fell to a fourth defeat in their last five games.

The win is only Sheffield United’s second in the Premier League this season and came in Wilder’s second match back in charge following the 2-0 defeat against Liverpool in midweek.

It was also the Blades’ first clean sheet of the season but it was not quite enough for them to jump off the foot of the table as they remain bottom on goal difference from Burnley, with both sides on eight points from 16 games.

It was a strong start by the hosts with Auston Trusty seeing an shot deflected wide by Frank Onyeka’s block and Andre Brooks involved in the early exchanges on his second Premier League start.

Trusty was shown the first yellow card of the game after 17 minutes for a lunge on Keane Lewis-Potter, who was one of three changes made by Thomas Frank after the midweek defeat at Brighton.

Ben Mee had a header comfortably dealt with by Blades goalkeeper Wes Foderingham in heavy rain during an opening half-hour in which neither goalkeeper was really tested.

Onyeka was cautioned for a tackle on Vini Souza with the high challenge checked for a potential red card by the video assistant referee but it remained a yellow.

The game suddenly sprung to life in the closing moments of the first half as Sheffield United forward Will Osula hit the side-netting after being played through by Gustavo Hamer before Brentford’s Neal Maupay was denied by Jack Robinson’s block.

McAtee’s goal came after the visitors made a mess of clearing the ball and Hamer found the 21-year-old who stepped inside and hit a shot which gave Flekken no chance.

The hosts had a great chance to double their lead shortly before the hour mark when Cameron Archer won possession from Mee and crossed for the arriving substitute Slimane but he shot straight at Flekken from close range.

The Bees threatened intermittently but failed to build-up any real momentum with Yoane Wissa, who has one goal in his last 14 games, twice seeing efforts saved comfortably by Foderingham.

Slimane missed another chance to make the win more comfortable by shooting into the side netting and there was one final scare for the home fans as Brentford claimed for a late penalty for handball but it was not given, allowing them to celebrate a much-needed win.

source – BBC

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