Premier League
West Ham United 2-0 Huddersfield Town 

Monday, 11th September 2017
by David Fletcher

West Ham finally kickstarted their season with a comprehensive 2-0 win over Huddersfield.

Though far from easy, the Hammers managed to surge to victory with second half goals from Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew.

West Ham were fast out the blocks which further encouraged the fans to back the team even after witnessing below par performances in previous games.

Such was the domination in the early exchanges that Cheikhou Kouyate was inches away from putting his side in front in the second minute after failing to connect onto a convincing Andy Carroll cross.

Despite the home side's superiority, Huddersfield were enjoying their fair share of the possession. However, the Hammers' pressure and urgency was forcing the away side to make numerous mistakes; Chicharito, Michail Antonio and Pablo Zabaleta provided the energy necessary to keep the Terriers on their toes.

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The high energy levels enabled the Hammers to keep creating chances too. Michail Antonio kept Huddersfield defenders on edge with his skill, speed and sheer power on the ball; and after a surging run down the right wing, he fed the ball back to Chicharito who whacked the crossbar leaving fans in utter disbelief.

The opportunities didn't stop there and barring a seldom seen counter from the visitors, West Ham continued to impress. In the closing stages of the first half a golden chance presented itself once again for Cheikhou Kouyate inside the penalty box. James Collins leapt the highest on a couple of corners, only to be denied by opposing 'keeper Jonas Lossl.

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As for the second period, the crowd was nervy and anxious and the team could feel it having been on top for large parts of the first 45 minutes and not capitalised. This was not helped at all by the withdrawal of fan favourite Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez for Andre Ayew, however the crowd would soon be proved wrong. Huddersfield handled the ball very well, but failed to threaten West Ham's goal.

After that, the game stagnated and lost its fluidity, neither side could connect and didn't seem to click. All that was required was a lucky break, and when you are bottom of the table it's what you crave for.

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It all started when Kouyate decided to push forward and chase what seemed to be a lost cause. He dispossesed Chris L??we and neatly handed the ball over to Pedro Obiang who decided to let fly from around 25 yards out.

Fortunately his strike took a wicked deflection and veered right, fooling goalkeeper Jonas Lossl completely, who was left in a merry dance. Though the crowd was totally bewildered at what had just happened they were still jumping for joy.

Soon after, the stadium was bouncing again after Andre Ayew, who replaced Hern??ndez much to the disapproval of the home fans, banged it in from a yard out after Jose Fonte's effort from a corner wasn't dealt with by the Huddersfield defence.

The win looked all but secure, yet the momentum shifted near the end as both the Terriers' fans and players gave it all they had in the last few minutes forced Joe Hart into making a decent save down to his left and having Tom Ince's strike denied by the woodwork.

The four minutes of added time weren't going to dampen the mood either on a wet London night as West Ham cruised to victory to earn their first victory and clean sheet of the campaign, but crucially, their first points on the board.

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Player Ratings

Joe Hart
Confident with his feet and dependable when called into action. A passionate and solid display in goal.

Pablo Zabaleta
Very energetic pressing high up the pitch as far as the goalkeeper on a few occassions and getting stuck in with his tackling.

Aaron Cresswell
A good source for crosses out wide but lost the ball too frequently. In defence lost his touch, being beaten far too easily with just a drop of the shoulder.

Winston Reid
Always there to clear the danger. A reliable figure to have as your last man.

James Collins
A fantastic presence in the air, both in defence and in attack. Barring the odd mistake on the ball it was a consistent performance from 'Ginge'.

Jose Fonte
Fairly weak in defence being beaten constantly out wide in his three-at-the-back role having to rely too much on his defensive partners.

Pedro Obiang
A better showing from 'Perico' this time round after a few mediocre displays in recent games. Was willing to try something different when striking from a long way out that ultimately led to the first goal.

Michail Antonio
Skilful, incredibly strong and pacey, all that you can ask for from an attacking player. One of the few players on the pitch who was confident enough to beat a player and make his own luck. An absolute nightmare for the Huddersfield defence.

Cheikhou Kouyate
Time and time again was in the right place at the right time, but his finishing let him down failing to hit the target in the clear cut opportunities that presented themselves.

Javier Hernandez
As always, pressed high up the pitch and held the ball up well. Had one decent opportunity and unfortunately was denied by the crossbar. Very surprising to many to see him replaced relatively early in the second half.

Andy Carroll
Did nearly everything right, was good in attack protecting the ball and solid in defence chucking himself about if needs be. Earnt a standing ovation when substituted.


Andre Ayew
(Replaced Hernandez) Good attacking mentality making intelligent decisions when going forward. Netted the all-important second goal which pretty much secured the three points.

Diafra Sakho
Got a mixed reception when coming on. Didn't have much to do as the game was all but wrapped up when being introduced.

Declan Rice
Barely featured.

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.

Sam Byram
Did not play.

Arthur Masuaku
Did not play.

Angelo Ogbonna
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, James Collins, Jose Fonte, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Cheikhou Kouyate, Javier Hernandez, Andy Carroll.

Goals: Pedro Obiang 72 Andre Ayew 77                .

Booked: Pablo Zabaleta 49          .

Sent off: None.

Huddersfield Town: Lossi; Smith, Zanka, Schindler, Lowe (Malone 63’); Kachunga (Sabiri 76’), Billing (Depoitre 83’), Mooy, Ince; Van la Parras, Mounie.

Subs not used: Coleman, Williams, Hadergjonaj, Hefele.

Goals: .

Booked: Zanka 26’, Billing 45.

Sent off: None.

Referee: Kevin Friend.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Michail Antonio.