West Ham United 2-1 Brentford
Saturday, 29th August 2020
by Staff Writer
West Ham completed a third win of pre-season against the recently-beaten play-off finalists - but made far more hard work of it than last week's trips to Wycombe and Ipswich.Thomas Frank's side were a whisker away from winning promotion to the Premier League last season but were beaten by Fulham in what is commonly referred to as the world's richest game - the Championship play-off final.
And even though they were missing a handful of key players for this latest pre-season test at the Olympic Stadium they pushed David Moyes' West Ham all the way in a closely-fought contest in Stratford.
Brentford both began and ended the match with great chances that they really should've made better of. Within 90 seconds the Bees hit the woodwork as Lukasz Fabianki, restored to the starting XI was beaten with the visitors' first chance of the game but saved by the post.
West Ham took the lead shortly after having recovered from that early scare when Pablo Fornals teed up Andriy Yarmolenko, who beat Brentford 'keeper Luke Daniels from close range.
But it was Brentford who were to register next when they levelled the scores through Marcus Forss as the game entered the final third of the first half. Canos found space on the left and played a neat one-two with West Ham transfer target Rico Henry; the left back centred for Forss to head home.
One-all at the interval, the decisive goal arrived on the hour mark. Michail Antonio exhibiting the kind of strength and determination that led him to ending Project Restart as the Premier League's leading goalscorer held off a two challenges before finding Tomas Soucek.
And the Czech midfielder, West Ham's only signing since January once again proved how deadly he can be front of goal by converting Antonio's delivery to restore West Ham's lead - one they would ultimately retain for the remainder of the match.
Still, Brentford will be kicking themselves for not at least leaving east London with a share of the spoils after Mogensen missed a golden opportunity to level the match, sending his header wide of the post with the goal at his mercy.
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Player RatingsLukasz Fabianski
Beaten early on and saved by his post, beaten again but saved by an offside flag and then finally legitimately beaten by Forss.
Provided little going forward and was rather easily outfoxed for the Bees only goal of the game. Looked like he'd just returned from a fortnight on the beach in Mykonos...
It wasn't so long ago he was being called for England but he has been lacking form for some time now. One over-hit cross that ended up near the corner flag summed up his contribution on the day.
One of the better defensive players on show today, although the bar hadn't been set particularly high.
KUMB's latest Player of the Year runner-up struggled with a lack of defensive quality around him.
Many believe this is the season in which the skipper's ageing legs will fail to keep up with the pace. While that may well prove to be the case he's still capable of hitting some inch-perfect 50-yard passes.
It was good to see the midfielder back in action although any signs of the quality that once saw him tipped as England's best midfielder of his generation appear to have disappeared.
Worked like a Trojan as per usual and had a hand in West Ham's opening goal, providing the assist for his Ukrainian team mate.
Although there was little to show from his 45 minutes on the field, he did get on the scoresheet once again - as he has an uncanny habit of doing. While he continues to do that he'll always have a part to play.
Is currently full of confidence following a thoroughly successful season in the Championship last year. Never afraid to take on his full back, he only managed to create one or two chances for Sebastien Haller who last week confessed he was greatly looking forward to developing a relationship with the young winger.
Scored a hat-trick at Portman Road against League One Ipswich Town in midweek but was given few opportunities to get on the scoresheet by a far better drilled defensive unit.
(Replaced Cresswell, 45) Thrown in at full back at the break and looked just as effective as he usually does there. So not particularly.
(Replaced Noble, 45) Came up against Brentford in the League last season and given an opportunity to show he deserves a chance in Moyes' first team. A neat and tidy performance, not so far removed from the player he replaced.
(Replaced Wilshere, 45) Within six months of arriving in England the Czech has become one of West Ham United's most important players. Another goal to add to his portfolio won't do his confidence any harm at all.
(Replaced Yarmolenko, 45) Always ready to take his player on, Bowen - a player full of energy and guile - is on course to become an England regular if he continues to improve.
(Replaced Fornals, 45) Our Argentine hasn't enjoyed the best of form since returning from a terrible injury in 2019 but there were glimpses of his former self here. Hopefully something to build upon.
(Replaced Diangana, 45) Rumours about of an imminent return to Italy following a disappointing season in Stratford but there is a player in there somewhere. Can Moyes find him, is the big question. Like Lanzini, there were moments of quality today.
(Replaced Haller, 45) Showed his considerable strength to hold off two defenders for the first goal before being taken out by a horrible challenge that might've been a red card offence in the Premier League. Replsced just 29 minutes after entering the fray and with the Premier League season just a fortnight away, Antonio faces an anxious wait. Other subs: Johnson (Fredericks 58); Snodgrass (Antonio 74).
Match FactsWest Ham United: Lukasz Fabianski, Ryan Fredericks, Aaron Cresswell, Fabian Balbuena, Angelo Ogbonna, Mark Noble, Jack Wilshere, Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko, Grady Diangana, Sebastien Haller.
Goals: Andriy Yarmolenko 7 Tomas Soucek 60 .
Sent off: None.
Brentford: Daniels, Dalsgaard (Roerslev 62), Jansson (Goode 62), Pinnock (Sorensen 62), Henry (Thompson 62), Jensen (Marcondes 62), Norgaard (Maghoma 62), Dasilva (Zamburek 62); Mbeumo (Valencia 62), Forss (Mogensen 62), Canos (Fosu 62).
Subs not used: .
Goals: Forss (32).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Man of the Match: Michail Antonio.