Four-midable West Ham crush Huddersfield in style
PUBLISHED: 17:05 13 January 2018 | UPDATED: 17:05 13 January 2018
PA Wire/PA Images
Manuel Lanzini scores a deadly double for Hammers as Huddersfield are humbled
Huddersfield Town 1 West Ham United 4
The Hammers left Yorkshire full of cheer following their formidable four-goal rampage at the John Smith’s Stadium, where their stunning victory sent them leap-frogging over the bitter Terriers.
Recalled skipper Mark Noble sent West Ham on their way with his second goal of the season midway through the first-half and, although Joe Lolley levelled just before the interval, David Moyes boys literally let Huddersfield have it after the break as Marko Arnautović and Manuel Lanzini’s double-barrelled blast gave the East Enders a wonderful win.
Following Sunday’s Shrewsbury stalemate, the Hammers returned to Premier League action with Moyes making seven changes from that side that played out that forlorn FA Cup draw as Noble, Arnautović, Lanzini, Adrián, Aaron Cresswell, James Collins and Pablo Zabaleta and returned to face the 11th-placed Terriers sitting four places and two points above them in the table.
That meant the injured Winston Reid (groin) missed out, while Javier Hernández, Joe Hart, Reece Burke, Josh Cullen, Declan Rice and André Ayew took their places on a depleted six-man bench.
And out on the pitch, Terriers looked to have an early extra man, too, as Lolley threatened with a early, probing run and, after the hosts forced the first corner of the afternoon, Rajiv Van La Parra’s shot was bravely charged down by Collins.
Huddersfield had seen off Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup last weekend and, following his team’s 2-1 win at the Reebok Stadium, David Wagner made half-a-dozen switches as La Parra, Jonas Lössl, Christopher Schindler, Aaron Mooy, Tom Ince and Mathias Zanka all earned call-ups.
But after soaking up the early pressure, the Hammers own pressing earned them a surprise opener on 24 minutes, when Lolley found himself ambushed by both Arnautović and Noble as he attempted to control Lössl’s short goal-kick.
With the ball breaking loose, Noble advanced unchecked into the Huddersfield area before firing an unstoppable 15-yarder between the helplessly exposed ‘keeper’s outstretched left glove and the right-hand post.
The Hammers skipper had certainly stunned sold-out John Smith’s Stadium and roared on by the 2,163 cheering claret and blue fans, Lanzini burst through a few minutes later but his run was illegally halted by the consequently-cautioned Tommy Smith.
In reply, Ince sent a low centre across the face of goal however the stretching Depoitre could not get a stud on the ball but five minutes before the break, the Terriers did, indeed, claw themselves level.
Collecting from Smith on the right flank, Mooy invited Lolley to atone for that calamitous earlier mistake by stroking the ball into his path and the Huddersfield midfielder gratefully danced his way into the Hammers area before curling an unstoppable 18-yarder around Pedro Obiang, Angelo Ogbonna and the groping Adrián to make it all-square at the interval.
Incredibly, the Hammers regained the lead straight from the restart, when they played the ball back to Ogbonna, whose huge upfield ball was nodded on by Cheikhou Kouyaté and Arnautović juggled his way past Smith before firing a low eight-yarder past Lössl to put the visitors ahead with his seventh of the season as several tardy supporters were still settling back into their seats.
With David Wagner’s team talk having gone out of the window just seconds into the second period, the timid Terriers then saw Cresswell’s corner cause havoc in the home defence and Kouyaté saw his bundled effort hacked off the line.
Lanzini also broke clear but instead of squaring to Arnautović, the wasteful South American attempted an ambitious Rabona that Lössl easily fielded to the understandable fury of the Hammers bench.
On 56 minutes, though, the Argentinian ace had his manager smiling again, when Kouyaté cleverly played in Arnautović and, spotting Lanzini’s perfectly-timed run behind Zanka and Schindler, the Austrian slotted an inch-perfect pass to his strike-partner and Lanzini drilled a low 10-yarder beyond Lössl for the visitors’ third.
Still West Ham were not finished and, just five minutes later, Kouyaté played a long ball out of defence to Arnautović, who drove his way from halfway. With neither Zanka nor Schindler able to halt the charge, yet again, the Huddersfield ‘keeper found himself picking another Argentinian sizzler out as Lanzini fired a 16-yarder high into the net to claim his third goal of the season and cement the victory that saw West Ham overtake Huddersfield in the table.
TERRIERS: Lössl, Smith (Kongolo 70), Malone, Hogg, Zanka, Schindler, Ince, Lolley (Pritchard 65), Mooy, Van La Parra, Depoitre. Unused subs: Coleman, Sabiri, Williams, Mounié, Hefele.
HAMMERS: Adrián, Zabaleta, Masuaku, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Collins, Obiang, Kouyaté, Noble, Lanzini (Rice 85), Arnautović (Ayew 82). Unused subs: Hart, Hernández, Burke, Cullen.
Booked: Smith (31) Adrián (76).
Referee: Jon Moss