Home Sport English Premier League West Ham United 3 – 1 Fulham

West Ham United 3 – 1 Fulham

West Ham United 3-1 Fulham

Gianluca Scamacca scored for a third successive game as West Ham came from behind to beat Fulham.

Fulham led after six minutes as Andreas Pereira fired in from a tight angle.

But Pereira then fouled Craig Dawson from a corner, Jarrod Bowen scoring the penalty.

Scamacca missed a series of good chances but netted when it counted as he lobbed Bernd Leno before a defensive mix-up presented Michail Antonio with the third.

Fulham took the lead with the first major attack of the game – Kurt Zouma failed to close down Pereira on the left side of the West Ham box, and the Brazilian beat Lukasz Fabianski for power with his shot high into the net from a tight angle.

In an entertaining first half full of chances, Daniel James cracked the crossbar from 20 yards with a dipping left-foot shot, before Scamacca missed a trio of opportunities to draw West Ham level.

The Hammers equalised instead from the penalty spot, with Pereira going from hero to villain as he barged Dawson to the floor from a corner. Bowen slotted the spot kick to Bernd Leno’s right.

Scamacca missed another headed chance from six yards, however, he finally found the net in superb fashion by chipping Leno, with the goal given after a lengthy video assistant referee (VAR) check.

He was replaced by Antonio with 10 minutes to go, and the sub finished the game in comical fashion – after his initial shot was saved by Leno, the German keeper and Tim Ream got in each other’s way trying to clear, inadvertently presenting the striker with an open goal to finish.

Having had to bide his time following his £32m move from Sassuolo in the summer, Scamacca now has six goals in 12 games for West Ham.

After netting against Wolves last weekend and the winner against Anderlecht on Thursday, the Italian was the Hammers’ main man once again.

He could – perhaps should – have scored several more. On 16 minutes he headed down a driven Paqueta cross from eight yards while unmarked which, while Leno brilliantly scooped it out from near his boot, he should have guided further away from the keeper.

Before the 25th minute, Scamacca had missed two more chances, dragging a one-on-one narrowly wide of the far post before sending another header straight at Leno.

Five minutes after the break he missed another free header, this time from only six yards – yet when the toughest chance came, after being put through by Paqueta with a lovely chipped through ball, he kept his nerve to scoop it over the goalie.

Scamacca did not immediately celebrate and was subjected to a VAR check of several minutes, which looked at whether he was offside or had handled the ball. With no clear evidence to disallow for either reason, the goal was given – and the Italian finally celebrated wildly with fans.

It encapsulated Scamacca’s Premier League career so far – a slow start peppered with what-ifs, finally coming good. He is the first West Ham striker to score in his opening two home starts at London Stadium – fans will hope the club’s recent poor run of forwarding signings is at an end.

For West Ham it continues their dominance over Fulham – they have won their last five Premier League games against the Cottagers, while David Moyes has now won 14 of his 15 games against them.

It also means they have won consecutive league matches for the first time since January, further raising hopes a difficult start is behind them.

It was a frustrating afternoon for Marco Silva, who was booked for his remonstrations with the officials after the Scamacca goal was given. Fulham started well but faded after West Ham equalised.

Things could have been very different – Pereira was busy in the opening stages and took his goal brilliantly, his first Premier League strike in two years and 333 days since scoring for Manchester United against Brighton in November 2019.

And had James’ 20-yard dipper on 13 minutes been a few inches lower, the story of the game would surely have been different.

Instead, this game shows how much Fulham miss Aleksandar Mitrovic when the Serbian bruiser is unavailable. He was absent for this game after aggravating a foot injury last week against Newcastle, and replacement Carlos Vinicius was unremarkable.

Silva also has problems to solve at the other end of the pitch. Fulham has kept just one clean sheet in the past 22 top-flight away meetings, conceding 52 goals.

Comedy mix-ups such as the one between Leno and Ream for West Ham’s third aside, Fulham were picked apart regularly and had Scamacca had his sights aligned all game, they could have conceded several more.

source – BBC Sport