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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Andy Sims

Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek inspire West Ham to victory over sorry Sheffield United

PA Wire

Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek were on target as West Ham strolled to a 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Sheffield United.

The Blades, walloped 8-0 by Newcastle six days earlier, had the air of a team already resigned to relegation just seven matches into the season.

Their visit to the London Stadium was a welcome one for West Ham, who had suffered back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Liverpool.

The only surprise was that the Hammers did not score more, although it could have been an entirely different story had the Blades opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Cameron Archer turned Kurt Zouma in the area, only for Nayef Aguerd to slide in and block his shot.

That was pretty much their only glimpse of Alphonse Areola’s goal in the first half as West Ham went for the jugular.

First Bowen out-muscled James McAtee on the byline and cut the ball back for Soucek, who blazed over the crossbar.

Then, from a James Ward-Prowse corner, Bowen had a header saved at point-blank range by Wes Foderingham, with Aguerd’s follow-up headed off the line by Luke Thomas.

The goal West Ham had been threatening arrived in the 24th minute when Vladimir Coufal crossed low into the penalty area.

Bowen had timed his run into the box to perfection and arrowed a first-time finish past Foderingham for his sixth goal in the Premier League this season, and his first at home.

West Ham, sensing they could fill their boots just like Newcastle did against the Blades a week earlier, poured forward with Michail Antonio curling a shot just wide and Soucek narrowly off target with a glancing header.

Tomas Soucek scored West Ham’s second
— (Action Images via Reuters)

Nine minutes before the interval they doubled their lead after the visitors lost possession as they tried to play out from the back.

Emerson Palmieri’s pass along the edge of the box found Antonio, who unselfishly slipped in Soucek to slot the ball home.

After the break Archer had a half chance in the area but his shot was deflected over the crossbar.

And a miserable afternoon for the Blades got even worse when captain John Egan limped off.

They should have been further behind when Bowen rounded Foderingham and pulled the ball back, but Antonio could not find the finish.

Aguerd headed wide from another Ward-Prowse corner before Blades striker Oliver McBurnie could have set up a nervous finish for the hosts, only to see his header fly the wrong side of the near post.

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