Wolves left it until the 93rd minute to condemn West Ham to a fourth successive defeat. It was Wolves’ record signing Adama Traore who sealed their first three points of the season with a lovely right-footed strike from just inside the penalty area. The international break couldn’t have come at a better time, though, for the win-less West Ham side.
Wolves Pile More Misery on West Ham
Squandered First-Half Chances
With both sides looking for their first win of the season, it was the keepers who were to be at their finest. West Ham had the first opportunity at goal when Felipe Anderson struck the ball and forced Rui Patricio to get down low and make a good save. It was then Lukas Fabianski’s turn when the ball fell to Doherty who struck it first time, only for the Polish keeper to tip it over.
It was then Robert Snodgrass who had a chance at goal. He dribbled into the box, got to the by-line but could only hit the side netting. Diogo Jota had the best chance of the first half, though. Wolves played the ball around and started to gain some momentum when the ball was picked up by Joao Moutinho, who picked out Jota on the edge of the six-yard box, who could only get under the ball and head it over.
Improved Second Half
The second half started better than the first with West Ham applying some pressure. It was Fabian Balbuena who could have headed West Ham in front when he was left free but he could only head it into the ground and wide. Patricio had to make another good save when Yarmolenko managed to get in a deep cross for Antonio to loop his header destined for the far post. Despite being put under pressure by Arnautovic, Patricio managed to tip it away from goal.
Fabianski then had his turn again to absorb some pressure. Firstly, he made a good save from Raul Jimenez, who got his head to a Moutinho free-kick. Then he denied Wolves substitute Leo Bonatini when Jimenez broke.
Space started to appear with the fresh legs of the substitutes opening the game up. One of the subs, Adama Traore, broke down the right-hand side to play to Jimenez who blazed it over the bar. There was a comical moment next when a lovely ball from Neves over to Doherty saw the ball swung into the box only for Jimenez to fall over the ball.
Traore Makes The Difference
With the game opening up, it was Adama Traore who shone in front of 56,947 fans at the London Stadium. Firstly, after some build-up play by Wolves, Traore managed to get the ball into the box for Doherty, who saw his weak volley saved. Going late into the match, Traore was trying to force the game by running at the Hammers’ defence and striking a left-foot shot from just outside the box; a comfortable save for Fabianski.
It was the 93rd minute when Traore scored his first goal for Wolves. Carlos Sanchez took too long on the ball, allowing Neves to intercept and lay the ball off to Moutinho. The Portugal international played it forward for Bonatini to hold up and pass it to the oncoming Traore, who took on his man and unleashed a right-footed strike to beat Fabianski and seal Wolves’ first three points of the season.
With the international break coming up it couldn’t come at a better time for West Ham, who have lost all four of their opening games and the only side not to pick up a point in the Premier League so far. They will hope to better once the break is over when they come up against Everton.
Nuno will be happy with the result as it gets Wolves their first three points of the Premier League season. It’s a personal milestone for both Nuno and Jota as it was the 50th game at Wolves for the pair. With Wolves having five points from their first four games they will look to push on after the international break when they play host to Burnley at Molineux.