Wednesday 13 November 2019

Hammers coming good

West Ham 3 Stoke 0

Ben Rumsby

Avram Grant declared West Ham had "momentum at the right time" after watching his side haul themselves out of the Premier League drop zone in crushing Stoke 3-0.

The Hammers recorded back-to-back league wins for the first time in more than a year -- and three straight victories in all competitions for the first time in more than two -- to stay on course to complete a great escape from relegation.

Two of the three teams below them have games in hand but, having rattled in 14 goals in their last four outings, Grant's men currently look better equipped to survive than nearly all of their rivals.

"We have momentum at the right time," said Grant. "We will not score three goals every game, that's for sure. Nobody is doing this. I believe in this football, I believe in attacking football. You need balance, and we're getting the balance better and better every game. But we have many players forward that can score now."

Grant demonstrated the faith he has in his forwards by fielding a three-pronged attack yesterday, with Demba Ba once again stealing the limelight with his fourth goal in five matches since signing from Hoffenheim. Summer signing Thomas Hitzlsperger also rattled in his second goal in three games following his recovery from the injury that prevented him from playing for his new club until last month.

Stoke had contained Ba well until he opened the scoring in the 21st minute thanks to a calamitous mix-up between goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and Marc Wilson.The visitors failed to regain their composure before the recalled Manuel da Costa made it 2-0 eight minutes later.

"Up until the two goals, especially the first one, I thought we were well in the game," said Stoke boss Tony Pulis. "If anything, we probably had more control of the game.

"Then we gave a silly goal away and they scored again from a set play, which is disappointing from our point of view. From then on, they deserved to win it."

Stoke's defeat was a club record sixth on the bounce away from home in the league and leaves them in 12th place, just three points above their opponents.

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