West Ham moved into the top four of the Premier League as a Declan Rice penalty, an Issa Diop header and a late strike from Ryan Fredericks secured a comfortable 3-0 win over Sheffield United.
It was far from the most eventful game of the season but it certainly had an eventful start. Within ten minutes the Irons thought they had a penalty, only for VAR to intervene and let Enda Stevens off the hook thanks to a marginal offside earlier in the play.
But there was no denying their second bite at the cherry, as Chris Basham wiped out the mightily impressive Jesse Lingard, allowing Rice to score from the spot.
David Moyes’ team took control from there but David McGoldrick almost equalised, with his header palmed away by Lukasz Fabianski at full stretch.
The win was secure when Issa Diop headed Aaron Cresswell’s corner beyond Aaron Ramsdale, and insult was added to injury when substitute Ryan Fredericks popped up with a third right at the death.
Here are your player ratings!
Lukasz Fabianski (GK) – 6/10 – Hairy moment early on after misjudging the flight of a simple pass by Craig Dawson. Made up for it with a brilliant reaction save to deny McGoldrick an equaliser
Issa Diop (CB) – 7/10 – Simple header for the second goal. Had a fight on his hands against Sharp but won the battle and contributed to a big win.
Craig Dawson (CB) – 7/10 – Strong, commanding performance at the centre of the back three – even if he nearly scored an OG early doors. Won just about every header and found the mark with almost every pass.
Aaron Cresswell (CB) – 6/10 – Great delivery for the second goal and steady in his defensive work. Really suits Moyes’ back three and knows how to balance defence and attack.
Vladimir Coufal (RWB) – 6/10 – Presented with a great chance after dispossessing Basham late on but couldn’t decide what to do with it and eventually hit the legs of Ramsdale. Can’t be judged on that though – put in a shift as always and delivered a capable performance.
Declan Rice (CM) – 7/10 – Another steady performance. Barely put a foot wrong and confidently stuck his penalty away after wrestling the ball from Lingard.
Tomas Soucek (CM) – 6/10 – Broke the play up well and chipped in creatively, though did give the ball away a few times.
Ben Johnson (LWB) – 6/10 – Got up and down the left flank and looked remarkably comfortable for a 21-year-old playing on his weaker foot.
Jesse Lingard (FW) – 8/10 – Looked incredibly sharp considering he had barely played prior to joining West Ham. Involved in almost everything going forward as his pace and dribbling caused real problems. Won the penalty and wanted to take it – but his complaining stopped when Rice stuck it into the bottom corner.
Jarrod Bowen (FW) – 5/10 – Did not suit being the most central of the three West Ham forwards.
Manuel Lanzini (FW) – 6/10 – Showed some quality whenever he got into the game, which wasn’t really that often.
Mark Noble (Lanzini 63) – 6/10
Said Benrahma (Lingard 81) – 6/10
Ryan Fredericks (Johnson 90) – N/A
Aaron Ramsdale (GK) – 6/10 – Capable shot-stopper but looked a little suspect in commanding his area – perhaps not a keeper playing with confidence. Kept the score down with a great stop at the feet of Coufal.
Chris Basham (CB) – 4/10 – Gave away the clearest penalty you’ll see this season when he wiped out Lingard in the area. Bonus points for having the cheek to protest, but they’re wiped out for his howler to let in Coufal.
John Egan (CB) – 5/10 – Positionally erratic and found out by Lingard’s pace on a few occasions. Needed a stretcher to go off after a late game-saving challenge on Lingard.
Ethan Ampadu (CB) – 6/10 – The Chelsea loanee looked promising but evidently needs to work on his communication with his team-mates.
Jayden Bogle (RWB) – 6/10 – Fine defensively, ineffectual going forward. Only Billy Sharp managed fewer touches of the outfield starters.
John Lundstram (CM) – 5/10 – Not bad, just a bit passive and ineffective from a player who looks so far from the levels he delivered last season.
Oliver Norwood (CM) – 5/10 – Hardly in the game before he was withdrawn for Oli McBurnie.
Ben Osborn (CM) – 7/10 – The most lively of a Sheffield United midfield three that was overrun at times. Combative performance and constantly looked to get his team forward.
Enda Stevens (LWB) – 6/10 – A lively presence down the left, tried his best to get things into the box and asked questions with his deliveries on a couple of occasions.
Billy Sharp (CF) – 6/10 – Hardly saw the ball really but seemed an occasional menace, nearly setting up McGoldrick for an equaliser that would have changed the course of the game.
David McGoldrick (CF) – 6/10 – Spurned a couple of good chances but linked up with the midfield fairly well and held together the few promising attacks that his team mustered.
Oli McBurnie (Norwood 63) – 6/10
Phil Jagielka (Egan 77) – N/A