|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
Javier Hernández the hero as West Ham beat Huddersfield in seven-goal thriller
Date Published Sat 16 Mar 2019 17.33 GMT
Javier Hernández scored twice as West Ham came back from the brink of a humiliating defeat. Huddersfield, bottom of the Premier League and all but doomed, were heading towards only their fourth win of the season when they led 3-1 through Juninho Bacuna and a double from Karlan Grant. But Hernández came off the bench to score twice and push Huddersfield another step closer to the Championship.
“I hate it when my team play badly,” Manuel Pellegrini said. “I think everyone was disappointed when we were 3-1 down but we did well to come back. The victory is very good for the fans, especially when you are losing 3-1 and you don’t give up. That reflects the character of the team. It’s good for everyone. For the fans, for me, the players. It’s good for everyone except Huddersfield.”
Huddersfield had scored only eight away goals before they showed up at the London Stadium. By half-time that tally had reached double figures and just after an hour they made it 11 with West Ham looking every bit a set of players who have already clocked off for the summer.
Mark Noble’s early penalty gave West Ham a false sense of security and Huddersfield had hit three goals before Angelo Ogbonna made it 3-2 with 15 minutes left. Hernández then took over to earn West Ham a third successive home Premier League win for the first time since they moved to the former Olympic Stadium.
They had been gifted the lead after a quarter of an hour when the 18-year-old Aaron Rowe, making his full debut, tripped Manuel Lanzini in the area and Noble did the honours. Yet two minutes later Huddersfield, who had not scored a goal away from home since Boxing Day, were level. Michail Antonio lost Bacuna at Aaron Mooy’s corner, leaving Bacuna with a free header to open his account for the club.
Worse was to follow when Alex Pritchard played a short free-kick out wide to Chris Löwe. The Huddersfield full-back drove the ball low into a crowded area and Grant was on hand to steer it home from six yards out.
West Ham trooped off at half-time with boos ringing in their ears and Pellegrini sent on Hernández for Antonio. Marko Arnautovic, summoned from the naughty step for a first start since January when the striker declared he wanted to move to China, should have equalised after a jinking run from Felipe Anderson but shot too close to the goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.
Moments later Huddersfield had their third, Grant bullying Issa Diop off the ball and cutting inside Ogbonna’s feeble challenge before curling into the top corner.
In the 84th minute the substitute Samir Nasri sent over an inviting diagonal cross that Hernández buried at the far post with a diving header. Even then Huddersfield could have won it, only for Philip Billing to hook a glorious chance over from eight yards out. So there was an air of inevitability when, in stoppage time, Felipe Anderson lofted the ball into the area and Hernández guided it home to cap a barmy match.
“Javier’s an important player,” Pellegrini said. “Every time he’s inside the box he is dangerous. He started on the bench so did not have so much pressure. I always say to players that subs are so important, they must have their minds on the game.”
It was hard not to sorry feel for Huddersfield, destined for the drop but so close to securing only a fourth win of the season. Their crestfallen manager, Jan Siewert, said: “I can’t describe my feelings right now. Look at my face.
“We scored three goals, we haven’t done that all year, so the match plan worked. I was working so hard all week. I am so proud of the performance. There are reasons we are bottom of the table but we kept fighting and you saw that today.”
Daily Mail: MATCH FACTS, LEAGUE TABLE & MATCH ZONE
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 6; Zabaleta 6, Diop 6, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 6.5; Noble 6,5 (Nasri 59(, Rice 6; Antonio 6.5 (Chicharito 46, 8), Lanzini 6, Anderson 7; Arnautovic 5 (Perez 68)
Subs not used: Adrian, Balbuena, Snodgrass, Masuaku
Scorer: Noble (pen) 15; Ogbonna 75, Hernandez 84, 90+2
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini 7
Huddersfield (4-2-3-1): Lossl 6; Smith 6, Stankovic 6, Kongolo 6, Durm 6; Bacuna 6 (Puncheon 67), Mooy 6.5; Rowe 6.5 (Billing 55), Pritchard 6.5, Lowe 6.5; Grant 7.5 (Mounie 71)
Subs not used: Harner, Zanka, Hadergjonaj, Daly
Booked: Pritchard, Billing
Scorer: Bacuna 17, Grant 30, 65
Manager: Jan Siewert 7