West Ham United were rarely troubled as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over a deflated West Bromwich Albion side at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon.
- West Brom 0-3 West Ham
- Kouyate heads Hammers ahead
- Noble adds second before break
- Hammers skipper bags brace
- West Ham move above Man United into 5th
West Ham United made easy work of West Brom as they beat the Baggies 3-0 at the Hawthorns, with midfielders Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble grabbing the goals for Slaven Bilic's men.
Kouyate benefited from some excellent work from Dimitri Payet on the wing as the Frenchman's pin-point cross was headed in by the towering midfielder to open the scoring, before Noble scored two goals either side of the half-time break to put the result beyond doubt.
The game started at a slow pace as Tony Pulis set his side out to frustrate the visitors and contain them in the early stages, but West Ham keeper Adrian had the first action of the two keepers. He was forced to go full stretch and just about got his fingertips to a curling effort from midfielder Craig Gardner from inside the box early on.
The great start from the hosts prompted West Ham to kick up a gear and they were duly rewarded after some great play from their midfield talisman Dimitri Payet set up lovely header from Cheikhou Kouyate ten minutes before the break. West Brom lost possession and Winston Reid fed the ball quickly to Payet, who switched over to the right flank to show some composure before delivering a pin-point cross for Kouyate to head past Ben Foster.
In stoppage time there was some desperate defending on display from West Brom and the visitors went into the break with a two-goal advantage. Cheikhou Kouyate raced down the flank with no Baggies defenders close to him before laying off the ball to his skipper, Mark Noble, who saw an ugly, scuffed shot on goal trickle past Ben Foster.
Pulis was clearly unimpressed with his side's defending going into half-time.
Debutant Jonathan Leko, 17, showed some promise for the home side after the break when he bolted forward and provided Craig Gardner a neat ball on the run, with the midfielder whipping the ball into the box. Salomon Rondon was, however, put off by some intrusive defending from Angelo Ogbonna.
England forward Saido Berahino then had good chances to score for his the hosts before Mark Noble scored his second of the night to hand West Ham a three-goal lead.
Dimitri Payet again at the heart of every move, glided through the West Brom defence as he laid it off to Andy Carroll. The big target man then sent a high ball in from the left to Noble, who thumped home a volley past a dejected Foster.
With the unassailable lead, Bilic then brought on the highly-rated Reece Oxford as the Hammers looked to see out the game, and the substitution had the desire effect as the score remained 3-0, with the Hammers moving above Manchester United into fifth spot in the Premier League standings.
— West Ham United FC (@whufc_official) April 30, 2016