West Ham were far too strong for a poor Stoke City side at the London Stadium that ended in a comprehensive 3-0 win for David Moyes’ charges.
Stoke City 0 West Ham United 3
Noble from the spot on 19′
Arnautovic with a second on 75′
Sakho secures the points on 86′
A much improved West Ham opened the scoring through Captain Mark Noble from the penalty spot before former Stoke striker Marko Arnautovic added a second. And Diafra Sakho killed off the tie with his late goal.
After the game got underway an hour late due to a power outage at the Bet365 Stadium, it was West Ham with all the early possession.
Arthur Masuaku went on a marauding run on four minutes but blasted his shot well over the target.
Michail Antonio then fired straight at Jack Butland after being set up nicely by Arnautovic before Xherdan Shaqiri dragged a shot wide on 12 minutes.
Ryan Shawcross saw a his 18th minute header smash against a post, ahead of the Hammers’ opener, on 19 minutes, as Noble buried his penalty after Manuel Lanzini was brought down in the box by Erik Pieters – netting on his 300th Premier League appearance.
Noble was replaced by teenager Declan Rice on 35 minutes after picking up a knock, as a poor header from Pieters set Arnautovic through on goal, but he failed to beat Butland, who spread himself superbly.
Butland kept out a Lanzini effort from range ahead of a great chance for Arnautovic who was fed by Arthur Masuaku but he drilled his chance over the Stoke goal.
Mame Biram Diouf couldn’t keep his shot down at the start of the second half after being set up by Shaqiri, as a 52nd minute free-kick found Arnautovic, who headed the ball back across goal where it, skimmed off the crossbar.
Arnautovic came close again, on the hour mark, following another good Masuaku ball, but after cutting inside, his shot deflected off of Kevin Wimmer and into the side-netting.
The former Stoke man Arnautovic was again close, with an effort that he cannoned off the woodwork before Shawcross headed over the target from a delightful Charlie Adam cross.
Sakho was off target when connecting to a square pass from Arnautovic, but the goal the Austrian striker had been looking for, finally arrived on 75 minutes. Arnautovic fed Lanzini and picked up the return ball before firing under Butland.
Sakho missed with a cheeky backheel but made sure of all three points when he slotted home from close range after a super run forward from Lanzini.
And with the game done and dusted, West Ham were more than happy to see out this tie by maintaining possession.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) December 16, 2017