West Ham picked up their first victory of the season with a 2-0 win against Huddersfield and they got it thanks to a huge slice of luck along the way – which was just what they needed.
Pedro Obiang scored the opener goal of the game with a little more than a quarter of an hour to go via the aid of a massive deflection and also the post as the Hammers got off to a winning start at the London Stadium this evening.
When it went in, you could see the weight of pressure lifted off Slaven Bilic’s shoulders and rise into the crisp night sky in E20.
Was it Huddersfield defender Zanka that saved Bilic’s job for another week? Quite possibly.
Bilic will likely point to his decision to swap Javier Hernandez for Andre Ayew with 25 minutes to go, with the latter eventually doubling the Hammers lead by poking home inside the box. He happened to be in the right place at the right time too – you could say lucky, or was it good judgement?
In any case, the gloom that has been leering over West Ham since the opening day at Old Trafford has been lifted a bit with Bilic’s side off the bottom of the Premier League table.
As expected, it was far from vintage as David Wagner’s side offered very little and chose to sit back but the home side kept pushing and pushing and eventually, got lucky.
Andy Carroll came into the starting eleven for the first time since a 2-2 draw at Sunderland way back in April and did exactly what he’s known for – winning headers and being a nuisance. Another plus point from the night.
When you want to win a football match, you want to do it by a couple of goals and get a clean sheet to boot. That will do wonders for the likes of Joe Hart, who shipped ten in three games. Nod cap to Jose Fonte, who had arguably his best game in a West Ham shirt.
Bilic’s birthday cake – he turned 49 on the day of the game – will taste that little bit sweeter. The Hammers will face tougher sides than Huddersfield this season but you have to start somewhere and