10 goals in a week beside the Thames for Fulham, who smash sorry West Ham 5-0 at the Cottage
Fulham 5 (Jimenez 22. Willian 31, Tosin 40, Wilson 60, Vinicius 88)
West Ham United 0
Fulham produced a near-perfect performance to win 5-0 at home for the second time in four days – this time against a dire West Ham side.
Goals from Raul Jiminez, Willian, Tosin, a beauty from substitute Harry Wilson and a tap-in from another sub, Carlos Vinicius, secured the Whites’ latest rout.
The win moves Fulham up to 10th in the Premier League, just three points - and one place - behind the Hammers.
That’s 10 goals beside the Thames for Fulham in the week. But this performance was, if anything, even more complete than the hammering of Nottingham Forest on Wednesday.
The game’s first shot on goal in fact came from West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse, whose 25-yard free kick was well struck but Bernd Leno got a good view of it and punched it away.
Fulham took their time to grow into the game, but produced a fine move on 15 minutes. Jimenez’s chipped ball was perfect for Willian, who found himself through on goal, but his touch let him down at the crucial moment.
And once the Whites took the lead there was only ever going to be one outcome. Joao Palhinha’s pinpoint cross from the left was met by Jimenez, who powered his header past Lucasz Fabianski.
Fulham are full of confidence – Wednesday’s win over Forest was their third at home in the league in four games.
And within eight minutes of the first, the home side were 2-0 up. Alex Iwobi’s shot was palmed away by Fabianski, Andreas Pereira put it back into the danger zone, and although Iwobi missed his kick, the ball fell to Willian on the left of the penalty area, who curled a fine shot into the corner of the net to send the Cottage wild.
The Hammers’ first real chance came six minutes before the break – and they should have halved the deficit. Tomas Soucek’s cross found Jarrod Bowen all alone in the box, but he rather snatched at his shot, which was straight at the grateful Leno.
That was the crucial moment. For within a minute what could have been 2-1 was 3-0 and game over when Tosin rose highest to power a header towards goal. Soucek tried to stop it with his head but could only succeed in helping it on its away past Fabianski for 3-0.
Fulham were brilliant. They were first to every ball, and even when they did relinquish possession, it didn’t take them long to win it back.
Andreas Pereira pulled the strings and was at the heart of most of Fulham’s attacking play. Tom Cairney, playing his 300th game for the Whites, was quieter than he had been on Wednesday, but every bit as dependable.
The oles were out again from the fans – as they were on Wednesday - and the Whites picked up where they had left off at the start of the second half.
Wilson – on for the injured Willian at half-time – wiggled free of his defender but could only poke his shot straight at Fabianski.
But he didn’t have to wait long to get on the scoresheet, receiving the ball to the right of the penalty area, switching the ball on to his left foot and curling an absolute corker into the top left-hand corner.
It was a beautiful goal in a beautiful performance from Fulham – and many Hammers fans were heading for the exit after just an hour. You could hardly blame them. Their team were just not up for the fight today, and completely outclassed all over the pitch.
In fact the moment which summed up their day was not long in coming. Said Benrahma mishit a shot so badly that it struck the front of the roof of the stand where the remaining Hammers fans stood.
David Moyes scratched his head – and probably wished he could have joined the ones who had already left for east London.
Carlos Vinicius rubbed their noses in it – tapping home Wilson’s centre for 5-0 and the Hammers’ nightmare was complete. Fulham are flying.
Teams: Fulham: Leno, Bassey, Tosin, Jiminez (Carlos Vinicius 72), Cairney, Pereira, Willian (Wilson 45), Castagne, Iwobi (De Cordova-Reid 79), Palhinha (Reed 80), Robinson (Ballo-Toure 72)
West Ham: Fabianski, Cresswell (Mavropanos 45) Zouma (Ogbonna 64), Coufal, Ward-Prowse, Fornals (Emerson 45), Paqueta (Benrahma 65), Kudus (Mubama 64), Bowen, Aguerd, Soucek
Referee: Paul Tierney
Picture: Charlie Stong