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  • By Charlie Stong at The London Stadium

Suberb Fulham deservedly win 2-0 at the London Stadium against struggling Hammers



West Ham United 0 

Fulham 2 (Pereira 9, 72)


Fulham produced a superbly organised performance to deservedly win 2-0 at the London Stadium this afternoon - thanks to two goals from the excellent Andreas Pereira.


Pereira gave Fulham the lead against the initial run of play on nine minutes - a sweeping move ended with him tapping in Alex Ibowi's cross on 72 minutes.


Fulham's first win at this ground - and their first in 23 years at West Ham - was no fluke. The Whites drew nine saves from Lukasz Fabianski - and the boffins had worked out that their xG was almost three. That's a lot.


For the Hammers, if they want to be playing European football next season - in what would be a fourth successive campaign on the continent - they will now probably have to win the Europa League, starting with overturning a two-goal deficit against a Bayer Leverkusen side who have not lost all season this coming Thursday night.


The Whites absolutely blew the Hammers away at Craven Cottage in December. Their 5-0 win could have been more. And although this performance wasn't quite as dominant, it was every bit as organised - and impressive.


West Ham started on the front foot. Vadimir Coufal did really well to lob the ball over a defender in the box, but Bernd Leno was first to the ball to pat it only as far as Michail Antonio, who somehow shot over pretty much an open goal from about 10 yards out.


Fulham were actually struggling to cope with the home side early on. Lucas Paqueta soon had an effort following a James Ward-Prowse corner, but his shot hit the side netting.


But, as is so often the case, their profligacy cost them, for with their first forward foray, the Whites took the lead. 


Konstantinos Mavropanos failed to deal with a long crossfield ball from Iwobi, and the ball fell into the path of Pereira, who took it round Fabianski and rifled it into the roof of the net.


Fulham were encouraged, and Pereira had a brilliant chance to put his side further ahead shortly after the goal - his shot following a cross from the left flew just wide of Fabianski's goal. 


The game was end-to-end - Willian drew a save from Fabianski, Ward-Prowse saw a shot saved by Leno and Pereira again made the West Ham goalkeeper work.


But Fulham were looking the more likely to extend their lead. They were knocking it around nicely in the midfield and created two more chances, first for Rodrigo Muniz - who had scored eight goals in his previous 10 games - and then for Pereira again.


The visitors then had another great chance for 2-0. Iwobi and Pereira worked well down the left and Muniz drew a save from Fabianski.


And on the stroke of half-time they had yet another glorious chance, Iwobi side-footing wide from the right-hand of the penalty area when he should have at least hit the target.


Fulham were playing with confidence and had much possession at the start of the second half as well. But the first chance fell to the Hammers - Antonio just unable to get on the end of a cross from the right.


But the best chances were still falling to Fulham. Iwobi again had a great chance to make it 2-0, but Fabianski pulled off yet another save - this one was the best of the lot - to touch the ball round the far post Iwobi was aiming for.


The chances kept coming for the Whites, Joao Palhinha sweeping a decent effort just wide with a first-time effort at the near post from Pereira's corner from the right.


Finally Fulham were 2-0 up - on 72 minutes. They broke on a devastating counter. Muniz set Iwobi free down the right, and Iwobi crossed for Pereira who tapped in to double the Whites' lead.


One worrying moment came when 19-year-old West Ham substitute George Earthy received a nasty head injury and was himself replaced.


But the Hammers were unable to make the most of 11 minutes' stoppage time and Fulham played out the game with ease.


Teams:,

West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal (Johnson 69), Ward-Prowse (Soucek 69), Antonio (Earthy 85, Cornet 90+1), Paqueta, Kudus, Mavropanos (Zouma 60), Ings, Alvarez, Aguerd, Emerson

Fulham: Leno, Bassey, Adarabioyo, Pereira (Wilson 74), Muniz (Broja 90+1), Willian, Castagne, Iwobi (Decordova-Reid 74), Palhinha Reed 90+8), Lukic, Robinson

Referee: Stuart Attwell


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