West Ham ease to third win in a row with victory over Norwich City
PUBLISHED: 17:13 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:13 31 August 2019
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The Hammers struck through Haller and Yarmolenko to collect the points
West Ham United 2 Norwich City 0
The Canaries wings were well and truly clipped by the Hammers, who extended their unbeaten league run to three matches with this comfortable win at the London Stadium.
Sebastién Haller's first-half goal set Manuel Pellegrini's men on their way against the Premier League new boys, before Andriy Yarmolenko confirmed all three points after the break.
Both teams had enjoyed differing Carabao Cup fortunes against League Two sides on Tuesday evening and, while West Ham safely negotiated a tricky trip to Newport County, the Canaries had fallen off their perches with a shock defeat at Crawley Town.
Following his team's 2-0 victory at Rodney Parade, Pellegrini made ten changes as he returned to league business and that meant only Issa Diop retained his jersey following that midweek trip to Wales.
And while all eyes were on Teemu Pukki, who had netted five times during Norwich's opening three Premier League matches, it was Haller, who had scored twice for West Ham at Watford last weekend, who showed the flying Finn the way to goal.
Despite both teams already seeing a total of 25 goals hit the back of the net during their first three games in which they had featured, it soon became clear that this would be no East End scoring-fest as both 'keepers were redundant by-standers during an uneventful opening to this contest.
But Haller finally broke the deadlock on 24 minutes, when Felipe Anderson played in the overlapping Arthur Masuaku, who sent a low left-wing cross to the edge of the six-yard box, where the stretching Frenchman got in front of Ben Godfrey to slide West Ham ahead in clinical style.
Daniel Farke had also made ten changes from the side that had crashed at Crawley with only Christoph Zimmermann retaining his place and the Canaries captain had featured at both ends in the opening exchanges, firstly nodding Emiliano Buendìa's inswinging free-kick into the clutches of Łukasz Fabiański and then brilliantly foiling the escaping Anderson as he shaped to shoot.
With the new boys now trailing to Haller's opener, Todd Cantwell somehow headed over the top from under the Hammers crossbar and then Marco Stiepermann sent a 25-yarder scorching into the West Ham 'keeper's gloves.
Ten minutes before the break, Zimmermann was forced to retire having come off second best in a couple of quick-fire block tackles and that saw Ibrahim Amadou step from the bench but the Norwich substitute was largely untroubled in the run-up to the interval.
Yarmolenko had endured a frustrating opening 45 minutes, having seen a couple of hopeful penalty shouts fall on the deaf ears of referee Paul Tierney but his fortunes changed in the second half.
Seconds after rocking the left-hand post with a thunderous volley, the Ukrainian then doubled the Hammers lead on 56 minutes, when he popped up on the right-hand side of the area, where he sent an angled 12-yarder across the face of Krul and into the far corner, after his initial shot had cannoned back off Buendìa.
That second West Ham goal opened up the contest, with Norwich simply now having to flood forward in their quest to belatedly get back into the game and after Ryan Fredericks was booked for checking Jamal Lewis, Max Aarons also saw yellow for chopping Anderson.
Midway through the half, Pukki finally let fly with his first shot of the afternoon but Fabiański comfortably gathered and, in reply, Diop saw Buendìa block his goalbound header on the line, before Yarmolenko retired to a standing ovation as Robert Snodgrass was brought on to face his former club.
Having just been recalled into the Scotland squad, the Hammers substitute was soon cautioned for tugging Lewis and, shortly afterwards, Snodgrass - like the rest of the 59,950 in attendance - could only look on in wonder as Krul brilliantly parried Manuel Lanzini's powerful header over the crossbar.
The Canaries keeper then pulled off another sensational double-stop to deny Anderson and Haller in quick succession, before Snodgrass was also denied by Krul's shins after the outstanding Anderson had unselfishly played him in but, by now, West Ham's work was done.
HAMMERS: Fabiański, Fredericks, Masuaku, Diop, Ogbonna, Rice, Noble (Sànchez 84), Yarmolenko (Snodgrass 71), Anderson (Fornals 88), Lanzini, Haller. Unused subs: Roberto, Balbuena, Zabalata, Ajeti.
CANARIES: Krul, Aarons, Lewis, Godfrey, Zimmermann (Amadou 36), Leitner, Trybull, Buendìa, Stiepermann (Drmić 77), Cantwell (McLean 77), Pukki. Unused subs: Fährmann, Byram, Vrančić, Tettey.
Booked: Fredericks (59), Aarons (62), Snodgrass (71).
Referee: Paul Tierney