Brentford 3 – 2 West Ham United. Defender Nathan Collins scored his first goal for Brentford to seal a comeback victory over West Ham in a highly entertaining encounter at Gtech Community Stadium.
Goals flowed on a cold and wet afternoon in west London and Neal Maupay put the hosts in front early on, volleying beyond Alphonse Areola after West Ham failed to clear their lines.
West Ham, though, hit back with two quickfire goals through Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen to go in at half-time with the advantage.
Brentford came out with intent after the restart and were able to turn the game on its head once again. An own goal from West Ham defender Konstantinos Mavropanos levelled the score, before Collins rose highest to meet Mathias Jensen’s cross for the winner.
The victory is Brentford’s third in succession and moves them up one place to ninth, while West Ham drop to 11th without a win in their past four Premier League games.
Brentford started on the front foot and full of confidence after back-to-back wins in the league, having gone six without victory in all competitions prior to those triumphs against Burnley and Chelsea.
Everton loanee Maupay got the Bees on their way to end a run of 45 Premier League appearances without a goal – his last strike had come for Everton, also against West Ham, in September 2022.
Back at the club where he made his name when scoring 37 goals across two Championship campaigns, Maupay seems much more content and the 27-year-old could have made it a much more comfortable conclusion to the game for the hosts.
Brought back into the side by manager Thomas Frank, Maupay combined well with Yoane Wissa before drilling wide.
Bryan Mbeumo has been Brentford’s top performer this campaign, helping to fill the void in the absence of the suspended Ivan Toney, and it was his teasing cross that put West Ham’s Mavropanos in an awkward situation when he headed into his own goal, with Collins waiting just behind to convert if he did not make an attempt to deal with it.
Collins did get his opportunity to shine not long after as the momentum shifted in Brentford’s favour and he powered in Jensen’s cross.
The victory means Brentford have won all five of their Premier League meetings with West Ham.
It was a bittersweet day for Bowen as he made history by becoming the first player in Premier League history to score in his side’s first six away games of a season.
His goal could not have been much easier as he stroked into an open goal, albeit from an acute angle, after Kudus’ initial shot bounced back off the post.
Bowen’s strike, which put West Ham 2-1 ahead, is his seventh of the season and takes him beyond his tally of six in the league for 2022-23.
Kudus will also have mixed emotions as he scored a goal worthy of winning any game when he rose acrobatically to meet Michail Antonio’s cross with a bicycle kick.
The Irons had more than enough opportunities to put the game to bed in the first half, but none were easier than Antonio’s when the Jamaica forward got sight of an open goal but could only turn wide.
It is a familiar story for West Ham when falling behind in a game, as they did through Maupay’s early strike, with just one point picked up from a losing position this season.
David Moyes will have big questions for his defence as they struggled to deal with balls into the box – they have shipped 20 goals in the league this term with only Sheffield United, Burnley and Bournemouth conceding more.
A fine start to 2023-24, which saw Moyes’ men pick up 10 points from the first 12 on offer, is fizzling out with only four points collected from the past 21 available.
Source – BBC