West Ham 4-0 Nottingham Forest (Ings 70′, 73′, Rice 78, Antonio 85′)
LONDON STADIUM — Danny Ings opened his West Ham account when scoring twice on his first start for the Hammers to lift the pressure on David Moyes and drag Nottingham Forest back into the Premier League relegation scrap.
West Ham were on top for the majority of the match but lacked the finishing touch until poacher Ings turned in two crosses in the space of two minutes.
Declan Rice’s curler then put the game beyond doubt before Michail Antonio’s header made it four, with the emphatic second-half display lifting the Hammers out of the relegation zone. It also arguably keeps Moyes in a job, too, with his players showing a united front in this fight to remain in the top tier.
One month on from the “El Sackico” encounter that ultimately cost Frank Lampard his job at Everton, Moyes found himself in another seemingly most-not-lost match at home.
West Ham were in the relegation places heading into the match, two points above Southampton in 20th and five behind Nottingham Forest in 13th.
And in their bid to climb out of the drop-zone West Ham, who made four changes for the match, piled the pressure on Forest early on with wave after wave of attack.
Jarrod Bowen in particular looked lively, but he was denied by Felipe’s block and then teammate Angelo Ogbonna, who ignored the forward’s calls when stealing ahead and volleying an effort out for a throw-in.
Amid a flurry of corners – West Ham had five in the opening 15 minutes – their best chance of the opening exchanges saw Lucas Paqueta’s low drive back across the box flick off Danny Ings and then Felipe before striking the post.
Forest did stem the tide and create a couple of half-chances themselves, but the match then meandered towards half-time goalless with no opportunities of note for either side.
West Ham vs Nottingham Forest player ratings
West Ham: Fabianski 6; Johnson 6, Ogbonna 6, Aguerd 6, Coufal 6; Soucek 6, Rice 8, Paqueta 7; Benrahma 6, Bowen 8, Ings 8. Subs: Cresswell 6, Areola 6, Lanzni 6, Antonio 7, Fornals 7.
Nottingham Forest: Navas 6; Williams 6, Worrall 6, Felipe 5, Lodi 6; Freuler 5, Shelvey 5, Colback 6; Gibbs-White 6; Wood 5, Johnson 5. Subs: Ayew 6, Toffolo 6, Lingard 6, Surridge n/a.
Ten minutes after the break, Bowen struck the inside of the post moments before Paqueta’s attempt sailed narrowly over, a passage of play that woke London Stadium up from the slumber that had been the prior half-hour of action.
The encouragement turned into frustration as West Ham failed to build on that promise, with Forest then seeing a penalty shout turned down after Renan Lodi’s shot struck Ben Johnson’s hand at close range inside the area.
After a lengthy stoppage, Lukasz Fabianski was forced off after Felipe collided into the goalkeeper and left him with a quickly-formed black eye.
Immediately after the delay, West Ham were ahead, with Danny Ings latching onto Bowen’s cross having initially started the move in his own half.
“It’s a goal,” the West Ham announcer bellowed somewhat sarcastically over the tannoy after a brief VAR check for offside, and barely a minute later the hosts doubled their lead.
This time it was solid work from Said Benrahma down the left, and once more it was Ings on hand to bundle the ball home under pressure from Lodi.
A third goal soon followed, and it was the pick of the bunch as Rice lifted the proverbial roof off the stadium with a fine curled effort from the edge of the area.
There was still time for a fourth, too, with Antonio coming on and heading in after a cross from fellow substitute Pablo Fornals.