BRENTFORD came from behind to beat West Ham 3-2 and make it fives Premier League wins out of five against the Hammers on Saturday afternoon, reports from Gtech Community Stadium.
Goals from Neal Maupay, a Konstantinos Mavropanos own goal and Nathan Collins helped the Bees earn their third league win in a row, with Thomas Frank’s side now unbeaten in their last 14 Premier League London derbies.
Meanwhile, for West Ham, it is now four league matches without a win.
Following their impressive midweek win against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, the Hammers looked to be feeling the effects of those exploits throughout the opening quarter of an hour, until a sprinkle of Mohammed Kudus magic sparked them into life.
After Maupay had capitalised on some sloppy defending to put Brentford in the lead, West Ham’s Ghanaian star produced a goal of the season contender out of nothing to level proceedings.
With 19 minutes played, Michail Antonio sent a hopeful cross into the box which, as it was curling away from danger, Kudus met in the air with a brilliant acrobatic strike, powering the ball into the far corner, and leaving the home support in a stunned silence.
This seemed to lift his teammates, who until that point had been at sixes and sevens, and eight minutes later the visitors were ahead, with Kudus at the centre of things once again.
On this occasion it was former Brentford man Saïd Benrahma who sent a cross into the box, which came off of Kudus’ thigh and onto the post, deflecting into the path of Bowen who finished from a tight angle.
Any sparkle left from Kudus’ magical strike begun to fizzle out toward the end of the first half for West Ham as the hosts ended the period on top and pushed hard for an equaliser, Bryan Mbeumo going close twice in extra time.
The Bees continued the second half as they ended the first and found an equaliser just ten minutes in when Konstantinos Mavropanos bizarrely headed the ball into his own net following an Mbeumo cross – a disaster scenario for the Greek international on his first league start for West Ham.
Kudus tried to do it all on his own once again, firing high and wide from distance on the hour mark, but not even his flare could lift a dejected looking away side, with Brentford appearing the most likely at this point to go on and take all three points.
And in the 69th minute they took a massive step toward doing this as Nathan Collins rose highest in the box and headed home Mbeumo’s delivery to put Brentford 3-2 ahead.
It was a goal which felt as easy as it did inevitable, and one the Brentford faithful responded to with an ironic chant of “Champions of Europe, you’re having a laugh” – and they were right, West Ham looked miles off a team competing in Europe.
In the end, West Ham did very little to warrant a late equaliser and Brentford were able to see out a big win which lifts them above West Ham and into 9th.