Brentford 2-0 West Ham: No Toney, no problem for the Bees as Irons suffer from European hangover
Bryan Mbuemo and Yoane Wissa both scored as Brentford beat a makeshift West Ham team 2-0 without their talisman Ivan Toney.
David Moyes’ priorities clearly lie elsewhere despite not being mathematically safe from relegation, with the Hammers boss making nine changes to his side ahead of Thursday night’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg against AZ Alkmaar.
However, if Moyes was hoping to be given some selection dilemmas for the trip to the Netherlands, he was left sorely disappointed.
Not even the absence of 20-goal striker Ivan Toney, out with a hamstring problem, could prevent Brentford racking up a fourth Premier League win from their four meetings with the Hammers.
The visitors were almost caught cold in the seventh minute when Kevin Schade’s cross was missed by Lukasz Fabianski, but Mikkel Damsgaard could not get enough on his header and it drifted wide.
However, Brentford’s next real attack provided the opening goal after 20 minutes thanks to some passive West Ham defending.
Damsgaard intercepted a sloppy pass from Nayef Aguerd, and Vitaly Janelt and Mathias Jensen helped the ball across the pitch to Mbeumo, who was in acres of space as he strode into the penalty area and fired under Fabianski.
Hammers keeper Fabianski made amends after the half-hour mark with a smart save to prevent Wissa from converting Aaron Hickey’s cut-back.
Then came a ridiculous goalmouth scramble after Fabianski punched Schade’s header clear. Damsgaard’s shot was blocked and Fabianski saved from Wissa, with Emerson Palmieri blocking his follow-up on the line before Ben Mee smashed the loose ball wide.
The second goal arrived shortly before half-time when Mee flicked on a long throw from Jensen and Wissa darted in front of Emerson to glance a header home.
West Ham’s feeble first half was summed up when they managed to win a corner, only for Pablo Fornals to fail to get the ball in play with his cross rolling into the side-netting.
Brentford should have had a third after Tomas Soucek needlessly gave the ball away to Wissa, who played a one-two with Mbeumo before firing wide.
Mbeumo then met another cross from Schade at the far post but his header was blocked by stand-in Hammers skipper Angelo Ogbonna, before Damsgaard blazed over from a corner.
Moyes sent on Declan Rice and Said Benrahma with half an hour left and West Ham had the ball in the net shortly afterwards, but Danny Ings’ tap-in was harshly disallowed for handball by Divin Mubama to cap a miserable afternoon for the Hammers.
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