Tomas Soucek looking leggy for West Ham as relentless schedule shows signs of taking its toll on midfielder

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

David Moyes declared a desire to challenge the top four on Friday but West Ham were given a timely reminder of just how difficult that will be as Brentford left them with a bloody nose.

Yoane Wissa’s last gasp winner grabbed a deserved three points for the Bees at the London Stadium.

The visitors, unbeaten away from home this season and up to seventh in the Premier League, stunned West Ham with a fast start and took the lead through Bryan Mbeumo, who could have scored twice before turning home on the rebound from Sergi Canos’s saved shot.

Jarrod Bowen looked to have grabbed a late leveller for the Hammers when he finished well following a corner, but in truth West Ham rarely threatened David Raya’s goal.

Michail Antonio, who played over an hour on Thursday night, worked to get into good positions but lost his touch when it mattered most each time while Tomas Soucek failed to get on the end of a Declan Rice cross with a chance to win it.

West Ham were miles off it in a first half where Ivan Toney was dominant and the visitors were first to every second ball.

Moyes had words at the break and his side stepped up in the second half but Brentford frustrated their visitors with impressive defending and rather blatant time wasting.

While there were complaints from the stands over the delays, Brentford were simply better across the pitch, offering West Ham a reminder that those established at the top are not their only concern this season.

Tomas Soucek shocker

Having been one of West Ham’s players of the season last term, Tomas Soucek has made a disappointing start to the new campaign.

The Czech was a relentless presence in midfield and a real threat in the box throughout last season but looked off the pace here.

European football has put increased strain on this West Ham squad but that cannot be an excuse for Soucek who was rested for the win over Rapid Vienna on Thursday.

The 26-year-old was bettered by all in yellow around him and should have done more to get on the end of Rice’s cross late on - a chance he would have converted last season.

European run masking Premier League form

West Ham have started their European campaign in dazzling form with two wins from two and after a fine atmosphere at the London Stadium on Thursday night there was an expectation it would follow here.

There were seven changes from Thursday as Moyes went with the side which beat Leeds late on last weekend, so tiredness cannot be a real excuse.

While there have been two wins in Europe and another, over Manchester United in the League Cup, they have largely come from Moyes’s second string. In the Premier League, things are rather more concerning.

Draws against Crystal Palace and Southampton and defeat here today means it is just one win from their last five having started the season with back-to-back wins.

It is no time for panic just yet, and a run into Europe is certainly welcome if the League form is not to match last season’s.

However, Moyes is desperate to compete on all fronts this season and arguably has the squad to do just that. The Scot will hold higher standards than this.

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