East Ham slipped out of the relegation zone with three much-needed points as they beat Wolves 2-0 at the London Stadium.
The international break suggested David Moyes was under pressure after a poor start to the season, with his side managing just three goals in their first seven Premier League games despite a summer of big spending in the transfer window.
It took less than an hour to nearly double that count. One of those arrivals, Gianluca Scamacca, scored his first league goal for the club, before Jarrod Bowen kicked off his account for the season with a clinical finish to give the hosts full control.
Wolves threatened to get back into it but were kept at bay, as West Ham lifted the mood at the club ahead of a busy run of games. They will play 12 more times between now and the domestic World Cup break in mid-November, a run they hope will put their poor start to the season firmly in the rear-view mirror.
Moyes made changes to what had become a stable squad as he sought solutions, with Scamacca and Maxwel Cornet entering the squad while Thilo Kehrer moved into the right-back position he recently held for the Germany versus England at Wembley.
As you would expect between the two worst-rated sides in the top flight, chances were scarce in the first half, with Wolves looking the most dangerous when Ruben Neves flew from range.
West Ham took the lead with just under half an hour of play, as Bowen burst into the box and the ball rolled towards Scamacca at the edge of the box. The Italian took a touch to control it and a second to hammer a shot into the far corner, using a slight deflection.
The Hammers were largely content to sit back and let Wolves have the ball from then on, but doubled the lead after the break as Bowen provided the kind of ruthless finish that won him a call-up to England last season and sorely missed this campaign. He dropped a bouncing ball and launched a low strike into the near post, with Jose Sa barely reacting before it hit the back of his net.
Diego Costa was featured on the bench for his Premier League return and almost scored it with a goal, but when unmarked in the box he could only head wide when he was perfectly chosen by Adama Traoré.
The former Chelsea man thought he had a first assist as he rolled the ball across the face of goal to leave Daniel Podence with the easiest finish, but a look at the linesman and his raised flag quickly halted the charge towards the center circle. .
“You don’t know what you’re doing” was the chant from the far end as Bruno Lage made further changes, unsuccessfully, to try and bring Wolves back. As they fall into the relegation zone and the pressure mounts, David Moyes’ side appear to have used the international break to reset and return to levels more reminiscent of recent years.
With Bowen back in shape and new signings looking more and more at home, the Hammers will be hoping their early woes turn out to be little more than an extended pre-season before a more impressive main event.