West Ham squandered the chance to move above Arsenal in the Premier League table when they succumbed to a 2-0 loss to Brentford.
Bryan Mbeumo and Ivan Toney were pivotal in goal as they both scored and assisted in the Bees’ win.
After the Gunners and Manchester United both dropped points to Brighton and Everton respectively, the Irons had the chance to make the most of their defeats.
Victory would have put David Moyes’ side on 54 points and fifth above the Gunners on goal difference.
Crucially, he would also have kept their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League via a top-four berth alive as they would have moved within three points of Antonio Conte’s Tottenham.
But after the defeat at Brentford Community Stadium, the Hammers have now played one game more than Spurs, and are six points behind them.
As long as they are still in the race, their chances seem slim.
For Thomas Frank and his players though, it’s another great win and it continues their fine form.
That’s now four wins in their last five league games, and two on the rebound from their sensational win at Stamford Bridge over Chelsea.
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As for the match, Moyes has little to complain about as his players did little to threaten goalkeeper David Raya.
Tomas Soucek had a header that went straight for him, and they didn’t do much more to create clean chances.
Their day got even worse when Kurt Zouma was injured midway through the first half and Issa Diop came on for him.
And as if their day wasn’t bad enough, it got even worse moments after halftime.
After a throw-in, Toney had time and space to throw the ball forward, and Mbeumo, on his bike, crossed a space between Aaron Cresswell and Craig Dawson, then threw the ball past Lukasz Fabianski in the lower right corner.
In a bid to try and change the scoreline, Moyes brought on Said Benrahma against his former club.
He was given a good time on his way in as he was cheered on by the fans.
However, he didn’t make much of an impact and Brentford put the tie to bed just after the hour mark.
After receiving a cross down the left from Rico Henry, the Frenchman returned the favor after sending the ball through the penalty area for Toney to head home.
Speaking on the Sunday session of talkSPORT, former Arsenal winger Perry Groves criticized the defense but praised Henry and Mbeumo’s role in goal.
“Really poor defence, Rico Henry comes to the touchline, and he’s really underrated, Mbeumo gets the cross, and what a passing ball,” he said.
There were other opportunities for the hosts to add more shine to the scoreline, and having found the net once, Mbeumo could have done it again.
From a few yards he sent his volley over the bar, but it didn’t turn out to be a costly miss.
While it was a disappointing day for West Ham, they still have plenty to play for and will be hoping to bounce back against Lyon in the Europa League on Thursday.
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