First-half blitz sees West Ham overcome big scare to beat Wolves and go fourth

Rob McCarthy
Jesse Lingard TEAMtalk

West Ham held off a spirited Wolves fightback as they triumphed 3-2 at Molineux to move back into the Premier League’s top four.

The visitors produced a stunning first-half blitz to go 3-0 up in 38 minutes thanks to strikes from Jesse Lingard, Pablo Fornals and Jarrod Bowen.

Wolves pulled a goal back just before the break through Leander Dendoncker and while Fabio Silva notched in the second period they couldn’t find an equaliser.

In-form Lingard opened the scoring for West Ham in stunning style after six minutes.

He collected the ball 10 yards inside his own half before motoring towards goal, breezing past Romain Saiss and coolly beating Rui Patricio.

Fornals made it 2-0 in the 14th minute when Lingard brilliantly kept the ball in and Arthur Masuaku crossed for Fornals to steer home.

Bowen – who had only been on the pitch two minutes after replacing Michail Antonio – made it 3-0 seven minutes before half-time after Lingard’s excellent run and pass.

Dendoncker pulled a much-needed goal back for Wolves a minute before the break when he headed in Adama Traore’s cross after a brilliant surging run from the Spaniard.

Wolves make it nervy

Dendoncker blazed an effort wide from 25 yards as the home started the second period on the front foot.

West Ham thought they had restored their three-goal advantage when Tomas Soucek bundled the ball home from close range. Referee Michael Oliver quickly whistled for a handball, however, which was then confirmed by VAR.

Wolves pulled another goal back in the 68th minute when a superb ball forward from Pedro Neto found sub Silva, who controlled first time before drilling an effort across Łukasz Fabianski.

Dendoncker and Neto both blazed efforts over the bar, as Nuno Espirito Santo’s men desperately pushed for an equaliser.

However, the Hammers held on to move back into the Champions League places. Wolves remain in 14th.