David Moyes praised West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek after he scored the winner against Wolves at the London Stadium.
Ben Johnson gave the home side a good opportunity in the 23rd minute when he drew a foul from Wolves defender Marcal. Aaron Cresswell stepped up to take the free-kick but narrowly dragged it wide.
Hammers attacker Michail Antonio then forced a save from Jose Sa, before Declan Rice smashed a long range strike against the post.
Tomas Soucek marked his 27th birthday with a goal as he gave West Ham the lead after the interval.
Cresswell and Pablo Fornals put in some good work down the left flank, which allowed Antonio to cross for Soucek. The midfielder turned the ball past Sa with a first-time effort.
Jarrod Bowen had a good chance to give the Hammers a two-goal cushion in the 67th minute. He was sent through on goal by Fornals but could only stab towards Sa, who was on hand to save for Wolves.
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West Ham saw the victory out to make it 45 points from 27 matches. They are in fifth place, just two points behind Manchester United in fourth.
During a post-match interview with BBC Match of the Day, Moyes said: “We created a lot of opportunities, could have gone two or three up at one point. Wolves don’t concede many goals.”
On Antonio, the Scot added: “He was really good, he got himself more chances and the goalkeeper made a good save from him in the first half. I thought he did a good job for the team.”
Moyes also spoke about goalscorer Soucek, who has been a revelation since joining the club in July 2020. “His standards have been set so high, he has hardly put a foot wrong,” Moyes said. “He is a great lad to have around your team.”
Declan Rice ‘delighted’ for team-mate
Hammers skipper Rice told Sky Sports after the win: “I am delighted for him [Soucek]. He has played so many games and minutes, he has been outstanding for us, his goals and defensive ability. He is great to play alongside. Today was him back to his best, working for the team and scoring a great goal.”
On his effort which hit the post, Rice continued: “I have been trying in training to shoot more often and their midfielders kept dropping into their box. I tried to use [Ruben] Neves’ body to set it outside him, hopefully one of those goes in soon.
“I feel much more comfortable, I have grown into the midfield role, adding goals is a nice feeling but my job is also to defend. I don’t mind sitting back and three or four [goals] for the season, I don’t mind it.”
West Ham paid tribute to Ukraine international Andriy Yarmolenko before the match. Rice held up a Yarmolenko shirt in support of the forward’s country, following their invasion by Russia. “It is so important, for me and for the team, the club and everyone to support Yarmo,” Rice added. “The day it started we saw him at the training ground and he was in bits, we are there for him and the people of Ukraine.
“We are all with Yarma and the tap on the shirt gave it good luck. He has some family in Ukraine at the minute so is going through some tough times. He sent us a message in the group chat before the game saying ‘good luck boys’.”