Football Features

West Ham 0-1 West Brom: Bilic gets better of Hammers to heap pressure on Moyes

By Harry Edwards

Published: 17:05, 25 January 2020

West Bromwich Albion have reached the FA Cup fifth round after beating Premier League side West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Both teams were slightly rotated, though West Ham did have a handful of their regulars given the lack of options and West Brom led with Charlie Austin up front.

Conor Townsend gave the visiting side the lead inside 10 minutes, capitalising on a West Ham mistake and West Brom had their chances to double the advantage but could not put them away.

West Ham improved after half-time and may have expected to get back into the game when Semi Ajayi was sent off for his second yellow card, but the Baggies held on to knock out their Premier League opponents.

Townsend’s first Baggies goal enough: Key stats from West Ham 0-1 West Brom…

  • Conor Townsend scored his first goal for West Brom after joining in 2018.
  • West Ham did not have a shot on target until the 85th minute.
  • West Brom are in the FA Cup fifth round for the fourth time in six seasons.
  • West Ham, meanwhile, have failed to reach the fifth round for the fourth consecutive season.
  • Gareth Barry made a match-high five tackles to help West Brom win the midfield battle.

David Moyes’ honeymoon well and truly over

David Moyes’ arrival at West Ham, replacing Manuel Pellegrini, was met with initial backlash by the Hammers fans who viewed it as another step backwards by the club.

But things got off to the best possible start with the Hammers beating Bournemouth 4-0 at home in Moyes’ first game back, showing some small signs that things were going to be better this time around. However, that opening game has proven to be the only high of Moyes’ second London Stadium tenure.

Even though West Ham did win their following game, in the third round of the FA Cup, it came with a struggle against lower-league opposition in Gillingham. Defeats to Sheffield United and Leicester City have followed either side of a 1-1 draw with Everton, meaning West Ham are only outside the relegation zone on goal difference. And there was another defeat on the cards for the Hammers, at the hands of Championship side West Brom in the FA Cup fourth round.

It means West Ham fans have very little to be excited about for the rest of the season, no distraction from the relegation battle and a tough fixture list that will see them face Liverpool twice in the next five games. Can Moyes turn things back around and keep the Hammers up?

Next five fixtures

29 January 2020: West Ham vs Liverpool (Premier League)

01 February 2020: West Ham vs Brighton (Premier League)

09 February 2020: Man City vs West Ham (Premier League)

24 February 2020: Liverpool vs West Ham (Premier League)

29 February 2020: West Ham vs Southampton (Premier League)

Will West Brom build on FA Cup run?

Going into Saturday’s game, West Brom had been in pretty poor form. Despite sitting top of the Championship, the Baggies had won just one of their past seven games, and that came in the third round of the FA Cup.

Last time out they were beaten by strugglers Stoke City but they made sure the headlines would be positive this weekend with a hard-fought win against Premier League side West Ham. But the big question now is whether they can turn the FA Cup run into Championship form, continuing to press for automatic promotion.

Things do look fairly good for them coming up on paper with games against Cardiff and Luton in the next week, though as the Stoke game showed the Baggies do need to watch for complacency.

Next five fixtures

28 January 2020: Cardiff vs West Brom (Championship)

01 February 2020: West Brom vs Luton (Championship)

09 February 2020: Millwall vs West Brom (Championship)

12 February 2020: Reading vs West Brom (Championship)

15 February 2020: West Brom vs Nottingham Forest (Championship)

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Player focus: Carlos Sanchez

West Ham were absolutely terrible in the first half and looked like they were the side from the lower division in this tie. And, unfortunately, one man stood out most for his abject display: Carlos Sanchez.

The Colombian has not had the best of times at West Ham since joining in 2018 having already struggled in England with Aston Villa. With options for rotation thin, Sanchez was handed just his fourth start of the season – three of which have come in cup competitions – but it may also be his last for some time.

Sanchez really added nothing to West Ham’s midfield, partnering Declan Rice in the holding roles and contributed more to his team’s downfall inside 10 minutes. It was his error, a poor attempt at a clearance inside the West Ham area that gifted West Brom with the ball, resulting in Townsend’s goal.

He didn’t improve much after and was one of three West Ham changes at half-time, being replaced by Mark Noble.

The rest of the day’s FA Cup action

  • Brentford 0-1 Leicester
  • Burnley 1-2 Norwich
  • Coventry 0-0 Birmingham
  • Millwall 0-2 Sheff Utd
  • Newcastle 0-0 Oxford Utd
  • Portsmouth 4-2 Barnsley
  • Reading 1-1 Cardiff
  • Southampton 1-1 Tottenham
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