West Ham United 2 (Scamacca 29, Bowen 54) Wolves 0
A Wolves debut for Diego Costa was unable to spark his side into life as the old gold suffered defeat at the hands of West Ham United on the road.
Gianluca Scamacca and Jarrod Bowen were the pair who caused Wolves problems all evening in East London and both got on the scoresheet either side of the break to ensure all three points remained theirs, despite a flurry of efforts on goal from Wolves – it just wasn’t to be for the visitors.
Looking to bounce back from disappointment to Manchester City ahead of the international break, Wolves appeared to be coming out fighting in the early stages of the contest at the London Stadium, with both Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho picking up bookings for fouls on Bowen.
But on the footballing front, it was the same old story as it has been so far this season, with the men in gold and black struggling to create many clear-cut chances in front of goal.
The best efforts of the opening stages came through Daniel Podence, who twice had Lukasz Fabianski scrambling in the West Ham goal. His first from a long-range strike which the keeper tipped over the crossbar, before aiming another shot from the edge of the box straight at the Polish stopper.
Fabianski was also tested by Jonny, playing at the unusual position of right centre-back after Bruno Lage opted to switch to a back five with Nathan Collins out suspended, with the defender letting fly from 18 yards, but the keeper was at full stretch to palm his effort around the post.
It wasn’t all going Wolves’ way, however, as Bowen and Scamacca both came close to opening the score for the Hammers. On one occasion, the former tested Jose Sa after cutting in from the right, before Scamacca lifted the rebound past the post after the Wolves goalkeeper spilled the initial shot.
Minutes after Pedro Neto was replaced by Adama Traore after going off injured, West Ham took the lead. Once again it was Bowen who tried to unlock the Wolves defence as he turned Maximilian Kilman inside the box before the defender only half-cleared the ball. However, it fell to Scamacca, who curled a shot from the edge of the penalty area past Sa and into the far corner of the net.
Wolves attempted to get themselves back level pegging going into the break, mainly through Rayan Ait-Nouri and Adama down the left, as well as a good chance from Matheus Nunes who sliced an effort wide, but Lage’s men were struggling to break down the claret and blue shirts.
Half-time | West Ham 1-0 Wolves
Wolves ranked up the intensity in the second period and dominated for large spells of the 45 minutes, but as has been the case for much of the opening months of the season, lacked the killer final ball and finish.
Neves lashed an effort wide of the post, before Adama volleyed a shot narrowly off target as Lage’s men tried everything they could to find their way back into the contest. But it was the Hammers who got the second of the evening as Bowen smashed a low effort beyond the reach of Sa after Thilo Kehrer’s initially effort was blocked.
Wolves were given hope just before the hour mark when Costa appeared for his first outing in gold and black, and the striker almost had a debut to remember when he was picked out in the box by Adama only to head the ball narrowly wide. Just like in the first-half, Podence had another effort from the edge of the box and again Fabianski made the save.
The Portuguese thought he had got Wolves back into the match with 20 minutes remaining when he latched onto the end of Costa’s ball across the box, but the offside flag was raised against his teammate who was just played in behind the West Ham defence a fraction too late by Adama.
Wolves brought academy youngster Chem Campbell off the bench moments later and the winger had two great opportunities as he turned his man before launching a shot into the side netting. He was then set up by Costa and lifted a cross into the box, and although it missed the gold shirts, it almost sneaked in at the far post.
But with Wolves looking toothless in front of goal, it made it a comfortable evening for West Ham, who were able to easily contain the three points in spite of the late pressure from Lage’s men.
Full-time | West Ham 2-0 Wolves
West Ham | Fabiankski, Kehrer, Zouma, Dawson, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Scamacca (Antonio 66), Paqueta (Emerson 74), Cornet (Fornals 34), Bowen.
Unused subs | Areola, Coufal, Lanzini, Downes, Ogbonna, Benrahma.
Wolves | Sa, Semedo (Campbell 73), Jonny, Kilman, Ait-Nouri, Neves, Moutinho, Nunes (B. Traore 73), Neto (A. Traore 24), Guedes (Costa 58), Podence.
Unused subs | Sarkic, Mosquera, Toti, Bueno, Ronan.
Referee | Paul Tierney