Wolves sub, Adama Traore, despite playing less than half an hour, was the key man in this game, which was a tightly-fought encounter until the wide man came on.
The London stadium was bathed in sunshine and the heat clearly played a part in the opening exchanges as both sides looked to make the break-through.
Here’s how the two sides lined up for the game:
West Ham, 4-4-1-1: Fabianski, Ngakia, Diop, Rice, Cresswell, Bowen, Noble, Soucek, Fornals, Anderson, Antonio.
Subs: 67’ Anderson off for Lanzini, 80’ Fornals off for Yarmolenko, 80’ Ngakia off for Fredericks
Wolves, 3-5-2: Patricio, Saiss, Coady, Boly, Jonny, Moutinho, Neves, Dendoncker, Doherty, Jota, Jimenez.
Subs: 64’ Dendoncker off for Traore, 64’ Jota off for Neto, 90’ Jonny off for Vinagre, 90’ Jimenez out for Gibbs-White
Wolves took the initiative against the east Londoners, with two thirds of the possession and four corners before the half hour.
Incessant probing from Moutinho combined with endless running from Jota and Jimenez saw the visitors carve out five shots on target, but David Moyes’ side remained compact and difficult to break down.
Pablo Fornals and Felipe Anderson were completely nullified in the opening 45, however, the Hammers remained in the game despite being outplayed.
The patterns of play were identical to the first period, but Ngakia did at least fire West Ham’s first shot on target as they pushed forward to try and get a foothold.
On 63, Jota and Dendoncker were replaced by the rapid Adama Traore, scorer of the winner in the reverse fixture, and Pedro Neto.
Just six minutes later West Ham thought they’d won a penalty, but VAR did its job well, showing that the defender had just got a toe on the ball before Bowen tumbled inside the area.
On 72, Traore’s pace took him to the byline and his sensational pinpoint cross found Jimenez for a free header and his 14th of the season.
? – “That is superb, on a plate.”
What an impact from Adama Traore! ?
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) June 20, 2020
Despite a double substitution from Moyes with eight left to play, Wolves carved West Ham open again on 84 with Neto adding a second to condemn the hosts to defeat.
The striker was on hand to smash home with his left foot after Traore had fed Doherty to float in a cross to the far post.
With some tough games to come, the loss could prove fatal to the Hammers chances of staying up, but they’ve only themselves to blame after a poor 90 minutes.
Wolves on the other hand go from strength to strength, and the three points means they can keep the pressure on both Man United and Chelsea above them.
With less pressure on Nuno Santo’s side than their more illustrious counterparts, don’t be surprised to see a late run to the Champions League by the Midlanders.