West Ham 4 Wolves 0 - Report and pictures

Wolves put in perhaps their worst performance of the Nuno Espirito Santo era as they were swept aside by West Ham at the London Stadium.

A double from Jarrod Bowen and headers from Tomas Soucek and Sebastien Haller condemned Nuno's pack to a 4-0 loss - and even that flattered them.

Wolves, frankly, were all over the place all evening. Michail Antonio had his way with the gold and black backline, who were continuously pulled out of position and unsure whenever a Hammers man drove at them.

The shocking result leaves them with three points from as many Premier League games.

Analysis

It was thought Wolves' transfer business was done after the capture of Nelson Semedo, but this showing may well have forced Nuno into a rethink.

After all, this was nowhere near the standard we have come to expect from them under his watch.

Defensively, it was an absolute horror show. There were some worrying signs against Manchester City last Monday and they were on show even more so in this clash.

Soft tackles and a failure to track runners - it was everything you do not want to see and made for grim viewing.

Nuno, especially, will be wondering what on earth happened in the capital as he is such a thorough coach who constantly works on being robust. To say they were at sixes and sevens is putting it mildly.

There was not a great deal to shout about in attack either, with Traore taken off on the hour mark. The midfield was soft, too.

The Hammers - who had lost their first two games and were earmarked by many as early relegation contenders - were made to look like an elite side.

Wolves chased shadows, and it was so comfortable for the hosts. It is hard to think of a worse performance since Nuno took over in the summer of 2017.

Match report

Semedo came straight into the side following his signing from Barcelona, with Traore - no doubt relieved after a couple of games at right-wing-back - moving further forward.

Daniel Podence and Fernando Marcal were the notable absentees, both with knocks, while Ki-Jana Hoever was among the substitutes after being snapped up from Liverpool.

The hosts, meanwhile, were without defender Issa Diop and gaffer David Moyes after their well-documented positive Covid-19 tests, so assistant Alan Irvine was the one overseeing things.

Without Podence, who had been the best player over Wolves' first two games and is now dealing with a shoulder issue which is not thought to be too serious, Wolves went for a clear 3-4-3 formation instead of the more fluid set up seen at Sheffield United and against City at Molineux.

Pedro Neto lined up on the left of the front three, instead of dropping in as a third central midfielder, as Traore hugged the right touchline. There was plenty of pace there to cause problems - Neto putting on the afterburners to race past Fabian Balbuena and win an early corner.

But it was West Ham's frontline which proved too hot to handle as they took an early lead.

Yes, there were question marks over the quickly taken free-kick but, ultimately, Wolves were too slow to react and made it simple for Bowen.

Romain Saiss backed off, letting the striker shift the ball onto his left foot and curl it into the far corner. Not enough pressure.

Nuno cut a frustrated figure, and his defenders carried on looking extremely frail for the rest of the half. They had Rui Patricio to thank for keeping them just one down going into the break as he denied Antonio and showed sharp reflexes to keep out Soucek.

They were not the only opportunities the Hammers had either. Antonio screamed as he put one wide after a neat turn and then, somehow, Pablo Fornals blazed over from close range after another Antiono attempt was stopped by Patricio.

Saiss and Ruben Vinagre looked weak whenever challenged - Bowen, Antonio and Ryan Fredericks regularly getting in behind.

Wolves, as a whole, were well off it. Ruben Neves tested Lukasz Fabianski and Neto saw a long-range shot fly wide, but so much more was required in the second period.

Nuno takes pride in organisation and shape, so he would have been incensed in the dressing room as those had gone out of the window.

He stuck to his guns for the start of the second half, while West Ham were soon forced into a change as Fredericks trudged off and Ben Johnson came on.

Potential unrest for Wolves to take advantage of, but the trend was continuing - Antonio constantly threatening. And he would prove instrumental as the Hammers doubled their advantage.

Skipper Conor Coady cynically took Antonio down for a booking just a few minutes beforehand but was left for dead this time around as the target man found Fornals.

His shot hit the woodwork but fell kindly to Bowen, who gratefully grabbed his second of the night.

Still, West Ham were not done, with some criminal defending allowing them to make it three. Soucek - the tallest man on the pitch - was left completely free from a corner to head past Patricio at the near post.

It was head-scratching stuff, scarcely believable. Hoever, Vitinha and Fabio Silva came on but were unable to change the tide. The damage had already been done and the home side even had substitute Haller - unmarked, of course - head past Patricio in added-on time. An utterly woeful Wolves display.

Teams

West Ham (3-4-3): Fabianski; Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Fredericks (Johnson, 48), Rice (c), Soucek, Masuaku; Bowen (Noble, 88), Antonio (Haller, 88), Fornals

Subs not used: Randolph (gk), Lanzini, Anderson, Yarmolenko,

Goals: Bowen (18, 57), Soucek (66), Haller (90+3)

Wolves (3-4-3): Patricio; Boly, Coady (c), Saiss; Semedo (Hoever, 73), Neves, Moutinho (Vitinha, 73), Vinagre; Traore (Silva, 61), Jimenez, Neto

Subs not used: Ruddy (gk), Kilman, Dendoncker, Shabani

Referee: Martin Atkinson (Leeds)

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