Javier Hernandez scored twice in the last six minutes as West Ham secured a dramatic 4-3 Premier League win over rock-bottom Huddersfield Town at the London Stadium.
Jan Siewert’s side had looked set for just a fourth league win of the season after a Juninho Bacuna header and Karlan Grant brace had cancelled out Mark Noble’s early penalty.
They crumbled in the closing stages, though, with Angelo Ogbonna reducing the deficit with 15 minutes remaining and substitute Hernandez twice heading past Jan Lossl – the second coming in stoppage time – to seal an unlikely win in a seven-goal thriller.
Defeat leaves the Terriers rooted to the foot of the Premier League – 16 points from safety – while Manuel Pellegrini’s side remain in ninth.
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) March 16, 2019
Michail Antonio headed against the crossbar before the Hammers broke the deadlock after 15 minutes, Noble stroking home from the spot after Aaron Rowe had brought down Manuel Lanzini.
Their lead lasted less than two minutes, though, as an unmarked Bacuna headed home Aaron Mooy’s cross before Grant put them ahead on the half-hour mark by steering home Chris Lowe’s cross.
Grant then showed superb skill to spin away from Ogbonna, cut inside and unleash an unerring strike into Lukasz Fabianski’s top-right corner for what looked a game-winning third for Town in the 65th minute.
But Ogbonna headed in Aaron Cresswell’s corner 15 minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish that Hernandez duly delivered.
First, the Mexico international pulled them level with a thumping back-post diving header from Samir Nasri’s cross.
Jason Puncheon and Philip Billing then squandered glorious chances to win it for Huddersfield before Felipe Anderson’s lofted ball into the area was deftly headed past a flailing Lossl by the former Manchester United striker to break Huddersfield hearts.
What does it mean? Terriers hanging by a thread
A win was unlikely to have made much difference to Huddersfield’s survival chances, given the gap to safety would still have been 13 points, but it would certainly have given them something to play for in the final weeks of the season. As it is, they are a whopping 16 points away from 17th place after a dismal capitulation in the last 15 minutes. West Ham were poor for most of the game but sensed a fragility in the visitors and took advantage in brutal style late on.
Grant makes his mark on biggest stage
Not only did he score twice but he pulled West Ham’s backline all over the pitch during a sparkling display. He looks every inch a Premier League player – despite only making his debut in the top flight in February – and did not deserve to finish on the losing side.
Arnautovic’s struggles continue
Marko Arnautovic has hardly been welcomed back with open arms after his public attempts to leave the club in January and he will have done little to endear himself to fans with another disappointing display. The Austrian – who was substituted for Lucas Perez before the thrilling finale – has now failed to score in his last seven appearances and could only look on from the sidelines as Hernandez stole the headlines.
Key Opta Facts:
– West Ham have won three consecutive Premier League games at the London Stadium for the very first time.
– This was just the third time in Premier League history West Ham have come from two-plus goals behind to win, also doing so against Bradford in February 2000 (5-4) and Everton in March 2016 (3-2).
– This was just the eighth time Huddersfield have scored more than one goal in a Premier League game, but the first they have not gone on to win (W7 D0 L1).
– Huddersfield scored as many goals against West Ham this afternoon as they had in their previous 11 Premier League games combined.
– All 52 of West Ham striker Javier Hernandez’s Premier League goals have been scored from inside the box.
West Ham host Everton after the international break, while Huddersfield face another trip to London to take on Crystal Palace.
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