Gianluca Scamacca on target again as West Ham beat Fulham for third win in a week

Italian striker makes it three goals in three games as Cottagers fume over referee calls

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West Ham made it three victories in a week as they defeated Fulham 3-1 in an incident-packed game at the London Stadium on Sunday.

Fulham had taken the lead when Andreas Pereira blasted home his first goal for the club but then the same player gave away a penalty in ludicrous fashion after hauling down Craig Dawson, allowing Jarrod Bowen to level from the spot.

Gianluca Scamacca then scored for a third successive game, after a lengthy VAR check for handball, before substitute Michail Antonio put the game to bed for West Ham.

After netting against Wolves last weekend and grabbing the winner against Anderlecht on Thursday, the Italian was the Hammers' main man once again.

“I thought we deserved the win,” said West Ham manager David Moyes. “We started slow, maybe an impact of playing on Thursday, but we grew into the game as it went on.

“I thought there were bits today that were really good. There were bits I didn't enjoy but it is going in the right direction at the moment. We are playing much better.”

Pereira has not exactly set the world alight since swapping Manchester United for Fulham in the summer, but he was the central character in a back-and-forth first half.

He gave his side the lead from out of nothing in the fifth minute after a mix-up between Declan Rice and Bowen in the Fulham half.

Neeskens Kebano fed Pereira and, with right-back Thilo Kehrer caught upfield and Kurt Zouma too slow to get across, the Brazil midfielder was free to lash an angled drive past Lukasz Fabianski and high into the net.

Hammers goalkeeper Fabianski was beaten again in the 14th minute but Daniel James’ 20-yard effort clipped the crossbar.

West Ham eventually hit their stride with Lucas Paqueta and Scamacca – their two big-money summer signings – beginning to cause problems.

First Scamacca’s header from Paqueta’s cross was brilliantly saved by Leno.

Moments later Scamacca was free again to meet Aaron Cresswell’s cross but he headed too close to Leno, who made another fine reflex save.

But when Dawson and Pereira repeatedly clashed at a corner, earning more than one telling-off from referee Chris Kavanagh, West Ham were gifted an equaliser.

A wound-up Pereira bafflingly pulled the Hammers defender over to concede a penalty which Bowen converted, sending Leno the wrong way.

Leno was called into action again at the beginning of the second half to claw away Paqueta’s low shot.

But the German goalkeeper was left stranded by a piece of superb improvisation from Scamacca, who brought the ball down just inside the area almost in slow motion and then chipped it into the net.

Scamacca barely celebrated, suggesting he felt something was amiss, but the goal survived an initial VAR check for offside and then a second, lengthy review of the ball appearing to brush the striker’s fingers after he controlled it.

However, the replays proved inconclusive and the goal stood to the obvious frustration of Fulham manager Marco Silva, who had to watch his side condemned to back-to-back defeats when Antonio broke clear to tuck in the third.

“I will not speak about the referee, sorry, because they will probably come after me and I'll be off the bench or pay a fine,” said Silva. “I am not here for that, I am here to manage my players.

“I will not say to you what I think. Can I ask you what you think? Even for the third goal there was a handball about five seconds before. Congratulations to West Ham, they got the three points.

“Until the penalty we were clearly the best team on the pitch.”

Updated: October 09, 2022, 4:42 PM
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