Sebastien Haller scored his third goal in two games for West Ham as they beat Norwich City 2-0 at London Stadium.
The Frenchman gave the hosts the lead with an easy finish from close range after a low cross from the left wing by Arthur Masuaku.
The Canaries’ Todd Cantwell struck the crossbar from close range in the second half but the flag was raised for offside.
Andriy Yarmolenko then doubled West Ham’s advantage as he found the net with a left-footed volley after Norwich failed to clear.
West Ham’s victory lifts them to fifth while Norwich suffered a third defeat in four league games and have now conceded more goals (10) than anyone else in the Premier League this season.
Despite going in 1-0 down at the break, Norwich fared well against an organised West Ham side, with Cantwell coming closest to inspiring a quick equaliser.
After Max Aarons put a fine run into the box, beating several West Ham markers in the process, he delivered a chipped ball to Cantwell who headed over the bar from close range.
The visitors’ task was made harder on 36 minutes when captain Christoph Zimmermann was forced off through injury following a robust tackle from Haller.
Ibrahim Amadou replaced him, having only made his debut in their midweek Carabao Cup defeat by Crawley Town, and the inexperience showed as the hosts dominated the second half.
Despite the visitors’ best efforts, the Hammers did well to cancel out Norwich’s prolific goalscorer Teemu Pukki to complete what was ultimately a routine win against the newly promoted side.
The Hammers’ fine turnaround
West Ham’s win marks a change in fortunes from last season for Manuel Pellegrini’s side, who might have anticipated another tough start to a campaign after their heavy defeat by Manchester City on the opening day.
At this point last season, the Hammers were bottom of the Premier League without a point and had conceded 10 goals in four league games.
But since that opening 5-0 loss to the champions, Pellegrini has guided his side to a draw at Brighton, a win against Watford and a midweek Carabao Cup victory over Newport County, before seeing off the Canaries in some comfort.
Norwich did well to dictate the flow of the game in the early stages of both halves, but Haller’s 24th-minute goal shifted the game in favour of the hosts.
The Frenchman, who signed from Eintracht Frankfurt for a club record £45m in the summer, got on the scoresheet again after his double against Watford as he linked up with Masuaku to poke home.
The Hammers fielded pressure from Norwich afterwards, but they rarely looked in danger even before Yarmolenko’s impressive second-half volley doubled their lead.
This was a performance to inspire confidence in front of West Ham’s vociferous home support and their side now look in better shape than they did this time just 12 months ago.
Norwich’s tough start continues
Norwich have had a week to forget. After home defeat by Chelsea last Saturday and an EFL Cup exit at Crawley in midweek, they struggled to find an answer to the hosts’ fine defensive performance.
That loss to Chelsea followed a comfortable 3-1 win over Newcastle, but the promise shown in that game appears to be quickly wearing thin.
Pukki, who came into the game with five goals in three games, had an uncharacteristically quiet match and Norwich were short of answers once the hosts took the lead.
And the loss of Zimmermann left a hole in defence that the Hammers easily exploited through the match.
In the end, the loss could have been heavier, goalkeeper Tim Krul saving Manuel Lanzini’s close-range header before making a fine save from Anderson soon after.
Man of the match – Andriy Yarmolenko
West Ham keep up fine form – the stats
- West Ham remain unbeaten in their past nine home games against Norwich in all competitions (W5 D4), scoring 19 goals and conceding nine in this run.
- Norwich have lost three consecutive matches in all competitions for only the second time under Daniel Farke, and the first since they lost four in succession in November 2017.
- West Ham have won seven points from their opening four league games this season (W2 D1 L1); it took them seven games to reach this tally in 2018-19 (W2 D1 L4), having lost each of their first four such games last term.
- West Ham have won six of their past eight games across all competitions (D1 L1), as many as their previous 20 matches combined beforehand (W6 D4 L10).
- Sébastien Haller is only the fourth player to score as many as three goals in his first three Premier League appearances for West Ham, after Trevor Sinclair, Ian Wright and Demba Ba.
- Andriy Yarmolenko scored his third Premier League goal for West Ham, 349 days after he scored his first two for the club against Everton in September 2018.
- Each of Arthur Masuaku’s six Premier League assists for West Ham has been for different players (Antonio, Kouyaté, Sakho, Arnautovic, Pérez, Haller).
West Ham travel to the West Midlands following the international break as they take on Aston Villa on Monday, 16 September (20:00 BST).
Norwich face reigning champions Manchester City at Carrow Road two days earlier on Saturday, 14 September (17:30 BST).