Sebastien Haller scores twice as West Ham breeze through Carabao Cup tie with Charlton
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Some positivity at last for West Ham United, who were able to forget about their various early-season troubles during this largely comfortable victory over Charlton Athletic.
An opening day defeat by Newcastle United, a failure to bring in any new faces, speculation over an American takeover and Mark Noble’s public complaints about the sale of Grady Diangana had made this a challenging few weeks for David Moyes, so here was a welcome night of low drama at the London Stadium.
The mood on the night was helped by the excellent performance of Sebastien Haller, whose two first-half goals made the difference against League One opposition. Lee Bowyer’s side were no pushovers, despite their own long list of off-field problems, but they were far from clinical at key moments in the second half.
Haller had scored just two goals in 2020 before this League Cup meeting, having struggled with injury and then lost his place in the lineup to Michail Antonio. It has not quite worked out as expected since his £45 million move from Eintracht Frankfurt but he remains an obvious handful with his physical strength in the penalty box.
There were also fleeting moments of promise from the lesser-spotted Manuel Lanzini and Felipe Anderson, who combined in stylish fashion as Anderson struck a late third to put the match beyond any doubt.
Haller was lively from the start and he should have given West Ham the lead in the opening moments. Young Ben Johnson had shown great speed and skill down the right flank, surging past the Charlton defence before cutting the ball back for Haller, whose finish was dragged wide of the far post.
It was a poor effort from a player of Haller’s pedigree but he made no mistake on his second clear opportunity of the night. Andriy Yarmolenko raced onto Josh Cullen’s long pass before firing across the six-yard box, where Haller was lurking for a simple tap-in.
For his second, he rose high to powerfully head in a curling cross from Robert Snodgrass. “I am pleased for Seb,” said Moyes. “It will give him confidence and it showed what we have got as competition. By the end of the game I was disappointed we had not won by a lot more.”
It has been a bruising few months for Charlton, who were relegated from the Championship at the end of last season and are awaiting some much-needed clarity on their ownership situation. Businessman Thomas Sandgaard hopes to complete a deal to buy the club, although a court hearing will take place this week as Paul Elliott appeals the EFL’s decision to reject his takeover.
On the pitch, Charlton responded well after half-time, with the introduction of former England youth player Chuks Aneke giving them a more physical presence in attack. Both he and Jonny Williams went close to scoring a goal that would have breathed some hope into Bowyer’s side.
“In the second half we looked the more dangerous side,” said Bowyer, who is unable to sign players at the moment because of the club’s transfer embargo. He said they have new arrivals lined up, “waiting to walk through the door”, and there is obvious frustration that nothing can be done. “The only thing we were lacking was that final pass, that final finish,” he added.
There were more glimpses of goal for the visitors but West Ham were always in control. They scored their third when Lanzini twisted his way into the box, going inside and then outside, before rolling the ball into the path of Anderson. The Brazilian simply passed his finish into the corner.Player ratings
West Ham United (4-2-3-1)
Randolph 6; Johnson 6 (Ashby 84), Balbeuna 6, Diop 6, Masuaku 7; Cullen 7, Snodgrass 7 (Coventry 84); Yarmolenko 7, Lanzini 7, Anderson 7; Haller 8 Subs: Martin, Coventry, Alese, Fornals, Bowen, Silva Booked: Masuaku, Johnson
Charlton Athletic (4-2-3-1)
Amos 6; Lapslie 6, Barker 6, Oshilaja 5, Purrington 6; Levitt 6, Pratley 6 (Gilbey 77); Oztumer 5, Williams 6 (Washington 77), Doughty 5; Bonne 5 (Aneke 45) Subs: Maynard-Brewer, Forster-Caskey, Morgan, Vennings
And thaaaaaat's it. West Ham survive a potentially tricky tie by making it easy. Charlton's players can be reasonably pleased with how they performed - there is no shame in losing to a team paid 20 billion times more money than you.
There is still someone on the sidelines for one of these teams SCREAMING his head off at the players to get up, or go wide, or whatever he's shouting. Honestly, mate, the game's been done for 20 minutes and probably, realistically, since the first half. There's no way the players are listening to you yelling with 30 seconds left to play.
HALLER FOR THE HAT-TRICK.... but no. Lanzini finds the striker with a brilliant through-ball, showing quick thinking and vision to hit the pass while surrounded in a busy box, but Haller's shot comes off a diving body. Corner.
Charlton passing the ball around, still looking for a way to score, but their only real idea is to go wide and cross early for a striker to head at goal. West Ham cope with it easily.
Coventry's first touch isn't great, his second is a tackle, and his third is a decent pass to send Anderson on his way. West Ham attack, Ashby comes steaming in up the right wing on the overlap, gets to the line and fizzes a pass into the area. It's a great cross and I'm not sure why nobody is there to convert it!
Haller goes for the hat-trick with what the old Championship Manager commentary would describe as a 'speculative effort', volleying over from outside the box.
Coventry comes on for Snodgrass, Ashby comes on for Johnson. I've never seen these lads play before, youth given a chance by Moyes.
And that's game. Anderson finishes off the move as Lanzini turns Barker inside out, then inside, then outside, and as he spins rapidly, rotating into the air to float away above the London Stadium never to be seen again, Lanzini passes to his teammate.
I think Moyes could sub himself on and West Ham would still easily see this one out. It's not that Charlton are bad, they just aren't good enough. Sort of like how West Ham aren't good enough to beat Newcastle at the moment.
SNODGRASS SHOOOOOOOTS and Ben Amos saves. He used to play for Manchester United, don't you know.
Oh shucks, Williams has been taken off for Washington, who spent last season getting relegated at Hearts.
Barker has just committed a Wetherspoons slide tackle 30 yards from goal, leaping into the challenge and giving West Ham a free-kick that Snodgrass can absolutely pelt into the top corner. He's hurt himself making that tackle too.
Yarmolenko has realised it's fun to go through right stick trick moves against lesser players than he and a few little flicks of the legs later he has opened up a chance for West Ham to score. They do their very best to not score, firing a low ball across the penalty area - again - with nobody in position to convert.
I've just learned that Barker is 17 years old. He already looks like he's survived a bar fight with chairs and tables in a Spanish Wetherspoons, shaved head, strong, determined face. I am in my mid-30s and still look 17, but not as 17 as this guy.
He's quite a decent wee player as well, Charlie Barker. REMEMBER THE NAME
Williams should not be playing at League One level, he's clearly better than it and should be somewhere in mid-table of the Championship, the sort of player who is heavily involved in getting an unlikely team promoted but who only gets to make three appearances off the bench in the Premier League. I like him a whole lot more after watching that Sunderland documentary on Netflix. Maybe West Ham should do one of those.
Oztumer wears number 20 for Charlton and he *looks* like he should be a decent player and I keep expecting him to do things with the ball, but every time he runs he seems to leave the thing behind.
Charlton have been better in this half but still don't seem to have enough in their XI to really put the pressure on West Ham. Aneke is causing problems and batters a shot wide of the far post from a narrow angle, but it's all quick little bursts and I get the feeling West Ham could easily lock this game down if they needed to. The game absolutely feels like a pre-season friendly.
Brilliant from Lanzini. He faces Barker up one v one inside the area, tricks his way to the line and fires a low ball into the penalty area, to the penalty spot and YARMOLENKO IS THERE... wide. He takes a whack to the ankle too and needs some time to recover. Should be 3-0.
Williams is getting more of the ball now and that means Charlton can actually attack with purpose. A cross from the left forces Balbuena into a header... but he nearly loops it into his own goal! The defender gets away with it this time. West Ham have gone down a gear or two, Charlton have gone up one. At least one.
Aneke has made a big difference. He heads on a high ball to Williams, who controls, runs at speed towards the box and then thumps a low volley at goal from 25 yards! Randolph does really well to turn it behind, then gets up and applauds. I can't tell if he's clapping himself, Williams, or his teammates for allowing the shot. None of these things make sense.
Bonne went off for Aneke at half time, and the forward has already made himself known, bursting past Diop with a clever bit of skill before being beaten in the chase by Balbuena.
Pretty much the same, as you'd expect. Charlton still working hard.
We're back! No more Killers mid 2000s songs, now it's just football.
The half wasn't brilliant but West Ham fans will be pleased. I am also delighted that the stadium DJ has started playing Mr Brightside for the half time music. Ohhhhhhh memories. Scuzzy nightclubs, university, cheap tequila. And that's just David Moyes' half time routine!
Fairly routine stuff from West Ham, who haven't been particularly great but are just clearly much better man to man than their opponents. I'm not sure how Charlton find a way back into this one but they need to stop West Ham getting so many crosses in. I wonder if a change of system might be needed.
Charlton get forward, work the ball up the left wing, reach the box and Purrington crosses... but it beats everyone and West Ham can counter. Anderson decides to slow things down and just see out the end of the half.
Jonny Williams is playing well for Charlton, the brightest spark in their team for sure. Always looking for the ball, darting around between the lines.
Masuaku is booked for a late tackle on Lapslie. Charlton trying to play football, passing it around, moving well but not really doing anything that is likely to cause West Ham trouble.
West Ham win a free-kick wide left of the box, Snodrass comes across to take it. The delivery is poor, cleared by the first man, West Ham start again.
Charlton have managed to stem the flow of West Ham attacks and are at least enjoying the ball a little more. West Ham having to defend at the moment.
Charlton come forward after finally stringing some passes together and Randolph has to be switched on as a shot is fired at his near post from 25 yards by Williams. Corner... which is over hit and kept alive by Pratley. West Ham soon win the ball back. Moyes can be heard shouting 'Pass out. Pass out'. As in pass the ball out from the back, not fall over.
Charlton can't get near the ball at the moment. West Ham pinging it about, Charlton players looking a bit down. I think they know they're done and you can see it in the lack of energy.
And that's 2-0! It's eeeeeasy. Charlton just aren't good enough for this match and West Ham are finding it easy to get the ball wide then into the box. Snodgrass curls a beautiful cross to Haller inside the area, and he pushes a header into the top corner. Great finish.
Haller scores this time! It's been coming all game along. Honestly, this is easy for West Ham.
Cullen chips a ball over the top, Yarmolenko easily beats the offside trap and then squares it for Haller in the six yard box. Tap in for 1-0.
OOOOHHHHH WHAT A TRICK BY JOHNSON! Another English right-back star in the making, Johnson chases a pass towards the line, it looks like it's going out for a goal kick or that if he reaches and tries to cross it's a certain corner, but instead he heel chops it round the other side of the defender and then plays a low ball into the box. I think it's Haller who attacks it at the near post, sending the ball wide of the far post. Would have been a great little goal.
This is all West Ham. They look better on the ball, stronger, taller, faster and have more ideas. Charlton just working hard to try and prevent them crossing it into the box.
Lanzini is treated to a League One tackle after doing some bits of skill, nutmegging one player and moving away from another. Robert Snodgrass has taken exception to it and has shouted at the referee that it's a "f***** shocker!" and plying there should be a yellow card. There isn't. The free-kick is put into the area... and Amos manages to catch it as the ball drops at Lanzini's feet inside six yards.
GOOOOAAAALALL except it's not a goal but the referee has given a foul. The corner is curled in, bounces around bodies in the box, and is forced in to the net with kicks while the goalkeeper is trying to control it with his hands on the ground. Pretty sensible decision.
This commentator is only able to speak in broken sentences, which must be a real pain for his pals when in the pub. What I mean by that is he's 'doing the voice' of a commentator, copying the intonation, inflections, melody and rhythm of what you hear on the TV, so it sounds like what we're used to and therefore not very real. I don't like it. West Ham have a corner.
If I were the commentator I'd write that like 'West Ham......... have a corner'
Charlton win a corner by pressing West Ham from a throw-in near the box... but it's headed away by the first defender. OH NO there's a commentator on my stream now, I was enjoying the quiet. Could hear absolutely everything everyone was saying, which as it turns out, was a mixture of screams and various Sunday League commands. GET OUT! GET UP! Various names.
So much screaming from the benches. "GET UP! GET UUUUUUUUP!" is all I can hear from member of the West Ham coaching staff, and it's not Moyes, who is stood calmly on the sidelines just watching Charlton pass around their own defensive third. A mistake gives West Ham the chance to attack but Yarmolenko's cross is easily blocked.
This iFollow thing is brilliant by the way. You pay something like a tenner to watch the match and then you can just watch it, without commentary, as though you were sat in the stands. The camera is still just the traditional camera angle but it's cool. Without it we wouldn't be able to watch games like this.
Anyway, lots of shouting from both sets of players as the match gets going.
It's actually Charlton who will start the game, presumably because they won the coin toss. All the players take a knee, and we're off!
The players are out, the bubbles are blowing, West Ham are ready to start the match.
The warmups are all done in the empty London Stadium. Only 10 minutes until kick off, at which point we can work out what shape West Ham are playing. It looks like it might be a 4-4-2, back to Moyes' old Everton system.
It's not all going so well for ol' Jackie Wilshere, who is usually injured and now missing from the entire matchday squad. The ex-Arsenal midfielder was supposed to be on his way to fitness and ready to revive his career this season but there are strong suggestions on the rumour mill that he might be off to Genoa. Does his exclusion from the game today mean that move is close? I have no idea. It would be great to see him playing though.
No messing about from Moyes tonight. He knows his side need to start winning games.
Tonight's line-up for our second round @Carabao_Cup tie against Charlton...#WHUCHA pic.twitter.com/zbKCBcs9fi— West Ham United (@WestHam) September 15, 2020
Charlton's XI look a little like this: