Manuel Lanzini strike hands Hammers pre-season win over Cottagers


It was the tale of the Manuel’s at Craven Cottage as Manuel Lanzini’s first-half goal handed West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini a pre-season win over Fulham on Saturday afternoon.

Manuel Pellegrini opted for a dynamic trio of Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals and Felipe Anderson behind record-signing Sebastien Haller whilst Fulham head coach Scott Parker started new arrivals Ivan Cavaleiro and Anthony Knockhaert either side of the retained Aleksander Mitrovic.

Combination play from Mitrovic and Cavaleiro created the first opening of the match with only the brilliance of Lukasz Fabianski denying the Portuguese winger his first Fulham goal.

The visitors West Ham took the lead on 17 minutes when a failed clearance from Alfie Mawson fell to the feet of Manuel Lanzini, who took a touch out of his feet before curling an effort into the top corner courtesy of a deflection off the underside of the bar.

Pellegrini’s men controlled the tempo throughout the first half as Declan Rice and Jack Wilshere provided the industrious work rate to counter-balance the flair demonstrated ahead of them.

The home fans grew frustrated as half-time loomed, the Cottagers failing to be incisive in the final third.

Mitrovic span Fabian Balbuena to lift the mood but saw his low shot comfortably saved as West Ham headed in with a one-goal advantage at the break.

West Ham arrived for the second half having made four changes while Fulham remained unchanged until the 47th minute when Alfie Mawson withdrew through injury.

Haller was somehow denied a first Hammers goal by Marcus Bettinelli on 51 minutes when arriving to meet a corner. The Frenchman’s effort was denied by the legs of the Fulham keeper before his follow up attempt was again saved much to the disappointment of the expectant West Ham crowd.

As Fulham searched for an opportunity to give their fans something to cheer, a Hammers counter-attack was wasted by a blocked Michail Antonio effort. Scott Parker’s Whites were now enjoying a large spell of possession as an Aboubakar Kamara effort whistled past the post from long range.

Kamara had arguably had Fulham’s best chance of levelling when played through by captain Tom Cairney, the Frenchman drilling the ball beyond the far post.

The Fulham crowd were moving soon after, but only the front rows as they took cover from the rain being swirled towards them by the Thames breeze.

Antonio’s effort looked destined to give West Ham a late second but Bettinelli matched his opposing goalkeeper’s first-half save by making a great stop to send the ball wide for a corner.

Fulham applied the late pressure but Pellegrini’s men held out to claim a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.

Fulham XI: Bettinelli; Odoi, Mawson (Christie, 47), Le Marchand, Bryan; McDonald, Johansen (De La Torre, 88), Cairney (C), Cavaleiro (Ayite, 77), Knockhaert (Kamara, 59); Mitrovic

Fulham unused substitutes: Kebano, Fonte, O’Riley, Francois

West Ham United XI: Fabianski; Cresswell (Masuaku, 45), Balbuana (Sanchez, 45), Diop (Cullen, 83), Johnson (Zabaleta, 65); Rice, Wilshere (Diangana, 65), Lanzini (Snodgrass, 65), Fornals (Antonio, 45), Anderson (Yarmolenko, 45); Haller (Hernandez, 65)

West Ham United unused substitutes: Roberto, Martin


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