Shropshire Star

Wolves 1 West Ham 2 - Report

Late VAR controversy denied Wolves a 99th minute equaliser as Max Kilman’s header was chalked off in the 2-1 defeat to West Ham.

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A good opening 45 saw Wolves control the game and win a spot-kick, which Pablo Sarabia tucked home with the help of the post.

But Wolves were unable to continue their dominance in the second half as the visitors made attacking changes and played at a higher intensity before winning a penalty of their own, which Lucas Paqueta dispatched.

The Hammers pushed for a winner in the closing stages and found it from an unlikely position, as James Ward-Prowse's corner went over the head of Jose Sa and straight into the net.

Wolves thought they had equalised when Kilman headed home, but a VAR check saw referee Tony Harrington check the monitor and offside was given as Tawanda Chirewa was in front of Lukasz Fabianski.


Gary O’Neil made two changes from the midweek draw at Burnley and started in a 5-2-3 formation.

Santi Bueno and Tommy Doyle came in for Hugo Bueno and Leon Chiwome, while Craig Dawson recovered from a groin injury to make the bench.

David Moyes made one change to his West Ham side, as Edson Alvarez replaced Michail Antonio.

An experimental starting XI from O’Neil saw Wolves line-up with Rayan Ait-Nouri on the right wing, Sarabia at striker, midfielder Tommy Doyle at left wing and Matt Doherty at left-wing-back.

In the opening stages of the game, Ait-Nouri cut in off the right and took aim from distance, seeing his effort flash just over the bar.

The visitors should have scored when Nelson Semedo gave the ball away poorly to Jarrod Bowen on the byline and the forward found Tomas Soucek from a couple yards out, but he tread on the ball and Wolves cleared their lines.

Wolves created a chance from nothing when Mario Lemina’s long ball found Semedo, who crossed low to Sarabia, but Fabianski got his body in the way of the shot from close range.

An electric attacking run from Ait-Nouri opened the game up and he had options to play it, before going alone and winning a corner. From that corner, the ball was worked back to taker Doyle and his near post shot was saved by Fabianski.

After 30 minutes, Doyle sent Ait-Nouri racing into the box and he was taken out by Emerson Palmieri for a penalty. Sarabia stepped up and his left-footed shot was hit with pace and although Fabianski went the right way, it crashed off the bar and into the net for his fourth Premier League goal of the season.

Wolves were having some joy down the left side as in possession Doyle and Doherty were often swapping places. It allowed Doyle to get on the ball, while also allowing Doherty to get forward and make intelligent attacking runs.

The home fans and players were appealing for a penalty when Doherty’s ball struck Alvarez, but it was rightly not given or overturned.

Wolves entered the break with a deserved lead after controlling the opening 45 minutes.

As the second half got under way, the Hammers made two changes by bringing on Antonio and Ben Johnson.

Injuries plagued both sides in the 55th minute as Bowen was forced off for the Hammers and Ait-Nouri came off for Wolves, but the hosts were able to replace him with Matheus Cunha.

Ward-Prowse came close to equalising for West Ham when his free-kick was deflected and wrong-footed Sa, but flashed wide.

Emerson headed home for West Ham from Mohammed Kudus’ cross, but it was disallowed as a foul was given on Semedo as the cross came in.

The visitors were pushing for an equaliser and found it after a moment of madness in possession from Wolves, as Toti Gomes lost the ball to Emerson when he was expecting Doherty to clear it and his cross hit Kilman on the hand for a penalty.

Paqueta stepped up to take it and although Sa went the right way, his spot kick nestled into the side netting.

Wolves were struggling for an outlet and the visitors were in control as Johnson tested the gloves of Sa in the 80th minute.

Kudus was then played in but Doherty did superbly well to make a recovery tackle.

In the 84th minute, West Ham finally got their winner. Ward-Prowse swung in a corner and it evaded everyone, with Sa caught under it, before finding the back of the net.

It would not have been the winner, however, if Kilman’s 99th minute header stood. The captain’s goal was set to rescue a point but VAR gave offside on Chirewa, who was in front of Fabianski.

At the final whistle, Molineux was furious and the fans made their feelings known to the officials.

Key Moments

GOAL 33 Sarabia smashes home a penalty to make it 1-0.

GOAL 73 Paqueta tucks away a penalty to equalise.

GOAL 84 Ward-Prowse scores straight from a corner to win it for West Ham.

VAR 99 Kilman’s header is chalked off and Wolves are denied a point.


Wolves: Sa, Semedo, S.Bueno, Kilman, Toti, Doherty (H.Bueno, 87), Gomes, M.Lemina (Traore, 75), Ait-Nouri (Cunha, 55), Sarabia (Chiwome, 75), Doyle (Chirewa, 87).

Subs not used: Bentley, Dawson, N.Lemina, Fraser.

West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal (Johnson, 45), Zouma, Mavropanos, Emerson, Soucek (Antonio, 45), Ward-Prowse, Alvarez, Paqueta, Kudus, Bowen (Cresswell, 55).

Subs not used: Anang, Ogbonna, Aguerd, Phillips, Cornet, Ings.