The midweek Premier League action kicked off at the London Stadium with a clash between West Ham and West Brom, two sides coming into the game off the wins.
Sam Allardyce was returning to West Ham, the side he got promoted in the 2011/12 season, looking to earn the Baggies their second consecutive win for the first time this season after their triumph at Molineux on Saturday.
The Hammers meanwhile came into the game full of confidence after three successive wins and four straight clean sheets in all competitions.
It was clear that both sides had won their previous games as both looked pretty good in possession and were keeping a solid shape without the ball.
As a result, clear cut chances were few and far between in the first with both teams being limited to shots from outside the box, but both keeper remained relatively untroubled.
But just on the stroke of half time, West Ham, who had probably been the more dangerous side, broke the deadlock.
Said Benrahma had looked lovely in the first half and it was his cross towards the far post that created the goal as Vladimir Coufal latched onto it and volleyed back across goal for Jarrod Bowen to finish very smartly with his chest.
The Hammers would’ve been happy with the scoreline at the break but the Baggies were far from out of the game.
And it didn’t take long for them to hit back as Matheus Pereira wasn’t closed down on the edge of the box and fired a low effort into the bottom right corner to put his side back on level terms.
But West Ham responded well to that goal and started to create more good opportunities as Lanzini had an effort blocked off the line by Dara O’Shea and Declan Rice went close with a low effort which flashed right across the face of goal following a quick free kick.
And then West Ham restored their lead after 66 minutes as Yarmolenko, who had come on as a sub just minutes before, headed a Cresswell free kick back down for Michail Antonio to finish acrobatically on the volley.
The Hammers managed the game well from that point although Darnell Furlong did have a great chance late on as he volleyed Robinson’s cross wide of the post.
West Ham held onto their lead and saw the game over the line to secure all three points and increase their winning run to four.
Standout performers included the powerful Michail Antonio who bullied the West Brom defence at times and Vladimir Coufal who was very good in attack and defence down the right, but no one in claret and blue had a bad game.
That win puts the Hammers just three points behind third placed Man City ahead of the remaining midweek fixtures and their 32 points earned so far this season marks their best ever tally at the halfway mark of a Premier League season.
West Brom meanwhile remain 19th, four points from safety but will take encouragement from a decent display against a tricky side.
They have some huge games against relegation rivals Fulham and Sheffield United coming up and it’s crucial they take some belief into those fixtures.
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, West Ham manager David Moyes said “we’re showing a bit of growth at the whole club, in how we play and what we do”.
“I’d like to dream a lot, but we’re humble and understand we’re not going to start shouting about things too soon. History has shown we’re not always able to back that up; I want to be the one who can back that up and who does make things look better.”
Reflected on their 12th defeat of the season, West Brom manager Sam Allardyce said “I think it’s a great effort from the players, but there’s those lapse in concentration moments at the back where we’ve conceded two goals we could have avoided.”
“It was a really great response, we started playing and passing the ball a lot better than in the first half, got the goal, but then you have to expect when you’re playing a team at home they’re going to put pressure on you – and we, unfortunately, faltered again.”
West Ham’s next assignment is in the FA Cup as they host League One side Doncaster Rovers at home, looking to book their place in the last sixteen against either Manchester United or Liverpool.
West Brom meanwhile have the weekend off but they will return to Premier League action with a tricky game at home to Man City, the side they held to a 1-1 draw in Slaven Bilic’s last game in charge.