Saturday, April 13

Hammers suffer huge blow to top-four hopes as Mbeumo and Toney have Bees flying

BRYAN MBEUMO proved he’s not always the bridesmaid, never the bride. 

The French powerhouse, 22, hit his first Premier League goal from open play in SIX MONTHS to put the Bees in the driving seat. 

Mbuemo opened the scoring, beating Fabianski at his near post


Mbuemo opened the scoring, beating Fabianski at his near postCredit: REX FEATURES
The Bees have won back-to-back London derbies


The Bees have won back-to-back London derbiesCredit: REX FEATURES

He also had a hand in Ivan Toney’s header which soared the club a precious 12 points away from third bottom Burnley and edged them closer to safety. 

Mbeumo clearly makes life hell for the Hammers, with his last open play goal in the league also coming against them back in October. 

He has gone under the radar season, with him only being on target three times in the league before yesterday. 

And he was left frustrated after not scoring any of the club’s historic four goals against Chelsea, but provided two assists last time out.

Now it’s his time to shine.

It’s no surprise Frank has recently made a point of breaking off from the usual Christian Eriksen love-in to acknowledge the contribution of Mbeumo and his strike partner Toney.

Gareth Southagte will surely be on the blower now as Toney’s heroics drew him level with Harry Kane, both on 12, as the most goals scored by an English player in the Prem this term.

West Ham looked like they were still hungover from Thursday’s chaotic Europa League first-leg tie with Lyon. 

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Their frustration at Aaron Cresswell’s red card which led to Moussa Dembele being caught winking at his team-mates after flinging himself to the ground to get him sent off bubbled into this game. 

And Rico Henry woke them up in the blink of an eye with a blistering run early on. 

He then whipped in a menacing cross which Kurt Zouma did well to poke away before anyone could make a crucial touch. 

Christian Norgaard then pinged in another inviting delivery, but no one rose high enough to latch onto it. 

Toney added a second for the home side


Toney added a second for the home sideCredit: REX FEATURES

Hammers tough nut Craig Dawson went down with a nosebleed for an earlier bump of heads with Yoane Wissa.

His schnoz, which was also bleeding late on against Lyon, has seen more injuries in the last week than the Hammers had chances yesterday afternoon. 

The Bees continued to build and Wissa lashed in an inch-perfect cross but Mbeumo headed straight at Lukasz Fabianski. 

His desperation to hit the net could be seen all over the opening half. 

Mbuemo and Toney ran riot on West Ham's backline


Mbuemo and Toney ran riot on West Ham’s backlineCredit: REX FEATURES

The striker stung the hands of Fabianski with a rasping effort but he then hoofed a string of wild shots well over the bar. 

Kurt Zouma, still being roasted by away fans for his cat kicking shame, was forced off just before the half-hour mark as he was still feeling the effects of an earlier Norgaard tackle.  

Issa Diop entered the fray but made the sleepy Hammers look even leakier before the break. 

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Mbeumo, Toney and Christian Eriksen knocked the ball about like a pinball machine before the Denmark star fired a limp, low shot straight at Fabianski. 

Moyes' men looked leggy from Thursday's 1-1 draw with Lyon


Moyes’ men looked leggy from Thursday’s 1-1 draw with LyonCredit: ALAMY

The tame effort was uncharacteristic for the ex-Spurs schemer, but he can still do no wrong in the eyes of Brentford fans who are still madly in love with their Deadline Day arrival.

And he was determined to put things right with a  glittering free-kick on the stroke of half-time which Vladimir Coufal almost nodded into his own net. 

The visitors still looked asleep after the restart and they were made to pay. 

A Kristoffer Ajer quick throw was flicked on by Toney which Mbeumo pounced on and unleashed a rasping, low finish into the net on 47 minutes. 

Brentford were more clinical than the Hammers


Brentford were more clinical than the Hammers

Said Benrahma returned to his old stomping ground in place of Manuel Lanzini who was on his first start since his terrifying car crash last week.

Bees fans will never forget some of the magic moments the Algerian winger gave them and he came on to a chorus of chants of ‘Said Benrahma he wants to come home’.

You couldn’t exactly blame him after another insipid half from the Hammers. 

Eriksen then teed up Wissa who broke free, but Lanzini snaffled him up before he could get his shot away. 

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By this point Brentford had an iron grip on the game – and of course up stepped Toney to hammer the final nail in the visitor’s coffin.

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A peach of a cross from Henry fell to Mbeumo, whose cutback found Toney and he did the rest by heading past Fabianski on 64 minutes.

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