Said Benrahma scored the winner against his former club as West Ham produced one of the narrow football scores of the weekend in the FA Cup. With barely 11 minutes remaining, the Hammers winger, a former fan favorite in west London, scored from 20 yards to end a third-round match that neither team wanted to go to a replay. Brentford dominated the game at the Gtech Community Stadium, with Lukasz Fabianski making a spectacular save to deny Yoane Wissa from close range in the opening minutes. Benrahma’s goal came from the visitors’ first shot on goal. Brentford’s season now only has Premier League football on the line, and not even the addition of new loan striker Kevin Schade could spark a comeback. West Ham, on the other hand, advances to the fourth round after achieving their first victory since November 3.
Although the Hammers are only one spot above the relegation zone in the Premier League table, David Moyes selected a strong side for this FA Cup match, giving the impression that they are taking this competition seriously this year. The only serious opportunity of the first half was provided by a much-changed Brentford team, who took control from the outset and should have scored via Wissa.
The thrilling In order to cross for his unmarked strike partner who was in the box, Keane Lewis-Potter surged down the right, but the forward could only shoot straight at Fabianski who sprinted out at his feet. Although West Ham had no shots on goal in the first half, they had two excellent chances to grab the lead early in the second. First, Tomas Soucek made a wonderful play down the left flank including Emerson and Lucas Paqueta, but strangely missed the target while unmarked within the six-yard box. When Paqueta’s precise free-kick found Craig Dawson all alone, he slipped at the far post.
After testing Fabianski’s gloves with a rasping drive, the persistent Lewis-Potter continued to challenge the Hammers’ defense. He then headed Mads Roerslev’s cross from the right wide of the far post. Lewis-Potter was replaced by new striker Schade, who Brentford recruited on loan from Freiburg this week, but Benrahma, a former Bees attacker, was introduced at the same time and ended up taking the spotlight. Wissa’s pocket was grabbed by Declan Rice in the center circle, and the ball that was left over dropped to Benrahma, who made a mad dash toward the Brentford defense. Benrahma finished confidently, just like he often did in red and white, and he opted not to celebrate in front of his former colleagues.
In the final ten minutes, Brentford attempted to equalize. Schade saw a shot deflect wide, while Wissa missed a close-range opportunity from inside the box. But West Ham, who had previously suffered three defeats at the hands of Brentford, emerged victorious in this particular London derby.
“I want to try and push us as far as possible in order to get a run in the cup. Getting our Premier League to form right is certainly a key goal, but the cup would be a fantastic bonus for us,” West Ham boss David Moyes said. “This FA Cup draw caught your attention because it was so challenging. We’re ecstatic to have finished and are eager to try again.”
“I’m angry rather than devastated. Argh! We did more than enough, in my opinion, to win a close game. I am aware that West Ham is a good team that we will be facing. You’re not only passing by a team that is far larger than us,” Brentford boss Thomas Frank said. “We exerted every effort, and if you consider all the statistics, we should have been the winners. Not our day today. There was a situation we ought to have stayed out of.”
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