Antonio And Bowen Impress As West Ham See Off Derby To Book Man United Clash

West Ham defeated Derby County 2-0 on Monday evening
21:36, 30 Jan 2023

West Ham United booked an FA Cup Fifth Round trip to Manchester United as they defeated Derby County 2-0 at Pride Park on Monday evening.

Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio were the goalscorers for the Hammers and both gave a good account of themselves which could aid West Ham’s chances for survival in the Premier League.

Bowen has been a shadow of the player that was in lightning form in 2021-22, but the same can be said for the rest of his teammates as West Ham have gone from knocking on the door of the top six to fighting for survival in the blink of an eye.


Moyes’ men were very impressive last season and fully warranted their qualification for the Europa Conference League, but it is hard to understand what has gone so wrong for them in the Premier League this term. Where Bowen contributed 12 goals and 12 assists last year in the top flight, he only has four goals and just the one assist this time around. 

So for him to score and have a positive display against Derby on Monday evening, that is sure to do wonders for his confidence and Moyes needs one of his strongest attackers to be on song if his side are to avoid falling through the trapdoor and into the Championship.

Bowen was not the only West Ham player to give a good showing in the East Midlands, with summer arrival Flynn Downes impressing in the midfield for his ball recoveries, Antonio led the line well until he was taken off after an hour - suggesting he still has a role to play in this side despite being linked with a January move away.

West Ham have some good players and they showed that last year but as a group they’ve been very offbeat in 2022-23. A victory in the cup is good for the squad’s confidence and can hopefully help players rediscover their form from last season to aid in this year’s surprising survival fight.

Despite an energetic start, the Rams found themselves a goal down inside the opening 10 minutes. They failed to clear their lines from a West Ham break and Tomas Soucek and  Antonio linked up nicely with a give-and-go before the former nodded the ball into the path of Bowen for an easy finish past Joe Wildsmith.

The Hammers were then in full control of proceedings at Pride Park as they were rarely robbed of possession. But for all their possession, they struggled to carve out any real big chances after the goal as there was a severe lack of cutting edge in the final third. This allowed Derby to stay in the tie. They may not have seen much of the ball, but the hosts were industrious in their work out of possession and if they had a phase where they could grow in confidence, the Hammers could have been put under some real pressure.

Moyes sensed that his side would need to give themselves some insurance with a second goal and like the first half they scored one early. Antonio found himself unmarked at the back post to head home from a cross on the right to double the Hammers’ lead and give them some breathing room.

Derby didn’t give up, however. They continued to push to find a way back into the match and they were able to get themselves into some decent positions but the final ball was lacking. But the visitors themselves continued to search for more goals and they were showing a bit more of a spark going forward than they did in the opening 45. Bowen had the chance to double his own tally for the night after he had a great chance from close range, but Wildsmith did well to deny him.

Moyes will be pleased not only with his side’s decent performance in possession and the way they killed the game off with a second goal, but by the fact they were able to keep a clean sheet - which will be key for their survival hopes  in the remaining months of the Premier League campaign.

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