Erik ten Hag is expecting an upturn in Manchester United’s fortunes in the new year as Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez and Mason Mount close in on a mid-January return.

This has been a bumpy second season in the Old Trafford dugout for the Dutchman, whose side have been eliminated from Europe and seen their Carabao Cup defence ended early.

United’s Premier League title chances are all but over before Christmas and Ten Hag’s side need to build on last weekend’s dogged 0-0 draw at high-flying rivals Liverpool when they head to West Ham.

The absentee-hit Red Devils are dealing with several doubts ahead of the Saturday lunchtime clash, but Ten Hag expects their injury problems to ease over the coming weeks.

“Now we have some doubts,” said the United manager, who welcomes back skipper Bruno Fernandes from suspension but sees Diogo Dalot serve a one-match ban.

“We have some illnesses during the week, so we have to see who is always available for tomorrow. Hopefully they are recovered but we have to see.

“(Casemiro and Martinez) are not available before Christmas, so that will be mid-January we expect them back.

“Mason Mount similar into January. Harry Maguire I expect him early on and Victor Lindelof is not available. He has done a surgery so he will be out for a couple of weeks.

“What happened? He had a problem and so (personal) is that, but he has to do the surgery.”

The impending return of such players will be a shot in the arm for a United side deprived of so many options in recent weeks and months.

As well as the aforementioned, Amad Diallo and Tyrell Malacia have been unable to feature yet this season. Christian Eriksen recently returned to training after five weeks out with a knee issue and Anthony Martial missed the trip to Anfield through illness.

The forward’s absence underlined United’s lack of striking options heading into a transfer window that will surely see Jadon Sancho leave given he has been banished from the first team since September.

United have publicly indicated that it will be a quiet January and Ten Hag believes they have the quality in house to kick on in 2024.

“The current squad I’m happy (with),” he said. “As we get our players back, I’m sure we have a good squad.

“I think a lot of the way it went in the first (part of the) season, the reasons behind (it are) because many players were not available.

“I’m sure when all the players are available on board – it looks like, as I said, Casemiro will be back, Martinez will be back, Mason Mount will be back – we will be much stronger after the winter.”

The mid-term looks positive for United but now comes a chaotic Christmas period kicked off by the trip to David Moyes’ West Ham.

“We have three big games to play in this week – really looking forward (to them),” Ten Hag said, with a home match against Aston Villa and trip to Nottingham Forest following the game in east London.

“It’s always a massive period for any club in the Premier League but definitely now for us.”

What the papers say

The Metro reports Tottenham have maintained their interest in Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher, with a view to a January approach. Citing Sky Sports, the paper says Tottenham’s interest has carried over from the summer, but Chelsea would be seeking big money for the 23-year-old following an impressive start to the season. Gallagher only has 18 months left on his contract, so the Blues would expect to sell him at some point in the next year unless he pens a new deal.

Sporting Lisbon defender Goncalo Inacio is on the radar at Arsenal, according to The Sun. However, the paper says the Gunners are unlikely to make a move in the January window unless they are forced to act due to a serious injury cropping up.

The paper also says another of Tottenham’s interests, Tosin Adarabioyo, has informed Fulham of his intention to depart the club at the end of the season. The Cottagers have offered the 26-year-old defender a new deal, but he is expected to turn the offer down and become a free agent.

And The Sun reports West Ham and Everton are both circling for 20-year-old Peterborough defender Ronnie Edwards.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Kalvin Phillips: ESPN reports Juventus have entered talks with Manchester City over a loan deal for the England midfielder.

Borja Mayoral: Brentford, Crystal Palace and Fulham are all monitoring the Getafe striker, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes.

Jurgen Klopp told Liverpool fans to give their tickets away if they are not prepared to get behind the side in Saturday’s clash against Arsenal.

The Reds manager was unimpressed with the atmosphere at Anfield as Liverpool cruised into a the Carabao Cup semi-finals by thrashing West Ham 5-1 on Wednesday.

Klopp felt the crowd, coming off the back of last weekend’s frustrating Premier League draw against Manchester United, were flat and wants more for the upcoming top-of-the-table date with Arsenal.

The German said: “I thought in the first half when the boys played really exceptionally, I was not overly happy with the atmosphere behind me.

“I asked people what do they want? We changed a lot of things and we dominated West Ham like crazy and missed chances.

“If I was in the stands I would be on my toes, 1,000 per cent. I don’t know, if the Man United game was that bad that we have to say sorry we didn’t smash them?

“We need Anfield on Saturday. Arsenal didn’t play this week. They’ve prepared for this game and anyone who knows anything about them knows they will be prepared.

“So we need Anfield on their toes from the first second, without me having an argument with the opposition coach.

“If it is too much football in December, if you are not in the right shape, give your ticket to somebody else.

“It was just not the excitement I felt. There were so many good performances but we were only 1-0 up.”

Liverpool led through a stunning Dominik Szoboszlai goal at the interval before going on to win comfortably against a limp Hammers side with a double from Curtis Jones and further efforts from Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah.

Liverpool, who are bidding to win the competition for a record-extending 10th time, will now play Fulham for a place in the final.

Klopp said: “Wembley is a great stadium and yes we want to go there again. I was happy we could show a performance like we did tonight.

“We had a lot of really good performances. It was is one of those nights where we could enjoy the game.”

West Ham boss David Moyes believes he is battling raised expectations following last season’s Europa Conference League win even after a sequence of seven wins and just one defeat before their Anfield humbling.

“We’ve had an unbelievable run,” said Moyes, whose side managed only a Jarrod Bowen consolation. “What would West Ham’s expectations be?

“Would you expect us to win a European trophy? Would you expect us to be challenging for the Champions League? Not many nodding their head in here so that’s the facts.

“We’re doing well for what we’re doing. We’ll keep trying to win as many games as we can, we’ll keep trying to challenge top teams and challenge in cup competitions when we get the opportunity to do so.

“The facts are we’ve been doing pretty well. We had to beat Arsenal at home to get to this game – maybe you expected us to beat Arsenal.

“Tonight was a really tough tie for anyone coming to Anfield.”

Curtis Jones’ double and strikes from Dominik Szoboszlai, Cody Gakpo and Mohamed Salah eased Liverpool into a record 19th League Cup semi-final with a 5-1 win over West Ham.

After Sunday’s disappointing goalless draw against Manchester United, the first time Jurgen Klopp’s side had failed to win at home this season, ended a run of 34 successive matches with a goal the Hammers provided less stubborn resistance.

West Ham manager David Moyes departed after a 21st unsuccessful attempt to win at Anfield as his club’s woeful record at the ground extended to one win in the last 56.

West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen is relishing their hectic schedule and urged his team-mates to make the most of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at Liverpool.

The Hammers’ made it seven wins in nine matches with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Wolves on Sunday after Bowen struck late on following a first-half brace by Mohammed Kudus.

David Moyes’ side are in the middle of a three-week period where they play seven times and next up is a midweek trip to Anfield with a semi-final berth on the line.


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“It’s an exciting time. As a player, you want to be in as many competitions as possible,” top-goalscorer Bowen said.

“We’ve got a chance now on Wednesday night to get a place in the Carabao Cup semi-final and then we play Manchester United on Saturday too.

“That will be another tasty game and there’s a lot to look forward to. We’re glad we got the win. It moves us up the table and it makes things interesting over the Christmas period.”

West Ham moved up to eighth after Sunday’s result, which was inspired by their versatile attacking trio.

Lucas Paqueta created each goal against Wolves, finding Kudus for his 25-yard opener midway through the first half before he played in the summer recruit for his second in the 32nd minute.

Bowen rounded off the scoring after he collected Paqueta’s pass and it left boss David Moyes’ purring about his Brazilian playmaker.

Moyes added: “That is what Lucas Paqueta can do for us. I’m pulling my hair out half the time and the other part of it I’m celebrating because he can make passes that other people can’t see and don’t make.

“He’s a special player. I’ve not had huge amounts of special players with that individual talent. So, there’s a little bit of leeway we have to give him.

“I’m not someone who likes giving too much leeway to any of my players. I like to treat them all fairly but as I’ve got a bit older, I’ve realised that when you have that talent, you have to let them flourish.

“But I have to say as well, his work-rate for the team over recent months has been excellent.”

Bowen concluded: “We’re just playing with freedom and we have a real understanding me, Mo (Kudus) and Lucas.

“There were times when Mo was up front and I was out on the wing. Then times I was up front and Mo on the wing.

“That is the quality the three of us have, we can play with flexibility and on the training pitch it is the same. We all love playing together.”

Wolves head coach Gary O’Neil provided a positive injury update ahead of their Christmas Eve clash with Chelsea.

He said: “The good news is Rayan (Ait-Nouri) got through 25 minutes, Pedro (Neto) is nearly back and hopefully Jose Sa’s shoulder is not too serious.

“Disappointed (with the result) but still really positive around where we can get to and hopefully the turnaround we’ll see soon with some players back.”

David Moyes paid tribute to West Ham’s two-goal hero Mohammed Kudus after their 3-0 win over Wolves and admitted his upcoming absence will be “a huge blow”.

Kudus will link up with Ghana for the Africa Cup of Nations next month and could miss up to nine matches if the Hammers continue to progress in both domestic cup competitions.

The £38million summer recruit took his goal tally for West Ham to nine with a classy first-half brace that set the hosts on their way to a comprehensive seventh victory from their last nine games.

“One of the radio (journalists) said, ‘How hard is Kudus working, how hard defensively is he doing the work,’ and I have to say Kudus is doing all the work for us as well,” Moyes said.

“A really good boy to work with and obviously his goals and assists are really the things that are standing out.

“It is a huge blow (to lose him) because he scores goals and makes goals. We’re going to have to find other ways.

“I have to say, we will hugely miss him.”

Kudus rifled home from 25 yards with his left foot in the 22nd minute after collecting Lucas Paqueta’s pass following a Wolves corner before he doubled his tally 10 minutes later.

Another counter-attack saw Paqueta’s through-ball left by Jarrod Bowen and Kudus collected the pass before he raced into the area and side-footed into the corner.

Bowen wrapped up the result with a smart low finish in the 74th minute to move into double figures for the season, but Wolves were left to rue Pablo Sarabia’s 58th-minute effort being ruled out.

A slick team move ended with Nelson Semedo finding Sarabia for a simple tap-in. However, VAR Jarred Gillett eventually decided the visiting attacker had been marginally offside following a three-minute check.

Moyes said: “A marginal VAR decision went in our favour and this is what happens in the Premier League. It could have turned in Wolves favour.

“They had started the second half much better and we didn’t, but that decision went for us and from that we got another counter-attack moment and were able to punish them.”

Wolves boss Gary O’Neil cut a frustrated figure throughout the 3-0 loss and, while he had little complaint over the decision to rule out Sarabia’s effort, he did express his bemusement at some of Vladimir Coufal’s challenges.

Coufal caught Jean-Ricner Bellegarde with a blow to the face at the end of the first half but avoided a yellow card before he did eventually get cautioned late on for a poor tackle on the same player.

O’Neil said: “Over the course of the game, I think his (Coufal) challenges warrant two yellows at least.

“I think the fact he wasn’t even booked for the one in the first half was strange.

“I don’t want to complain about the officials or VAR because it seemed all fine and it’s not what I’m here to do.

“Just disappointed the goal is deemed fractionally offside. Hard to tell and obviously we have to trust the fact the lines are correct, even though I will be pleased when they bring in the (semi) automated ones.

“Live it looked maybe just about offside, but disappointing because it was a big moment and a fantastic move.”

A first-half brace from Mohammed Kudus helped West Ham make it seven wins from nine matches with a 3-0 victory over Wolves.

Summer recruit Kudus scored against Freiburg on Thursday to help David Moyes’ team top their Europa League group and this latest result was further evidence the recent thrashing at Fulham was an anomaly.

Kudus’ third and fourth goals in his last five matches set West Ham on their way and, while Wolves attacker Pablo Sarabia had a 58th-minute effort ruled out for a marginal offside by VAR Jarred Gillett, the hosts deserved their victory, with Jarrod Bowen rounding off the scoring 16 minutes from time.

Moyes again made minimal changes from their midweek win, but the visitors were without number one Jose Sa due to a shoulder injury.

Back-up goalkeeper Dan Bentley was thrust into action and tipped over a Bowen delivery from one of the three corners won by the home side early on.

Matheus Cunha tested Hammers keeper Lukas Fabianski with a snapshot in the 12th minute, but it was West Ham doing most of the pressing.

Lucas Paqueta arrowed an effort wide before a 30-yard free kick by James Ward-Prowse was comfortable for Bentley.

Wolves ventured forward to force their first corner after 22 minutes, but, in an unfortunate twist of fate, it contributed towards West Ham’s opener.

After Craig Dawson’s flick-on was cleared by Emerson, Moyes’ side broke at pace and Paqueta found Kudus, who carried the ball before he cut inside and rifled home with his left foot from 25 yards.

It was a deserved breakthrough and, while Gary O’Neil’s team set about trying to restore parity, with Fabianski tipping wide Cunha’s curler before Jean-Ricner Bellegarde had a shot blocked, they were undone again in the 32nd minute.

Kurt Zouma intercepted Mario Lemina’s pass and within seconds a Paqueta through-ball which was left by Bowen allowed Kudus another sight at goal, with the former Ajax attacker able to slot home with his right foot.

Wolves had been punished for losing their shape twice before a frantic period ahead of half-time saw Bowen’s low strike hit a post and a flurry of cautions handed out.

O’Neil received a yellow card himself, not long after West Ham full-back Vladimir Coufal escaped punishment for catching Bellegarde with his arm, to compound a miserable first 45 minutes for the away side.

The visitors’ intent after the break was much improved and, after Hwang Hee-chan had a shot deflected wide, they thought they had reduced deficit in the 58th minute when Sarabia tapped home.

Yet O’Neil’s mood quickly returned to frustration when a three-minute VAR check deemed Sarabia had been marginally offside from Nelson Semedo’s cross.

It denied Wolves’ a superb team goal and, while they regrouped admirably as Cunha and Lemina fired off target soon after, West Ham hit them with a sucker-punch in the 74th minute.

Bowen exchanged passes with Paqueta and put on the afterburners to speed past Dawson before he tucked his finish into the corner for his 10th goal of the season.

David Moyes hailed Edson Alvarez’s performance after the Mexican starred in West Ham’s 2-0 victory over Freiburg to book their place in the last-16 of the Europa League.

Alvarez produced a wonderful assist for Mohammed Kudus in the 14th minute before the midfielder turned scorer later on.

And Moyes lauded both Alvarez and Kudus who were signed from Ajax in the summer.

“He did great (Alvarez),” Moyes said.

“The assist for the first one was a great pass then he did a great bit of link up with Jarrod (Bowen) and scores a big goal so I’m really pleased for him tonight.

“He’s still recovering a bit with illness but I’m really pleased with the things he’s done.

“The two of them (Kudus and Alvarez) have made great contributions already.

“Mainly Mohammed with goals and Edson with other elements and the two will get better.

“The hardest bit to find is the consistency with the intensity of the games.

“They’ve both settled in really well and they’ve done a good job.”

West Ham will avoid playing in the last-32 after tonight’s victory.

Moyes admitted the victory which sealed West Ham’s place at the top of Group A will give his side respite in February.

The Scot also highlighted the Hammers’ emergence in Europe in the last three years.

He added: “It is hugely important for us to get a bit of breathing space in February which we wouldn’t of had if we finished second.

“Qualifying for Europe and winning the group three years in a row now is really good for a side who has not been regular attendees.

“I think that’s 10 wins in Europe in a row now and that’s good for any team. Our control was pretty good and we’ve learnt from the games.

“Tonight we deserved our victory and deserved to top the toughest group out of the three previous years.”

Freiburg manager Christian Streich highlighted West Ham’s quality on the night.

He said: “It’s difficult to shut the gaps down. Jordy Makengo was playing against a top player like Kudus.

“Lucas Paqueta has got fantastic quality and I could really mention the whole team.

“If you don’t play at the highest level it is hard to play against the team at the level of West Ham.”

West Ham qualified directly for the last 16 of the Europe League after a convincing 2-0 win over Freiburg at London Stadium saw them finish top of Group A.

Mohammed Kudus opened the scoring in 14th minute before Edson Alvarez’s strike just before half-time confirmed victory for the Hammers, who had started the match level on 12 points with their German opponents in the race for top spot.

David Moyes’ men bounced back after last weekend’s 5-0 Premier League mauling at Fulham to earn a seeded position in the knockout stages and avoid a play-off.

The hosts, chasing a 10th successive home win in Europe, came close to taking an early lead when Lucas Paqueta struck the Freiburg crossbar in the fifth minute.

A drop of the shoulder by Kudus saw the tricky attacker beat his man before delivering a cross to Paqueta who thundered his effort onto the bar.

However, West Ham’s persistence paid off barely 10 minutes later as they went ahead through Kudus.

Alvarez found the ball in midfield, picked his head up and delivered a lofted pass in behind the Freiburg defence for the Ghana international, who finished expertly past goalkeeper Noah Atubolu.

The goal was credit to the hosts’ early pressure and Kudus’ well-timed run and touch tested the VAR, who allowed the effort to stand despite calls for offside and handball.

Last season’s Europa Conference League champions looked eager to finish their opponents off quickly but Jarrod Bowen’s goal was ruled out for offside by referee Joao Pinheiro.

The England winger had got on the end of a similar ball to the one which had previously caught out the Freiburg defence, however he had failed to hold his line and the score remained 1-0.

At the other end, Freiburg, having already qualified from Group A alongside West Ham, rarely ventured as far as West Ham’s box until Ritsu Doan tested Lukasz Fabianski after 40 minutes.

But creator Alvarez turned scorer moments later to seal the tie.

The Mexican marauded forward with the ball and played a neat one-two with Bowen before finishing his work with a poacher’s finish into the bottom corner.

Freiburg showed a bit more fight in the second half through Doan, who rifled an effort at Fabianski, but it was West Ham who were in the ascendancy and looked more likely to strike the next blow.

Czech full-back Vladimir Coufal overlapped on the right flank and delivered a cut-back cross to Bowen who scuffed his effort over the bar instead of finding the empty net.

The dangerous Doan continued to be the only threat for Freiburg when he forced the save from Fabianski before substitute Noah Weishaupt’s rebounded effort was sliced over the bar.

West Ham are still being affected by the sickness bug that contributed to their 5-0 rout by Fulham on Sunday.

David Moyes has revealed that some players are struggling with illness as the Hammers look to finish top of Group A of the Europa League by securing at least a draw against SC Freiburg on Thursday night.

The London Stadium clash is the first of four matches in three competitions over 10 days for West Ham, who have already qualified for the knockout phase but are hoping to progress as top seeds and thereby avoid the burden of a play-off over two legs.

“We’ve had a few people with a bit of illness. We’ve still got a few lingering with it in the last day or two, but we think we’re OK,” Moyes said.

“I don’t think it’s anything that will keep people out for weeks or anything like that, there has just been a bit of sickness and all sorts going on. It’s just been keeping us under the weather a little bit.”

West Ham leaked five goals at Craven Cottage, ending a six-match unbeaten run which had lifted them to ninth in the Premier League as well as offering sight of direct entry into the Europa League’s round of 16.

“I obviously didn’t enjoy the weekend’s game. Whatever happened before that doesn’t make it any easier,” said Moyes, who gave his players two days off at the start of the week in anticipation of the hectic period coming up.

“We’ve had a really gruelling schedule and the trips we’ve had caught up with us a little bit.

“Hopefully we can correct that and get back to our normal way which is winning and playing better than we did do.

“We had a little bit of illness that didn’t help with the chopping and changing. Hopefully we can get back to normality.”

West Ham are the current Europa Conference League champions after toppling Fiorentina 2-1 in the final in June and Moyes sees the competition as an important stage for his team.

“The last few years we’ve had some really good nights at London Stadium. I think back to Seville and Alkmaar,” he said.

“Some of the games have been special, special nights for us. But we’re not quite at that stage yet, it’s still the group.

“We’ve won the group for the last two years and winning it three years in a row would be really tough because Freiburg are a good team.

“We’re in Europe after Christmas and that’s the most important thing, whether we’re first or second. We’ll try to be first, but that’s the big thing for us.

“The Premier League will always be first and foremost for me, but the cup competitions are something that we take as seriously as we can.”

What the papers say

Conor Gallagher, 23, could be used to raise funds for new arrivals at Chelsea in January. The Daily Mail reports the club are willing to consider offers for the England midfielder with Brentford striker Ivan Toney, 27, and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen, 24, among the potential targets.

Brentford are looking for a new striker, regardless of whether Toney stays, according to The Daily Telegraph. USA international Brandon Vazquez, 25, who is at FC Cincinnati, is among the players in their sights.

Manchester United are open to offers on a string of internationals, according to The Guardian. England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, France striker Anthony Martial, 28, and defender Raphael Varane, 30, Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 31, and Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, 26, could all be allowed to leave Old Trafford in January.

David Moyes retains the confidence of West Ham says The Daily Telegraph. The 60-year-old manager saw his side lose 5-0 at Fulham on Monday.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Mason Holgate: Everton want to recall the defender, 27, from his loan spell at Southampton due a shortage of playing time, reports The Sun.

Reuell Walters: Clubs in the Premier League and Europe are watching the English defender, 18, but Arsenal have held talks to keep him according to the Evening Standard.

West Ham sacked manager Alan Pardew on this day in 2006.

Pardew had joined the Hammers in September 2003, having resigned as Reading boss after the Royals rebuffed West Ham’s initial request to speak to him about their vacant position.

In his first season, Pardew guided West Ham to the Championship play-off final but fell at the final hurdle against his former club Crystal Palace.

They were back in the play-off final the following summer after a season in which they failed to sustain a strong push for automatic promotion, albeit going up anyway after beating Preston 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The Hammers made an encouraging start to life in the top flight as Pardew guided them to ninth place and the FA Cup final, where they were beaten on penalties by Liverpool at the end of a match which finished 3-3 following extra-time.

Optimism was high at the start of the following season as Argentinian pair Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived at the club, but with European football added to their commitments, West Ham took a backward step.

An eight-game losing streak matched a 74-year-old club record and included an exit from the UEFA Cup at the hands of Palermo and a humiliating League Cup defeat to League One Chesterfield.

When Eggert Magnusson’s consortium arrived as new owners in early November they initially backed Pardew, but patience ran out with a 4-0 defeat to Bolton and Pardew was shown the door two weeks before Christmas.

Former West Ham player Alan Curbishley was named as his replacement two days later, having recently ended a 15-year spell in charge of Charlton, and he steered them to safety.

Fulham boss Marco Silva hailed his side’s 5-0 thrashing of West Ham as even better than the display that had seen them beat Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline four days earlier.

The floodgates have certainly opened for the Whites in recent weeks, with David Moyes’ men the latest side to be put to the sword as five different scorers struck in a fine home win.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring to take his personal tally to four in five games having previously not scored a Premier League goal since March 2022, when he was a Wolves player.

Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo goals then had the hosts coasting at the break before a fine effort from substitute Harry Wilson and late effort from Carlos Vinicius added the gloss.

Jimenez’s upturn in form has dovetailed nicely with Fulham’s as a whole – in their previous three outings heading into this London derby they had scored three to beat Wolves, three in a losing effort at Liverpool and five to down Forest in midweek.

Silva said he had “no doubts” that the overall performance of his side eclipsed Wednesday’s win, adding: “It was a brilliant performance from us. A great one at a very, very good level.

“We were the best team on the pitch, not just because we won 5-0 but also the way we performed from the first minute and the players understood the plan and executed it so well. The way we did it was almost a perfect afternoon for us.

“First of all of course, confidence builds confidence and the best example of this is Raul – since he scored the first goal against Villa.

“We are not really different now, we changed and adjusted some things but the faith in our players was always there.”

While he was able to celebrate 10 goals across the last two games, Silva was also delighted his side kept two clean sheets as Fulham moved into the top half of the table.

“I think it is crucial,” he added.

“Apart from the goals it has been the best feeling, it was crucial this afternoon and I told them at half-time when we were winning 3-0 that the main goal was to keep playing in our way, score the fourth if you can but the clean sheet has to be the challenge for the second half.

“It is really important to create this mentality, try to win games but also try to be as solid as you can…I’m really pleased for it and it was one of the best feelings we got.”

West Ham boss David Moyes bemoaned the short turnaround between Thursday night’s comeback win at Tottenham and their trip to Craven Cottage.

“I think just the carry over from the game,” he said when asked why he felt his side had fallen to a heavy loss.

“We used up too much energy in midweek and we weren’t able to get ourselves back, another Thursday fixture. No excuse for the result.

“(It is) disappointing but we have had two difficult away games this week, three points from those two games is not a bad return.”

The Hammers have had to get used to Thursday Europa League games followed by Sunday Premier League kick-offs this season but Moyes believes having a squad carrying a few injuries has not helped.

“We haven’t normally had to try and play all the same players, we could have easily had a game on Wednesday but we didn’t – it was Thursday.

“(Lucas) Paqueta has been carrying an injury, there is an illness in the camp so we have had to deal with that as well.”

Fulham hit five goals for the second time in a week as they thrashed West Ham at Craven Cottage to move into the top half of the Premier League.

The floodgates have certainly opened for the Whites in recent weeks, with David Moyes’ men the latest side to be put to the sword as five different scorers struck in a fine 5-0 home win – just four days after Fulham beat Nottingham Forest by the same scoreline.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring to take his personal tally to four in five games having previously not scored a Premier League goal since March 2022, when he was a Wolves player.

Willian and Tosin Adarabioyo goals then had the hosts coasting at the break before a fine effort from substitute Harry Wilson and late effort from Carlos Vinicius added the gloss.

Jimenez’s upturn in form has dovetailed nicely with Fulham’s as a whole – in their previous three outings heading into this London derby they had scored three to beat Wolves, three in a losing effort at Liverpool and five to down Forest in midweek.

A rasping free-kick from James Ward-Prowse had Bernd Leno diving across his goal to make an early save, but that would be as good as it got for West Ham.

It was Fulham who missed the first gilt-edged chance of the afternoon, Jimenez picking out Willian with a perfectly-weighted ball over the top of the West Ham defence only for the forward to shoot tamely at Lukasz Fabianski.

With the hosts enjoying more of the ball, they took the lead as Jimenez’s fine run of form in front of goal continued as he crashed home a header from Joao Palhinha’s cross to the back post.

The lead was doubled just after the half-hour as Willian curled home into the far corner after possession had been recycled following Fabianski’s save from an Alex Iwobi strike.

Bowen passed up a decent opportunity to get West Ham on the board as he shot straight at Leno when picked out in space in front of goal.

The visitors were struggling at both ends as an Iwobi half-volley deflected off Aaron Cresswell to flash wide of the post only for Adarabioyo to rise high and steer the resulting corner past Fabianski to extend Fulham’s advantage.

There could have been another before the interval but Fabianksi’s outstretched leg prevented Iwobi’s cross from reaching its target.

While Willian was forced off injured at half-time, replaced by Wilson, Moyes made two alterations to his West Ham side as he introduced Emerson and Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Wilson should have scored 10 minutes after the restart as a slick move ended with the midfielder inside the box but unable to guide his effort beyond Fabianski.

He more than made amends as he hit the fourth goal on the hour, curling a superb 20-yard strike beyond the reach of Fabianski to send Craven Cottage into raptures.

Moyes made further changes, more likely to rest the weary legs of the likes of Mohammed Kudus and Kurt Zouma, and they did dominate possession in the latter part of the game but still managed to ship another late goal.

Harrison Reed, whose own goal settled the corresponding fixture in favour of the visitors last season, picked out Wilson with a raking pass forward and the Wales international showed an unselfish touch to square for Vinicius to complete the rout with a tap-in.

Son Heung-min has brandished Tottenham’s five-match winless run as “unacceptable” but eased fears over his own fitness.

Spurs suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to West Ham on Thursday night despite taking the lead through Cristian Romero’s 11th-minute header in the London derby.

It was the fifth match in a row Ange Postecoglou’s team had taken the lead, but failed to hold on for victory, which has set an unwanted Premier League record.

“You are winning five times in a row and then you lose that game like that, it is just unacceptable,” captain Son told SpursPlay.

“I am angry because it shouldn’t be happening. Five times in a row is just unacceptable and I think we are soft.

“This shouldn’t be happening and I love them as boys, I love working with the guys, but it shouldn’t be happening.

“In the Premier League 1-0 is never enough, 1-0 is never enough. The players should know and I should know as well.

“We had the chance to kill the game and we were just soft when we play the final third passes or even someone makes good runs and we don’t find it.

“We have to be ruthless and I also feel the responsibility. It was very sad that the fans were turning around and going home. They didn’t look very happy so a big, big sorry and yeah I take responsibility.

“Every single player; young player, experienced player, good player, superstar, you have to take responsibility and move on stronger.”

Son failed to finish the match with West Ham after he was substituted in the 88th minute.

Tottenham’s top goalscorer limped off after a blow to the back, but was hopeful of being fit for Sunday’s visit of top-four rivals Newcastle.

He added: “Yeah I hope so. I had a big kick on my back, in the bone so we’ll see. I didn’t have time to assess so we’ll see what happens.


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“Look, we have to bounce back as strong as ever and it is another home game.

“I know it sounds crazy five games in a row. I hope it was a good lesson and look we have to take the loss and there is no time to regret what we done.

“There is no time to regret so we have to move on, put the chest out, take the responsibility and Sunday we have to make a big step forward.”

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