Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek’s first-half goals secured a comfortable 2-0 home Premier League victory for West Ham United over Sheffield United on Saturday.
The hosts had little trouble keeping United at bay, with the visitors still looking shell-shocked from their humbling 8-0 loss to Newcastle United last weekend.
After seven matches, David Moyes’s side are seventh in the league with 13 points. United sit bottom with one point, increasing the pressure on manager Paul Heckingbottom.
The victory, in Moyes’s 900th league game as a manager, got the Hammers back on track following back-to-back league defeats against Manchester City and Liverpool.
“It was a day when some people were expecting an easy game, but as a manager I’ve never found an easy game, that’s for sure,” Moyes said.
“I think if anybody looks at the result they’ll say it was a great result for West Ham, whether it was 2-0 or more.”
It took 24 minutes before Bowen broke the deadlock with a composed one-touch finish from 12 yards into the bottom corner.
Thirteen minutes later, Michail Antonio set up Soucek inside the box, and the Czech midfielder scored with his left foot just before falling over.
West Ham displayed an aggressive approach at the outset and Soucek had an early chance that he side-footed over the bar.
Blades’ keeper Wes Foderingham made a crucial reaction save to keep out Bowen’s header minutes later, with the following rebound cleared off the line.
Shortly before the hour mark, West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola pulled off an impressive save to thwart Anel Ahmedhodzic’s header.
Sheffield United continued to struggle to create chances against a tactically sound West Ham, and apart from Anis Ben Slimane’s volley in the dying minutes, the Blades never came close to scoring.
“I was pleased with the way we started the game and we could have been four or five up at halftime,” Moyes said.
It was West Ham’s first clean sheet of the league season.
“I get told by the press that we haven’t had a clean sheet yet, so it was positive that we got one today and got the three points,” he added.
“If we’d won 1-0 I’d have been thrilled, so let’s not get carried away like everyone else is trying to do and saying we should be winning these games a lot more easily.”
West Ham head to SC Freiburg for a Europa League group-stage match on Thursday, before hosting Newcastle in the Premier League on Oct. 8. Sheffield United travel to Fulham on Oct. 7.