West Ham thump sorry Norwich and reignite top-six bid

Said Benrahma scores twice as Hammers bounce back from Europa League defeat

Norwich 0 West Ham 4

West Ham brushed off their European exit and reignited their bid for a top-six finish with a thumping win at Norwich.

The Hammers arrived at Carrow Road licking their wounds after their painful Europa League semi-final defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday night. But Norwich, condemned to relegation by defeat at Aston Villa last weekend, were less Frankfurt and more Frank Spencer, with the goalkeeper Tim Krul having a nightmare.

Manchester United’s 4-0 defeat at Brighton has left the door open for West Ham to snatch sixth place and qualify for the Europa League again next season. And thanks to Norwich’s generosity they are now three points behind United with a game in hand and superior goal difference.


Krul was badly at fault for goals from Saïd Benrahma and Michail Antonio to leave his side 2-0 down after half an hour. West Ham were three up by half-time thanks to Benrahma’s second, before Manuel Lanzini added a fourth from the penalty spot.

Benrahma’s first arrived in the 12th minute when he collected Jarrod Bowen’s cross on the left of the Norwich penalty area. His shot deflected off Max Aarons’s knee but Krul still should have stopped it, only for the ball to squirm out of his grasp and roll in.

The Algerian was not complaining after registering only his second goal since December to reach double figures for the season. Things got worse for Krul on the half-hour mark when Bowen slipped Antonio through on goal.

Krul came off his line and stuck out a hand to nick the ball away but succeeded only in nudging it back into the striker’s path, leaving the defender Sam Bryam on the deck and Antonio, who scored four on his last trip to Norwich two seasons ago, free to tap into an empty net.

“That’s why we’re going down” was one of the more polite chants to emanate from an increasingly frustrated home fanbase watching their side slip towards a club-record 12th home defeat in a single season. – Guardian