Gianluca Scamacca and Jarrod Bowen scored their first goals in this English Premier League to drag West Ham out of the relegation zone at the expense of Wolverhampton in a 2-0 win on Saturday.
Scamacca, the summer signing from Sassuolo for $36 million, finally opened his account in the league with a fine, dipping strike from the edge of the area in the 29th minute.
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Bowen, who was picked for England’s last Nations League squad but failed to get on the field, wrapped up the win with a fine individual strike in the 54th.
Wolves manager Bruno Lage handed Diego Costa a 30-minute cameo as a substitute but the 33-year-old former Chelsea striker, signed on a free transfer last month, could not prevent the division’s lowest-scoring team from slipping into the bottom three.
With Nathan Collins suspended for his wild challenge on Manchester City’s Jack Grealish last month, Wolves captain Ruben Neves was forced to drop into the unfamiliar role of central defender on his 150th appearance for the club.
The Portugal midfielder’s task for the evening was not made any easier when he picked up an early booking for a body check on Bowen.
Bowen ran at the Wolves rearguard relentlessly with the type of performance that could yet earn him a place in the World Cup squad.
The visitors actually had eight Portuguese players in their starting lineup — a record for one nationality, other than English, in a league team — and another of them, Daniel Podence, tried a long-range shot that Lukasz Fabianski tipped over.
West Ham should have gone ahead when Bowen’s shot was spilled by goalkeeper Jose Sa to the feet of Scamacca but the Italy striker scooped the rebound wide.
However, Scamacca made no mistake in the 29th after his pass found Bowen down the right.
When the England winger eventually ran out of room in the area, the ball broke back to Scamacca, who flicked the ball up before smacking a superb shot past Sa from the edge of the area.
Wolves looked to hit back and Podence had another effort saved before Adama Traore’s volley bounced wide.
West Ham doubled their lead in the 54th when Thilo Kehrer’s drive spun into the path of Bowen. He still had plenty to do but he danced around fullback Rayan Alt-Nouri before burying a low shot inside Sa’s near post.
Costa made his entrance three minutes later for a first league appearance since May 2017, and a first anywhere since January.
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