West Ham 2-0 Huddersfield Player Ratings: Perfect Pedro

Obiang celebrates fortuitous opener – mirror.co.uk

Goals from Pedro Obiang and Andre Ayew lifted West Ham and Slaven Bilic, giving them a 2-0 win over high-flying Huddersfield. Here’s five key talking points from the match.

West Ham United

Joe Hart – largely untested, but got down well to deny Billing early in the second half. 6

Jose Fonte – technically a wide centre-back but because Zabaleta pushed so far forward out of possession, he often occupied a right-back position to sweep up any loose balls down the flank. An assured display. 7
Winston Reid – the passion of the centre-back, who has been at West Ham for seven years. Won four aerial duels to stop Huddersfield from getting up the pitch. 7
James Collins – battled stoically after an early knock, provided Lossl with his only test in the first half. After the break, he dominated Mounie in the air. 8

Pablo Zabaleta – no longer has the pace to threaten too much with the ball, but he more than made up for that with what he did without it. He hassled and harried superbly, panicking Loewe to cut out any service to Van La Parra. 8
Cheikhou Kouyate – showed plenty of power but not much quality. One shot wide early in the second half from inside the box.
Pedro Obiang – his goal had an element of fortune, but his physicality was key to West Ham’s efficient pressing. Made an impressive seven tackles (WhoScored). 8
Aaron Cresswell – didn’t show much pace in possession, but made up for that with his defensive solidity, by getting high up the pitch when needed and with quality deliveries: his corner led to the second goal. 7

Michail Antonio – posed a direct threat throughout the evening. Committed defenders with his pace, winning free-kicks and corners. Crossed for Hernandez in the best chance of the first half. 9
Andy Carroll – won 13 of his 17 aerial duels and held the ball up well. Unfortunate that his teammates couldn’t always provide the necessary quality from his knock-downs. 8
Javier Hernandez – hit the bar with the one chance he was expected to score in a quiet first half. Tidy flick on to Kouyate’s chance before being taken off midway through the second half. 5

Andre Ayew (on 64) – it was a gamble to put him on for Chicharito, but it paid off for Bilic. Ayew’s influence on the game was highlighted by a lay-off for the first goal and a simple prod home for the second. 8
Diafra Sakho (on 82) – didn’t get the best reception, having tried to force a move earlier. 5

Huddersfield Town

Jonas Lossl – saved from Collins in the first half, but was suspect for both goals: wrong-footed for the first and could have been more commanding for the second. 3

Tommy Smith – didn’t provide the width we saw him do so often in the Championship, mainly because he was stood close to Jorgenson making last-ditch challenges. One on 14 minutes put off Hernandez at the crucial moment. 4
Mathias Jorgensen – enjoyed a decent first half but became a little clumsy after the break. Twisted his body for Obiang’s shot when he should have held firmer. 3
Christopher Schindler – due to physical inferiority he never tried to challenge Carroll, an approach that had its plusses and minuses. He reduced the risk of flick-ons getting played in behind him but also allowed West Ham to sustain pressure in good areas. 5
Chris Loewe – struggled to handle the aggression of Zabaleta when he had the ball and the pace of Antonio when he didn’t. Didn’t offer anything going forward and was the first player for either side to be taken off. 2

Aaron Mooy – showed flashes of the passing quality that he’s capable of but didn’t have the space to exert his usual influence. Fired over from distance on 68 minutes. 5
Phillip Billing – forced Hart into a decent save early in the second half but struggled with the physical side of the game. Huddersfield miss the more combative Jonathan Hogg next to Mooy in midfield. 4

Elias Kachunga – couldn’t get into the game, even when he swapped flanks. Rarely touched the ball and didn’t do anything remotely threatening with it when he did. 2
Tom Ince – couldn’t get involved, barring one lay-off for Mooy and hitting the bar late on. Might have been more effective cutting inside from wide areas because centrally, he became embroiled in physical battles that he wasn’t going to thrive in. 3
Rajiv Van La Parra – won a couple of free-kicks to relieve pressure but didn’t offer much in a creative sense. When he moved to the right he was unable to isolate Collins. 4

Steve Mounie – averaged only one touch per every 154 seconds. Starved of suitable service: when Huddersfield played on the floor, they couldn’t get the ball to him, when they went long, he was always beaten in the air by Collins. 2

Scott Malone (on 62) – one lung-busting run that led to Mooy’s shot and a couple of back-post interventions. Looked better than Loewe. 6
Abdelhamid Sabiri (on 74) – a composed cameo. Might have done enough to start ahead of Kachunga. 6
Laurent Depoitre (on 82) – perhaps should have been brought on earlier to give Huddersfield more of a physical threat up top to help Mounie. 5