Sheffield Utd 0-1 West Ham: Haller helps Hammers blunt Blades

Sebastien Haller’s superb strike consigned winless Sheffield United to another Premier League defeat as we moved into the top half of the table.

Chris Wilder’s side had started brightly and created several early openings but we took control as the hosts faded as an attacking force.

Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek both had opportunities to score before Haller’s powerful 20-yard drive found the top-right corner. Declan Rice then headed against the crossbar as we sought to press home our advantage.

After coming through a tricky opening spell in the game, it was pleasing to see the way our improving side grew in stature and confidence.

We have now lost just once in our past seven outings and always looked capable of scoring despite the continued absence of Michail Antonio with a hamstring injury.

Galvanised by England midfielder Rice and his Czech counterpart Soucek, we established control and looked a threat down both flanks. Both were key in snuffing out Sheffield United’s early spark and while it is not their forte, both will also think they could have capped fine performances with a goal.

While Rice was unfortunate after expertly meeting Aaron Cresswell’s cross from the left, Soucek somehow missed the target from five yards after a lovely cushioned header into his path from Haller.

Wing-back Arthur Masuaku’s driving runs were another feature of their play and his charge inside began the move that saw Coufal force a fine save from Blades goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

“We were up against a team fighting hard. Clean sheets always give you a chance of winning games. We are keeping our feet on the ground. We know we are improving and doing a lot of good things. The one thing I will say is you tend to look at the table after 10 games and we have had a good start. I’d like to think we can get better. We are working hard every day. There might be periods in the season where we have to change system again. I want us to be flexible.”

West Ham boss David Moyes, speaking to BBC Match of the Day

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