Gianluca Scamacca and Jarrod Bowen scored their first goals in the English Premier League on Saturday in a 2-0 win to drag West Ham out of the relegation zone at the expense of Wolverhampton.
Scamacca, Sassuolo’s summer signing for $36 million, finally opened his bill in the league with a fine, faltering attack from the edge of the area in the 29th minute.
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Bowen, who was named to England’s final Nations League roster but failed to take the field, capped off the win with a fine individual attack 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, who signed for free last month, was unable to prevent the division’s lowest scoring team from sliding to the bottom three.
With Nathan Collins suspended last month for his wild challenge against Manchester City’s Jack Grealish, Wolves captain Ruben Neves was forced to take on the unfamiliar role of central defender in his 150th appearance for the club.
The Portuguese midfielder’s task for the evening didn’t get any easier when he picked up an early booking for a body check on Bowen.
Bowen ran relentlessly to the rear of the Wolves with the kind of performance that could earn him a place in the World Cup squad after all.
The visitors actually had eight Portuguese players in their starting line-up – a record for one nationality other than England, in a league team – and another, Daniel Podence, attempted a long shot that knocked over Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham should have gone ahead when Bowen’s shot was thrown by goalkeeper Jose Sa at Scamacca’s feet, but the Italian striker shot the rebound wide.
However, Scamacca made no mistake in the 29th after his pass found Bowen on the right.
When the England winger finally ran out of space in the area, the ball broke back to Scamacca, who flipped the ball up before smacking a beautiful shot past Sa from the edge of the area.
Wolves appeared to hit back and Podence had saved another try before Adama Traore’s volley bounced wide.
West Ham doubled their lead in the 54th when Thilo Kehrer’s drive went into Bowen’s path. He still had plenty to do, but he danced around fullback Rayan Alt-Nouri before burying a low shot into Sa’s nearest post.
Costa made his entrance three minutes later for a first league game since May 2017 and a first since January.
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