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Issa Diop's defiant response in five things we loved from West Ham's win over Norwich
Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Issa Diop's defiant response in five things we loved from West Ham's win over Norwich

Issa Diop’s defiant response in five things we loved from West Ham’s win over Norwich which lifted David Moyes’s side back up to fourth.

The Hammers ran out comfortable 2-0 winners at the London Stadium in the end but their profligacy made hard work of this terrible Norwich side.

Missing Tomas Soucek through Covid and the influence of Mark Noble in the dressing room, fans were intrigued to see how West Ham’s midfield would operate.

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In truth this was no real test. Norwich were committed but are surely destined for another immediate return to the Championship.

West Ham meanwhile leapfrogged Arsenal back into the top four with 17 games to go and everything to play for.

There was plenty to like about the performance and there’s only one place to start.

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Issa Diop’s defiant response in five things we loved from West Ham’s win over Norwich

Jarrod Bowen

Wow. Bowen really is on fire and he just keeps getting better and better. West Ham are perfect for Bowen to hone his skills and Moyes the ideal manager.

The fact there is even a debate over the prospect of an England call-up is laughable. Name a better English winger or wide forward in the Premier League right now. We’ll wait.

Another two goals but really it could have been four or five for the man fast becoming West Ham’s star alongside the talismanic Declan Rice.

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Cresswell’s seamless return

Anyone watching Aaron Cresswell’s much welcome return to the West Ham team against Norwich would have forgiven the left-back for showing signs of rust.

Cresswell has missed seven Premier League matches since cracking a rib back in November.

Well it did not show. Cresswell just slotted straight back into the side as if he’d never been away.

His return gave the side a huge lift. He looked super fit and let’s hope it stays that way for the rest of the season.

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Diop’s defiant response

If opposition managers target one weakness in the West Ham team at the moment it is undoubtedly Issa Diop.

The defender can be far too lacksidascial in his defending, positioning and concentration. He has failed to convince since deputising for Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna.

And it looked like being another long night for him when Norwich kept targeting him as they made a decent start to the game.

There was a hugely encouraging defiant response from Diop in the second half, though. Diop looked focused, determined and fired up as he really stepped up his game after half-time.

And although Norwich offered little, they did have a dangerous spell where Diop’s alertness – particularly after an amazing save from Lukasz Fabianski – saved the Hammers from conceding an equaliser.

This is what we want to be seeing from the man Jose Mourinho labelled a ‘monster’.

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Declan Rice

No spiel needed here.

Quite simply world class and the standout player – along with Bowen – on the pitch. His defence splitting pass which started the move for the first goal was out of this world.

Spraying the ball about like Steven Gerrard and driving West Ham on all over the pitch.

An absolute leader.

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Lukasz Fabianski

If ever there was a game where Fabianski proved why Moyes has kept him as number one it was this.

If you look up the definition of the words steady and solid I’m pretty sure you will find the ex Poland star mentioned.

Fabianski has always done the basics unbelievably well. So much so it is often taken for granted until you watch other, lesser goalkeepers.

There have been calls for Alphonse Areola to be made West Ham’s number one. And that is a legitimate shout.

But Fabianski has yet to commit any glaring errors worthy of being dropped. Indeed quite the opposite tonight when he showed supreme concentration levels to pull off a breathtaking finger tip save to keep the score at 1-0 in the second half. Brilliant.

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