West Brom 1 West Ham 3: Ogbonna and Antonio strike late as Hammers' comeback win puts them on brink of Europa League

WEST HAM summoned up the spirit of the boys of 1965 – 56 years to the day after their European Cup Winners Cup victory over 1860 Munich.

How fitting this anniversary win looks certain to have sealed the Hammers return to Europe, where the Europa League now awaits them.

Two goals in a dramatic final 10 minutes from Angelo Ognonna and Michail Antonio saw off a brave Baggies side, who now know Sam Allardyce won't be staying beyond Sunday's final game at Leeds. 

West Ham battled back from the earliest penalty miss in Premier League history when Declan Rice struck the post from the spot in the first minute, then survived the loss of Matheus Pereira's opener to dig deep.

But they equalised through Tomas Soucek on the stroke of half time and Ogbonna's late header set up a late surge as Antonio broke away to score a third as Baggies left gaps at the back.

The Hammers now need one point at Southampton to book their place in the Europa League. 

David Moyes suffered an unexpected setback before a ball had been kicked in when he found himself without his No.1 goalkeeper.

Lukasz Fabianski damaged his knee during his extensive pre-match warm-up and, after a longcheck by medical staff, the Polish goalie ruefully shook his head and admitted defeat.

Darren Randolph was hastily put through his paces and handed the gloves for his third start of the season.

But if West Ham were rattled by the loss of their keeper they mader a good job of disguising it as they swiftly cashed in on a Semi Ajayi blunder to earn a penalty inside the opening minute.

The experienced Nigeria international was caught on the hop when a ball he intended to let run out for a throw-in stubbornly refused to roll out!

Faced with an unexpected problem Ajayi tried to sweep the ball back to Sam Johnstone but came up woefully short.

Antonio was on it in a flash and as he attempted to round Johnstone the keeper blocked his progress and down he went.

Referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and booked Johnstone who was pleading his innocence.

VAR agreed with Oliver's assessment and Rice stepped up to take the crucial kick.

However, his fiercely struck effort bounced off the base of Johnstone's right post and was cleared to the delight of 5,371 ecstatic Baggies' fans.

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That let off appeared to galvanise the home side who surged forward, roared on by fans who have waited all season to see them in Premier League action.

One man who stood out a mile was Matheus Pereira who underlined why he will probably remain in the Premier League while his Albion mates return to the Championship but the Brazilian is destined to remain in the top flight.

He threatened to demolish West Ham's Euro hopes virtually single-handedly in a virtuoso display.

He tested Randolph with an early header which the stand-in stopper expertly held as it headed for the far corner.

But the Hammers hit back with a vicious swerving effort from Said Benrahma which Johnstone acrobatically tipped over.

Craig Dawson gave Albion eight years of fantastic service but football fans, being football fans, gave him a hard time during the warm-up as they labelled him "one greedy B"' for leaving them for Watford.

So when the Hammers defender fluffed an attempted overhead kick they weren't slow to celebrate.

But they had a lot more to cheer about just before the half hour when the Baggies took the lead from a corner.

Pereira, using all his Brazilian dead ball skills, whipped in a wicked cross to the front post which was heading in.

Soucek attempted to head clear but the ball flew off his head and into the roof of the net as Matt Phillips blocked Randolph from punching clear.

Pereira was credted his 11th goal of the season, which meant he had been directly involved in 17 Baggies goals this season, the most by an Albion player since Romelu Lukaku in 2012-13.

Albion were on a roll and when Conor Townsend smacked the ball into the wall twice, Pereira pounced on the second rebound and lashed in a shit which Randolph superbly touched away with an incredible reflex save.

Then Vladimir Coufal saved the Hammers with a brilliant headed clearaance from another netbound Pereira effort before Dawson blocked Robson-Kanu.

The Hammers hit back and Soucek whistled a drive inches over before Pablo Fornals brought out another fingertip save from Johnstone.

West Ham's pressure paid off in first half stoppage time when they equalised moments before the break through Soucek.

The Czech international got on the end of a brilliant Said Benrahma cross to knock the ball home from one yard.

West Brom's claims for offside were dismissed by VAR Jarred Gillett who confirmed the midfielder was a fraction onside and deserved his 10th goal of the season.

This was more like an FA Cup tie as both sides went for the kill in a thrilling second half.

Randolph stretched every sinew to fist away another net-bound Pereira corner then blocked Ajayi from point blank range.

At the other end Soucek's header from a corner evaded Antonio by a fraction as it sped inches by the far post.


Then Aaron Cresswell rattled the outside of the post with a quick free kick which almost caught Johnstone napping.  

When Forals then had a low shot blocked by Johnstone's outstretched foot, Albion looked set for a point.

But from the corner Cresswell delivered a deep cross and Ogbonna steamed in to power his header home to the delight of Moyes.

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