Substitue Lucas Perez provided an unexpected two goal performance to lead West Ham United to a 3-1 victory over Cardiff City Tuesday at the London Stadium.
It was a win that the Hammers should have had off the back of their fine 3-0 win at Newcastle over the weekend. But it came after a first half in which they were lucky to not go into the break down 1-0. Marko Arnautovic clumsily fouled Junior Hoilett in his penalty box, and allowed Neil Warnock’s side a prime opportunity to go up. But Joe Ralls hit a miserable penalty that Lukasz Fabianski easily saved to keep the match scoreless.
Manuel Pellegrini’s side would vastly improve in the second half as Perez, who came on for Arnautovic after the Austrian limped off the field to worrying concerns, would be the difference on the night. Robert Snodgrass found the Spanish left footer in the Cardiff box for Perez to score the match’s first goal in the 49th minute.
It would be a banner night in not only West Ham colors, but in Premier League play, for the former Deportivo La Coruna star. Just give minutes later, Perez took Arthur Masuaku’s pass and slotted him between Neil Etheridge’s legs to make it a brace for him. West Ham would then secure a third goal, as Michail Antonio headed home from a corner in the 61st minute.
Cardiff did prevent a second straight 3-0 win for the Hammers, when terrible defending in the box by the home side lead to Josh Murphy scoring deep into second half stoppage time.
The Hammers will hope their winning ways continue into the weekend, when they face off against Crystal Palace on Saturday.