Bowen and Zouma send West Ham top with narrow win at Luton

1 Sep 2023
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Hammers earn third straight victory with a hard-fought success at Kenilworth Road

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Goals in either half from Jarrod Bowen and Kurt Zouma returned West Ham United to the top of the Premier League table and sent Luton Town to the bottom with a hard-fought 2-1 win in the first-ever Premier League match at Kenilworth Road.

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In an even opening there was plenty of effort but neither side were able to carve out a clear attempt on target until Bowen opened the scoring on 37 minutes.

Lucas Paqueta's beautiful delivery was headed goalwards by Bowen and while Thomas Kaminski got his hands to the ball, the Luton goalkeeper could only push it into the corner of the net.

See: Luton's Kenilworth Road stadium ready for Premier League action

Bowen, who failed to score in 19 Premier League away appearances in 2022/23, has now scored in all three of West Ham's matches on the road this season, the first Hammers player ever to achieve this feat.

Indeed the last West Ham player to net in each of their first three top-flight matches in a season was the club's all-time top scorer, Vic Watson, in 1930/31.

Luton, backed by vociferous home support in their first top-flight home match since April 1992, responded well. Carlton Morris headed on to the roof of the net before Tahith Chong kneed the ball narrowly wide from close range.

West Ham's Emerson had the ball in the back of the net for a second time on 51 minutes, but a VAR review confirmed that Michail Antonio had strayed offside.

Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga was in the stands ahead of his loan to Luton and saw West Ham centre-back Zouma put the visitors 2-0 up with a towering header from James Ward-Prowse's 85th-minute corner.

Luton pulled a goal back with Mads Andersen's header in the second minute of added time - the Hatters' first effort on target - but it was the Hammers who held on for victory.

Six matches to come on Saturday

Matchweek 4 continues on Saturday, starting with the lunchtime kick-off between Sheffield United and Everton, with both teams looking to register their first point of the season.

Later in the day, Brentford and Chelsea host AFC Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest respectively, while Tottenham Hotspur visit Burnley and Fulham travel to  Manchester City.

Brighton & Hove Albion entertain Newcastle United in Saturday's final match.


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