WOLVERHAMPTON, England (Reuters) -Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez netted a fine second-half goal to secure a 1-0 home win over high-flying West Ham Unite after both sides missed chances in an entertaining Premier League clash on Saturday.
Jimenez gave visiting goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski no chance with a first-time shot from 18 metres into the bottom right corner after a pinpoint delivery from Daniel Podense in the 58th minute, capping sustained Wolves pressure after the break.
Wolves, who endured a wobbly start to the season under new manager Bruno Lage, moved up to sixth place, while West Ham stay in the top four despite seeing their four-match winning league run snapped by the home side.
Lage, who took over from Portuguese compatriot Nuno Espirito Santo during the summer break, was pleased and urged his players to keep up the good work.
“What I want now is points, points, points,” Lage told the BBC. “It was another good performance in the first half. We controlled the game since the beginning. When you play against a team like West Ham, you need to be careful.
“All the players did everything we planned so I’m very happy. I said a few minutes before the game that what I want today is very simple – give the same feeling to the fans that you give to me.”
West Ham boss David Moyes praised Wolves and criticised his team’s lack of bite.
“All-round we just didn’t play as well as we have done recently,” he said. “It felt as if it was going to need to be something special for us to score and that was the disappointing bit.
“I thought Wolves played very well, but they’ve been doing that this season. All the Premier League games are really tight. I don’t think there’s much between the teams.”
Jarrod Bowen came close to opening the scoring for West Ham when he headed inches wide in the 10th minute before Jimenez scuffed a dinked finish in the 33rd and Fabianski tipped over a Joao Moutinho piledriver a minute later.
Fabianski twice denied the lively Podense shortly after the break, clawing out his low drive from the edge of the area before keeping out a sublime effort by the forward as Wolves pegged the Hammers back with intricate passing.
Fabianski was powerless when Podense squared the ball back from the right and Jimenez unleashed a delightful shot which swerved away from the keeper to delight the home fans.
West Ham threw men forward in the closing stages but only had Bowen’s shot over the bar to show for their pressure as Wolves held firm at the back and looked dangerous on the break.
(Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Ken Ferris, Hugh Lawson and Pritha Sarkar)