West Ham 3-1 Luton Town: The Hatters suffer hammerblow to Premier League survival hopes as West Ham come from behind to secure win that all but relegates the visitors

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  • West Ham came from behind after Sambi Lokonga had given Luton the lead
  • James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek and George Earthy all struck for the hosts 
  • Erik ten Hag's potential replacement needs to beware 'micro-manager' Sir Jim Ratcliffe - Listen to the It's All Kicking Off! podcast 

David Moyes had said big send-offs were not his style.

When his team were booed off at half-time after going in a goal behind against Luton, it was starting to feel like that was probably just as well.

But a second half turnaround with goals from James Ward-Prowse, Tomas Soucek and youngster George Earthy, allowed Moyes to leave the London Stadium on a high and (all-but) confirmed Luton’s relegation back to the Championship.

It did not feel like an emotional goodbye for Moyes, whose departure at the end of the season was confirmed earlier this week, during the game. But when he did a lap of honour at full-time, he was given a rousing round of applause from every corner of the stadium.

There was no speech from Moyes himself. It was low key and perhaps that is how he wanted it. There is clearly respect among the West Ham fanbase for the job he has done - delivering European football for three consecutive seasons and lifting silverware last term. But it is clear the parting of ways is the right decision for both him and the club.

Luton Town took the lead through Sambi Lokonga who headed home from close range

Luton Town took the lead through Sambi Lokonga who headed home from close range

Luton Town took the lead through Sambi Lokonga who headed home from close range

James Ward-Prowse levelled the scoring in the second-half to kick-start West Ham's comeback

James Ward-Prowse levelled the scoring in the second-half to kick-start West Ham's comeback

Midfielder Tomas Soucek then put the Hammers ahead midway through the second half

Midfielder Tomas Soucek then put the Hammers ahead midway through the second half

‘I think it was a great way to finish here,’ Moyes said. ‘A Positive note, a young player scoring.

MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS 

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Areola 7, Coufal 7, Zouma 6.5, Ogbonna 6 (Casey 90+3), Emerson 6.5 (Cresswell 84), Ward-Prowse 6.5, Soucek 7, Bowen 7.5, Paqueta 6.5 (Ings 85), Kudus 8, Antonio 6.5 (Earthy 75, 7)

Subs not used: Fabianski, Johnson, Cornet, Alvarez, Mubama

Booked: Emerson

Goals: Ward-Prowse 54, Soucek 65, Earthy 76

Manager: David Moyes 7

Luton Town (3-4-2-1): Kaminski 6.5, Burke 5 (Woodrow 87), Mengi 6, Osho 5, Onyedinma 6 (Ogbene 73), Lokonga 7, Barkley 5 (Clark 39, 6), Doughty 7 (Berry 87), Morris 6, Chong 5, Adebayo 6.5

Subs not used: Krul, Ruddock, Hashioka, Townsend, Johnson

Booked: Burke, Barkley, Morris

Goals: Lokonga 6

Manager: Rob Edwards 6

Referee: Michael Oliver 7

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‘The supporters were great. I always knew I would [feel emotional], I was telling you I wouldn’t.

‘I was certainly emotional. Sometimes all you hear is negative stuff. It looked like the best part of 50,000 supporters stayed behind to show their appreciation which is good. I’m pleased about that.

‘We have given them some really big nights and there has been progress made.’

Luton’s second half collapse perhaps told the story of their season, with manager Rob Edwards visibly emotional as he and his players were applauded by their supporters.

‘We didn’t get relegated because of today, it was a culmination of the whole season,’ Edwards said.

‘I'm an emotional person and walking over to our supporters and seeing their reaction brought me to tears. The love and affection they have given us, which goes both ways and is unique in football these days. I feel devastated, I didn't want to let anyone down and I feel responsible. I thanked the players and staff, they've given me the best 18 months of my life.’

Luton had got off to the best possible start when Albert Sami Lokonga put them ahead in the sixth minute.

Alfie Doughty picked up a loose ball on the left wing and sent a cross into the box. Lokonga ghosted past a static Ward-Prowse before beating Angelo Ogbonna to head past Alphonse Areola.

When West Ham have needed a spark this season, it has been Jarrod Bowen who has provided it and his driving run early in the second half helped bring his side back into the game.

George Earthy scored for the third for the home side on his return to action following a head injury against Fulham back in April

George Earthy scored for the third for the home side on his return to action following a head injury against Fulham back in April

The forward’s shot forced Thomas Kaminski into a fine save but the ball dropped to Ward-Prowse on the edge of the box and his first-time effort flew into the bottom left corner.

The equaliser saw momentum swing to the hosts and a second goal came not long after as Luton were punished for failing to clear their lines. West Ham had forced four corners in a row and when the final one saw the ball drop to Soucek on the edge of the box, the midfielder sent a sweet left-footed volley into the bottom right corner.

But the biggest cheer of the game came when young Earthy scored with his first touch - a minute after he had come off the bench. Kudus danced past Luton’s defenders before cutting back for the forward.

There was an added significance for the 19-year-old, whose debut last month was marred by a head injury which saw him taken to hospital. The joy on his face was in stark contrast to the broken Luton players at full-time who knew their fate was sealed.

 

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