It has been twenty years since the Premier League’s inception and there have been a total of nineteen Premier League campaigns since then. West Ham United have been involved in total of fifteen seasons in the League which is regarded as the ‘greatest football league’ in the world.
During these fifteen years West Ham have enjoyed some great victories over rival clubs. This article will have a look at five of the greatest victories West Ham have achieved in the Premier League.
West Ham 5-4 Bradford
12th February 2000
This Premier League game at Upton Park had the lot. The game did not start well for West Ham as their first choice keeper; Shaka Hislop was forced to come off after he suffered a suspected broken leg. His understudy Craig Forrest was on international duty so Harry Rednapp had to bring on teenager Stephen Bywater. Dean Windass gave the visitors the lead after 30 minutes before Trevor Sinclair scored the equaliser
from 10 yards out. John Moncur gave the Hammers the lead with a long-range strike and he then gave away a penalty which Bradford converted to level the game at half-time.
Bradford started the second half with all guns blazing as they scored two quick goals to stun the Upton Park crowd. The young keeper Bywater was having a difficult time in his first senior appearance for the club. West Ham fought on and managed to win a penalty when substitute Paul Kitson was brought down in the area. Paolo Di Canio wanted to take the spot kick from the regular penalty taker Frank Lampard
because Di Canio had numerous penalty decisions turned down. After a little scuffle with Lampard, Di Canio took the penalty and converted it to make it 3-4. Joe Cole equalised for West Ham after a brilliant solo run before Lampard scored a stunning winning strike to give West Ham all three points in a goal crazy game at Upton Park.
West Ham 4-3 Tottenham Hotspur
24th February 1997
This Premier League game saw West Ham’s new signings John Hartson and Paul Kitson both score to register a great victory for West Ham over their London rivals.
Spurs took the lead at Upton Park when Teddy Sheringham scored a header past the hapless Ludek Miklosko. Julian Dicks equalised for West Ham before new signing Kitson put the Hammers ahead. Spurs hit back with Darren Anderton who levelled the game but West Ham responded straight away when Hartson’s header put the Hammers back in front. West Ham once again could not hold on to the lead as Howells equalised but he later conceded a penalty to give West Ham the opportunity to go ahead. Up stepped Dicks who thumped past the clueless Walker to give West Ham the lead once again. West Ham managed to keep hold of the lead to secure their first victory in nine games.
Arsenal 2-3 West Ham
1st February 2006
West Ham managed to record a famous victory over their London rivals when they shocked Arsenal at Highbury. Arsenal dominated the opening quarter of the game as they pinned the Hammers in their own half in their typical high-tempo style of football. However, it was West Ham that took the lead on 25 minutes when Nigel Reo-Coker capitalised from a Sol Campbell mistake to put the visitors ahead. West Ham then doubled their lead when Bobby Zamora out powered Campbell in the box and curled his left foot effect superbly past Jens Lehmann. Arsenal managed to pull one back from Thierry Henry who scored a lucky deflection of Robert Pires’ shot.
During the second half Arsenal were searching for the equalising goal but West Ham’s excellent defending kept on denying them. West Ham went further ahead when Matthew Etherington made it 1-3 to the Hammers. Pires pulled one back on 90 minutes to set up a tense finish, but the Hammers held on for a hard-fought victory.
This famous win at Highbury made West Ham the last visiting team to register a victory over Arsenal at Highbury and they later become the first team to beat Arsenal at their newly built Emirates Stadium.
Chelsea 2-3 West Ham
28th September 2002
The brilliant Di Canio inspired West Ham to a precious win over London rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. The Hammers did not start the game well when they conceded a penalty which Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink despatched without any problem.
Jermain Defoe managed to equaliser for West Ham before half-time when Chelsea failed to clear a corner. The second half was entirely an Italian affair.
West Ham started the second half well with Di Canio producing a wonderful strike to give the Hammers the lead. The Italian appeared to pose little danger as he received
the ball outside the area. He flicked the ball up with his left foot before volleying home from 30 yards with his right to give West Ham the lead. Chelsea’s very own Italian, Gianfranco Zola scored a free kick to level the game with 16 minutes remaining on the clock. However, it was West Ham’s Italian who had the last laugh when he slotted home a simple finish from inside the box to register the Hammers first win of the season.
Manchester United 0-1 West Ham
13th May 2007
West Ham needed a point against the Champions Manchester United at Old Trafford to insure their Premier League survival. However, West Ham managed to record arguably their greatest victory in their Premier League history by beating the newly crowned champions. Manchester United started the game extremely well. They were creating chance after chance and looked the more likely to make a break through.
Yossi Benayoun rescued West Ham twice in a matter of seconds when he first flicked away an effort off the line, then stood firm as Kieran Richardson let fly with the rebound. West Ham managed to ride the storm and went ahead when Carlos Tévez coolly slotted past Van der Sar. West Ham survived wave after wave of red attacks and recorded a famous win at Old Trafford on the last day of the season. The victory also ensured West Ham’s Premier League status after they managed to win seven of the last nine games.