West Ham United returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion this afternoon as they dispatched their Premier League relegation rivals Nottingham Forest on a 4-0 scoreline.
It was an all-important win which not only sees the Irons crawl out of the relegation zone, but also brings them to within just two points of today’s visitors to the London Stadium.
Having endured a quiet first half, it took a 15-minute flurry in which the Hammers’ 4-3-3 system finally bore offensive fruit. From minutes 70 to 85 they blew away the Tricky Trees, scoring four goals and putting the game to bed.
Whilst there were plenty of standout players from such a remarkable result for David Moyes‘ side, Declan Rice will command particular praise for his stunning goal and well-earned 8.1 Sofascore rating, which he paired with four key passes.
However, it was the first two goals which proved the most important for West Ham, what is why the ice-cold Danny Ings must be handed much of the acclaim.
How did Danny Ings play against Nottingham Forest?
Having been doubtful to start in the build-up to the clash due to injury, the 30-year-old made his first Premier League start since his January move to east London, and did so in remarkable fashion.
His two goals completely changed the complexion of a game which was growing increasingly nervy, as the teams remained level with 20 minutes to go.
Who was your MOTM today?
Stealing in just inside the six-yard box, he expertly dug out the opener from under his feet and past Keylor Navas, before bundling in a second just three minutes later.
His goals may have underpinned the bulk of his contribution to the team, but the 32-touch marksman’s all-round role was integral to the victory. He also completed b12 passes and proved a consistent aerial threat despite his diminutive frame, winning three of his five aerial duels (via Sofascore).
It was a performance which led journalist Jonty Colman to describe it as Ings “proving his worth” after the injury-prone forward had suffered since his £15m transfer last month.
What is beyond doubt is that West Ham fans saw the brilliant best of the man once dubbed “lethal” by Chris Sutton, and Moyes will be hoping that the 30-year-old can now find some consistency as the Irons look to fire themselves away from the Premier League drop zone.
Performances like today’s will go a long way towards achieving that mission, and should Ings remain fit and firing, the threat of relegation should soon diminish.