Mohammed Kudus and Lucas Paqueta’s blossoming bromance has West Ham sitting pretty… the pair are experts in creativity

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  • West Ham beat Wolves 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon
  • Mohammed Kudus scored twice while Lucas Paqueta notched three assists
  • CHRIS SUTTON: Erik ten Hag was WRONG to say Man United played well after their abysmal Champions League exit… is he losing credibility? It’s All Kicking Off

You score. You take a seat. You bask in your brilliance. The Mohammed Kudus celebration.

It is tricky to copy on the playground, what with the lack of advertising boards to sit on, but you can bet schoolkids in the East End of London will find a way because Kudus is quickly becoming a new favourite at West Ham, a forward full of speed and silkiness.

Twice we saw Lucas Paqueta play piercing passes in behind Wolves. Twice we saw Kudus pick up possession. Twice we saw him score before making a beeline for the away end.

As has become his trademark, Kudus celebrated by sitting in front of opposition supporters. Paqueta joined the Ghanaian on both occasions, their blossoming bromance lifting West Ham to eighth in the Premier League.

Watching Kudus, it is hard not to think that Erik ten Hag signed the wrong Ajax winger. Kudus is now on nine goals and one assist this season since joining West Ham at a cost of £38million. Manchester United’s Antony is on zero and zero for his £86m fee a year earlier.

Paqueta went on to register a third assist by setting up Jarrod Bowen to complete a commanding win. Manager David Moyes said of the Brazilian: ‘I’m not someone who likes giving too much leeway to my players, but as I’ve got older I’ve realised when you have that talent you have to let them flourish.’

On Kudus, who West Ham will lose to the Africa Cup of Nations next month, Moyes added: ‘That is a huge blow. His goals and assists are standing out, but defensively he is doing all the work for us too.’

Gary O’Neil’s Wolves struggled to break down West Ham. Although the manager was booked for complaining about the home team’s aggressive behaviour — including one nasty looking elbow from Vladimir Coufal on Jean-Ricner Bellegarde — he did not make excuses.

‘Disastrous decision-making,’ O’Neil said of the goals they conceded. ‘We gifted it to West Ham. I received the yellow. That’s two now, so I need to be on my best behaviour.’ There was one fan in the home end with a sign which read: ‘Came all the way from Hong Kong to see Jarrod Bowen.’

And that individual nearly saw their man curl a corner directly in with Wolves goalkeeper Dan Bentley, filling in for the injured Jose Sa, nudging it behind.

West Ham took the lead after 22 minutes and, much to O’Neil’s fury, it came from a Wolves corner. The ball was whipped into the box and headed by Craig Dawson, but Emerson cleared before Paqueta countered at speed. His pass into Kudus was perfect and he cut inside before drilling the ball beyond Bentley from 25 yards. There were 17.5 seconds between Wolves taking their corner and West Ham scoring.

It was deja vu in the 32nd minute. Kurt Zouma won the ball in the build-up before Paqueta played yet another pass into Kudus. He drove forward and lashed the ball beyond Bentley.

Bowen hoped for a penalty when he was sandwiched by Max Kilman and Joao Gomes, but he was soon back on his feet to send a shot crashing against the post.

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Wolves fans were frustrated on the hour mark when they thought they had made it 2-1 as Nelson Semedo’s ball into the six-yard box was buried by Pablo Sarabia. After a lengthy wait, Sarabia was deemed just offside. ‘F*** VAR,’ sang the away support, before adding: ‘Premier League, corrupt as f***.’

In the 74th minute, the fan with the sign got what they wanted as Bowen made it three. Tomas Soucek won the ball in midfield before Bowen played a one-two with Paqueta, applying the finish into the far corner. Yet again, Wolves had been done on the turnover.

In the 87th minute, Kudus and Paqueta were substituted by Moyes. It had been an afternoon in the company of two experts in creativity. How West Ham will hope they can torment Liverpool in their Carabao Cup quarter-final on Wednesday as much as they did Wolves.





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