We’re delighted to welcome Michelle Irons as our exclusive West Ham Women’s expert. Each week she’ll be giving her views on the biggest talking points at Victoria Road…
West Ham shot up the WSL standings to move themselves out of the relegation zone on Saturday with a massive 5-0 win away against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
The Hammers won for the first time in the league under Olli Harder with Martha Thomas grabbing herself a hat-trick and the other goals coming from Kenza Dali and Katerina Svitkova.
All five goals were scored in the first half but West Ham Zone’s Women expert Michelle Irons was blown away by how the Hammers played throughout the 90 minutes.
She was especially impressed by Hawa Cissoko, who replaced the suspended Laura Vetterlein in defence, and hat-trick hero Thomas.
“What a fantastic win for the team – this was a flawless performance from start to finish,” Michelle Irons told West Ham Zone.
“Hawa Cissoko coming in for Laura Vetterlein was an expected change and I thought Cissoko had an exceptional game. She is a top defender, strong and confident and I was really pleased with how she slotted into that starting 11 so easily.
“I was also delighted for Martha Thomas. Her third goal to complete her hat-trick was a lovely bit of technique looping it over the keeper like that.
“I’m so happy for those precious three points and finally off the bottom. I can see us really kicking on now.
“We’ve worked so hard on our performances and not got the result and now everything is falling into place. I’m so pleased for the team, I hope it continues.”
With Aston Villa losing to Everton and Bristol City losing to Arsenal on Sunday, West Ham’s spot outside of the relegation zone is secured until at least later this month.
Aston Villa have now lost five WSL matches on the bounce and they’re who West Ham face next in the league when they the Midlands club to Victoria Road on April 24.
Villa are bottom of the table and two points behind the Hammers, who are in 10th so there’s a lot to be played for the next time the London club plays in the WSL.
As for Saturday though, Harder’s players were exceptional.
According to stats by FBRef, West Ham had nine shots during the clash at the Madejski while Reading managed 12.
The Hammers were far more clinical and only generated an xG of 2.6 despite hitting the back of the net five times.
If West Ham play the same later this month against Aston Villa, they will take a major stride towards safety.
In other West Ham Women news, here’s how our expert thinks Dagny has settled into life in East London.