Wolverhampton Wanderers 0 West Ham 2

westham.jpgWest Ham made a perfect start to their Premier League campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win over Wolves at Molineux.

Goals from Mark Noble and new skipper Matthew Upson eased the Hammers home in what could have been a tricky game against newly promoted Wolves.

But the Irons were by far the better team and created more than enough chances to have won by a bigger margin, but were thwarted by good goalkeeping and some profligate finishing.

As it was Noble opened the scoring with a superb strike from 20 yards that rocketed past Wayne Hennessey into the top corner of the net.

Carlton Cole should have extended the Irons lead when he latched onto a through ball to find himself in a one-on-one with Hennessey, but the big striker stumbled after controlling the ball and the extra second gave the Wolves keeper the chance to block his shot.

Jack Collison had a gilt-edged chance to open his account for the season after rounding Hennessey, only to see his shot blocked on the line when it looked easier to score.

Wolves were restricted to a couple of long range efforts from new signing Nenad Milijas until the Serbian playmaker slipped a sublime pass to Sylvan Ebanks-Blake in the 61st minute that put the striker clear on goal.

But the man who hit 25 goals for Wolves last season found England keeper Rob Green a different propostion and the West Ham goalie saved well with his legs.

Eight minutes later Upson sealed the points for the visitors with a towering header from a Noble corner.

One concern for the Irons was a knock received by Herita Ilunga but they were able to hand a debut to Frank Nouble, who joined from Chelsea in the summer, as a 90th minute replacement for Cole.

With no midweek game West Ham can look forward to Sunday's visit of Tottenham Hotspur with renewed confidence, although they can expect a sterner challenge than that posed by Wolves.

zola.jpgManager Gianfranco Zola was pleased to have come away with all three points.

He said: "It was a very professional win. It was a good game for us. We conceded some chances to them but, on the other hand, we created so many opportunities to score.

"I'm pleased, it's been a good performance. It was the perfect way to start the season.

"The team looked in control of the game but when you're winning 1-0, you fear that something could happen but, fortunately, the team was focused and we kept our composure, when they were coming at us."

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Hennessy, Foley (Vokes, 75), Craddock, Mancienne (Stearman, 65), Ward, Henry, Halford, Milijas (Edwards, 80), Jarvis, Keogh, Blake. Unused subs: Hahnemann, Elokobi, Surman, Jones.

West Ham: Green, Faubert, Ilunga (Spector, 74), Collins, Upson, Parker, Noble, Jiminez, Dyer (Stanislas, 72), Collison, Cole (Nouble, 90). Unused subs: Kurucz, Gabbidon, Payne, Hines.

Goals: Noble 22, Upson 69

Attendance: 28,674

Referee: Chris Foy

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