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Danny Ings proves his value to West Ham in thrashing of Nottingham Forest

West Ham United’s Danny Ings (PA Wire)
West Ham United’s Danny Ings (PA Wire)

Danny Ings scored twice on his first start for West Ham United as they climbed out of the relegation zone with a thumping 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

The 30-year-old striker appeared to be a distinctly panicky signing for the struggling Hammers when he joined from Aston Villa for £12million last month,

But Ings found the net twice in two second-half minutes to lift both his new side out of the bottom three and the mood at the London Stadium.

Declan Rice added a fine third and substitute Michail Antonio rounded off a much-needed win for boss David Moyes.

All the goals came in the final 20 minutes after a cagey first 70 between two goal-shy sides.

West Ham’s livewire winger Jarrod Bowen saw a curling effort deflected wide and then almost scored direct from the corner, with Keylor Navas palming the ball over his crossbar.

At another corner fit-again Lucas Paqueta’s low drive was deflected onto the foot of the post by Felipe.

Ings had a decent chance from Vladimir Coufal’s cross, but Tomas Soucek’s jump put him off and he made a mess of his header in front of goal.

Forest were showing about as much ambition as they had in snatching a draw with Manchester City last weekend, although Lukasz Fabianski did have to tip Felipe’s header over and hold a 20-yard shot from Morgan Gibbs-White in the first half.

After the break, Aaron Cresswell’s corner was met by Soucek at the near post but his glancing header flew just over.

David Moyes could celebrate a crucial three points (Action Images via Reuters)
David Moyes could celebrate a crucial three points (Action Images via Reuters)

Then a slick move involving Paqueta, Ings and Said Benrahma culminated in Bowen slamming a low shot against the foot of Navas’ far post.

Forest were screaming for a penalty when Renan Lodi’s drive hit the hand of Ben Johnson but for the third match in a row West Ham got away with one, although in this case the shot was probably too close to penalise.

The Hammers had to make a change in goal when Fabianski was caught on the side of the head by Felipe, with Alphonse Areola coming on in his place.

But they immediately took the lead when Bowen drilled the ball low across goal where it was expertly guided in by Ings.

The goal survived a VAR check for offside, and in the blink of an eye Ings had his second, another poacher’s strike from Benrahma’s cross into the six-yard area.

Suddenly West Ham looked like a side with goals in them, arguably for the first time this season.

Rice got into the act in the 78th minute, collecting Benrahma’s cut-back and curling a superb effort over Navas and inside the far post.

With Forest on the ropes Antonio provided the knockout punch when he headed in a cross from fellow sub Pablo Fornals.