Soccer-Ings double powers relieved West Ham to 4-0 win over Forest
By Richard Martin
LONDON (Reuters) -West Ham United striker Danny Ings bagged his first two goals for the club in an emphatic 4-0 win over fellow strugglers Nottingham Forest on Saturday which lifted the east Londoners out of the Premier League relegation zone.
Ings, making his first start since switching from Aston Villa for 15 million pounds ($17.92 million) in January after four substitute appearances, broke the deadlock in the 70th minute when he struck a Jarrod Bowen cross on the turn past goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
He netted again in the 73rd by bundling home a Said Benrahma cross before Declan Rice curled home a sumptuous shot from outside the area in the 78th to further raise the volume at the London Stadium after a sleepy first half.
Substitute Michail Antonio deepened Forest's misery by appearing at the back post to head in a cross from Pablo Fornals, completing West Ham's biggest win of the season in all competitions.
The Hammers did have to take off goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a bruised eye socket while defender Vladimir Coufal had to be substituted with a foot injury and Brazil international Lucas Paqueta was brought off with a knock to the shoulder.
The victory took West Ham up to 16th in the standings on 23 points, two below Forest, who are 13th and have only taken six points away from home all season - the worst top-flight record.
West Ham manager David Moyes was relieved to pick up a first win in four league matches and saw signs of the team that came seventh last season and reached the Europa League semi-finals.
"How long have I been waiting for that? It was nice today. We hadn't done an awful lot wrong in the first half, in the second half we played a bit better and at one point I thought are we going to see the West Ham team we saw last year?" he said.
"I'm not coming in here with a bottle of champagne and thinking everything's hunky dory but I'm thrilled. I'm going to have a glass of wine tonight and why not, I've had a lot of bad days."
Forest earned a surprise point against champions Manchester City last week at home but on Saturday they failed to replicate the type of performances they have produced at the City Ground.
"We conceded a goal but then what happened isn't acceptable. The game was taken away from us, it's our own fault and we have to face it," said manager Steve Cooper.
"Conceding goals quickly was happening to us at the start of the season and we made poor decisions again. It was a mentality thing and we were punished. There are no excuses."
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(Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Ken Ferris)