Sebastien Haller’s superb strike consigned winless Sheffield United to another Premier League defeat as West Ham moved into the top half of the table.
The Blades, who have lost eight of their nine fixtures this term, stay bottom of the table while West Ham climb to eighth.
Chris Wilder’s side had started brightly and created several early openings but the Hammers took control as the hosts faded as an attacking force.
Vladimir Coufal and Tomas Soucek both had opportunities to score before Haller’s powerful 20-yard drive found the top-right corner.
Declan Rice then headed against the crossbar as the visitors sought to press home their advantage.
Sheffield United did rally, with Oli McBurnie seeing a left-foot effort cannon back off the crossbar, but they are still yet to score in open play at Bramall Lane this season.
Improving Blades fall short
With a solitary point on the board, Sheffield United began this contest with the joint-lowest points tally at this stage of a Premier League season and without a victory since 11 July.
However, while aspects of this performance will have pleased manager Wilder, they again came down on the wrong side of a tight contest.
Six of the Blades’ eight defeats this season have been by a margin of one goal and on another occasion they might have been a couple of goals ahead before West Ham hit their stride.
John Egan’s searching pass provided George Baldock with a third-minute chance to open the scoring but the full-back was unable to beat Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski at the near post.
Fabianski then parried McBurnie’s rising half volley to safety during a forceful start by the Blades.
But after failing to unlock the door their two main failings – a lack of goals and an inability keep a clean sheet – proved the difference again.
While there were signs that they are beginning to cope without the injured and influential Jack O’Connell in their defence – restricting the Hammers to just three shots on target – they were punished for a momentary lapse of concentration that allowed Haller the freedom to get his shot away under little pressure.
More to follow.
West Ham United
- 6BashamSubstituted forLundstramat 76′minutes
- 22AmpaduSubstituted forRobinsonat 62′minutes
- 16NorwoodSubstituted forBrewsterat 65′minutes
- 20BowenSubstituted forNobleat 90+2′minutes
- 18FornalsSubstituted forLanziniat 76′minutes
Match ends, Sheffield United 0, West Ham United 1.
Second Half ends, Sheffield United 0, West Ham United 1.
Attempt blocked. John Lundstram (Sheffield United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Oliver McBurnie.
Foul by Vladimir Coufal (West Ham United).
Max Lowe (Sheffield United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Max Lowe.
Substitution, West Ham United. Mark Noble replaces Jarrod Bowen.
Declan Rice (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by David McGoldrick (Sheffield United).
Offside, West Ham United. Lukasz Fabianski tries a through ball, but Sébastien Haller is caught offside.
Offside, Sheffield United. John Lundstram tries a through ball, but Rhian Brewster is caught offside.
Fabián Balbuena (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Rhian Brewster (Sheffield United).
Attempt blocked. Sébastien Haller (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Vladimir Coufal.
Attempt blocked. Jarrod Bowen (West Ham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sébastien Haller.
Aaron Cresswell (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United).
Substitution, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini replaces Pablo Fornals.
Substitution, Sheffield United. John Lundstram replaces Chris Basham.
Oliver McBurnie (Sheffield United) hits the bar with a left footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Rhian Brewster.