Andreas Pereira at the double as Fulham dent West Ham's European hopes dented

Andreas Pereira celebrates his second goal against West Ham
Andreas Pereira celebrates his second goal against West Ham -Credit:John Walton/PA

West Ham's aspirations for a European return took another hit following a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to Fulham, with Andreas Pereira scoring both goals. This comes after the Hammers' 2-0 loss to Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final last Thursday.

The defeat to Fulham also cost them the opportunity to move up to sixth place in the Premier League and back into the European mix. This was Fulham's first victory at West Ham since 2001 and having dominated the reverse fixture 5-0 in December, they completed a league double over their London rivals for the first time since 1966.

Based on this lacklustre performance, Leverkusen will not be overly concerned about the return match. Despite this, West Ham had an early chance to take the lead when Lucas Paqueta's pass found Vladimir Coufal in the box, but his shot was saved by Bernd Leno and Michail Antonio subsequently blazed over from close range.

Mohammed Kudus then narrowly missed before the lively Paqueta, who is suspended for the Leverkusen game, hit the side-netting.

Despite a promising start, West Ham found themselves on the back foot after Fulham's first attack just nine minutes in, a moment that would have left manager David Moyes exasperated.

Konstantinos Mavropanos' attempt to intercept a deep cross from Alex Iwobi only resulted in him inadvertently setting up Pereira, who had been left unmarked by Nayef Aguerd.

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The Brazilian easily slotted the ball past Hammers keeper Lukasz Fabianski and into an open goal.

Pereira nearly doubled his tally moments later when he slid in to connect with Willian's tempting cross, but his effort went wide.

Coufal, who has yet to find the back of the net for West Ham since joining three and a half years ago, demonstrated why when he squandered a decent chance from Paqueta's cross.

After the interval, Fabianski pulled off a crucial save to deflect Iwobi's shot wide, but he was helpless to stop Pereira from extending the lead on the 72nd-minute mark.

Paqueta lost possession in midfield to Joao Palhinha, and Pereira passed the ball to Rodrigo Muniz. He then fed Iwobi, who surged forward before delivering a cross for Pereira to finish with ease.

The disappointing loss for the Hammers was further marred when young substitute George Earthy had to be stretchered off following a severe head injury sustained in a collision with team-mate Edson Alvarez, just two minutes into his Premier League debut.