West Ham cruise past Doncaster Rovers in dominant FA Cup win

David Moyes’ side were dominant from start to finish against Rovers as they cruise on to face either Liverpool or Manchester United in the next round.

The Hammers got the party started inside the first two minutes in East London as Pablo Fornals arrived on cue in the box to fire home Ryan Fredericks’ cross.

And there was no stopping the hosts before the break as Manuel Lanzini wasted an excellent chance before Andriy Yarmolenko clipped home a second.

Any chance of a possible Doncaster comeback vanished within minutes of the restart as Tomas Soucek was denied by Ellery Balcombe and Andy Butler diverted home Mark Noble’s corner.

Doncaster did hit the woodwork through Matty Smith in the closing stages before a debut goal from Oladapo Afolayan clinched a dominant win for West Ham.

Full Time at the London Stadium it’s West Ham 4 Doncaster Rovers 0

David Moyes warns West Ham not to rely ‘too heavily’ on Declan Rice

The 21-year-old midfielder, a reported target for London rivals Chelsea during the last transfer window, has taken his game to a new level this season.

Handed the captain’s armband by Moyes in the absence of Mark Noble, Rice has been pivotal to the Hammers’ impressive start to the campaign and he excelled once more in Sunday’s 1-0 win at Sheffield United.

“He is such an improved player,” said Moyes. “I really think he is doing a great job as a player and we are building up hope that he will be an outstanding captain.

“The role, his responsibility he takes on the pitch because of his young age, his leadership qualities will build. He has learned from Harry Kane and Mark Noble.

“My biggest concern – and I know he is young – would be that I don’t want us to rely too heavily on him.”

Fresh from scoring his first goal for England against Iceland just a few days before, Rice’s work in the middle of the park at Bramall Lane was again complemented by Tomas Soucek.

The Czech midfielder, who made his loan move from Slavia Prague permanent over the summer, has also not gone unnoticed by Moyes.

“While Declan gets many of the plaudits, you would have to say that Tomas Soucek as well is doing a great job,” said the Hammers boss.

“Sometimes maybe being British we look at the players who are doing well here, but Tomas Soucek has done a brilliant job alongside him.”

Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder insists his players are not doing too much wrong, despite their disappointing start to the season.

The Blades remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table with only one point from their nine matches.

“He (Moyes) has just said, ‘Don’t look at it too tactically, too deeply, the players are giving you everything’.

“The conversation with David gives me a lot of belief in what we’re doing, that we’re not a million miles off.

“The team is together, they’re having a go. The Premier League is cutthroat and we’re just falling a little short at the moment. We are just lacking a little bit of quality that comes with belief and confidence.”

Premier League: Sheffield United vs West Ham

This time last season, the Blades were sitting comfortably in 13th in the table having taken nine points from their first eight games. Fast forward just over a year and Chris Wilder’s side are having a tougher time of it, propping up the table with just one point.

There have been some signs of improvement lately though, taking the lead against Liverpool and Chelsea in recent weeks before succumbing to the Premier League powerhouses, while a 1-0 defeat at home to Man City can hardly be considered a disaster.

There’s mixed injury news for Wilder coming into the weekend, with Lys Mousset, John Fleck and Enda Stevens all in with a chance of making the squad after injuries. The Blades boss says he will give the bunch as much time as possible to make it.

Rhian Brewster should be OK after muscular tightness, and Ethan Ampadu is back after missing the game against his parent club last time out.

John Egan was taken off during Ireland’s 3-0 defeat to England last week and was showing signs of concussion, so he’ll be a late call on whether he’ll be involved, while Jack O’Connell is likely out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.

As for West Ham, David Moyes says Michail Antonio is back in training after missing the last two games with a hamstring injury, and will be given as much time as he needs before making a decision on his selection. Seb Haller is in line to continue in his absence if he’s left out.

Angelo Ogbonna was substituted early against Fulham last time out with a knock, but should retain his place in the Hammers defence on Sunday after recovering.

Andriy Yarmolenko tested positive for COVID while away with Ukraine last week and is expected to miss out while following isolation protocol.

Other than him, David Moyes has a fully fit squad to choose from and is unlikely to make too many changes to the side that edged past Fulham before the break.

Said Benrahma is set to continue his cameo role from the bench as he waits for his first Hammers start, while Mark Noble may join him after recovering from a rib injury.

West Ham can move into the top half of the table with a win, while the Blades will be hoping their first win of the season can move them out of the relegation zone.