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West Ham Ruin Luton’s Homecoming to Go Top of Premier League

LUTON, United Kingdom (AFP) — West Ham ruined Luton’s homecoming to Kenilworth Road as David Moyes’ men moved to the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 win on Friday. Set among rows of terraced houses, Luton’s 11,000 capacity home since 1905 had to undergo significant development to comply with regulations to host matches in England’s top flight. That led to the postponement of their home fixture against Brighton last month. The Hatters have risen from the fifth-tier National League to the Premier League in just 10 seasons.

But on the field, Luton are struggling to come to terms with the leap in quality as they remain without a point after three games. West Ham, by contrast, are flying despite the loss of former Captain Declan Rice to Arsenal for an initial £100 million. Jarrod Bowen scored the winner as the Hammers claimed their first trophy in 43 years by lifting the Europa Conference League in June. The England international has kicked on to start the new campaign in fine form as he became the first West Ham player to score in three consecutive top-flight away games in nearly 100 years.

Bowen was picked out by Lucas Paqueta’s teasing cross eight minutes before half-time and his header from close range had too much power for Thomas Kaminski. The visitors had a second goal after the break narrowly ruled out for offside as Emerson fired home from Michail Antonio’s lay-off. James Ward-Prowse’s impressive start to his West Ham career has masked the departure of Rice.

The former Southampton skipper now has a goal and three assists in three appearances as his corner was powerfully headed in by Kurt Zouma five minutes from time. Luton had failed to muster a single shot on target until stoppage time, but set up a grandstand finish when Mads Andersen headed in their first Premier League goal from open play. Ward-Prowse then escaped huge shouts for a Luton penalty when a corner came off the midfielder’s arm. But West Ham held on to move one point ahead of Manchester City at the summit ahead of the champions’ clash with Fulham on Saturday.