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Premier League football returns to the London Stadium in a strange way

PUBLISHED: 11:33 22 June 2020 | UPDATED: 11:33 22 June 2020

A general view as West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski makes a save during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

A general view as West Ham United goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski makes a save during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

PA Wire/PA Images

Jacob Ranson gives us his take on Premier League football returning after three months away due to the coronavirus pandemic and how different the experience actually was.

A general view of match action during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.A general view of match action during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

Jacob Ranson gives us his take on Premier League football returning after three months away due to the coronavirus pandemic and how different the experience actually was.

Football is back at the London Stadium, but with a twist of course, as it was an empty behind closed doors clash against Wolves.

For a journalist it was very different to normal, driving instead of taking the train to the ground, and heading in for a temperature check with a mask on to gain access before heading straight to your seat ready to watch the match - not forgetting cars being allowed on the London Stadium island for the first time on matchday to stop us getting public transport to the game.

It started with the Hammers players coming out from the players tunnel with a pre-recorded a sing-along of Forever Blowing Bubbles from the claret and blue fans before Wolves came out separately to stick with the current social distancing rules.

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Pedro Neto during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game with Pedro Neto during the Premier League match at the London Stadium.

A minutes silence for those who have lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic and the players taking a knee to show their support for the Black Lives Matter campaign – all of this before a ball was even kicked.

Once the ball was played from the centre spot, it was very different to the matchday we have all become accustomed to, as the pressure appeared off for some players and perhaps the play seemed a bit more relaxed.

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Although both side’s still had plenty to play, and it was rather interesting to hear every little thing from players, staff and the few in the press box.

It was envertable that it would be a slow start with both side’s finding their feet after three months since they last played a Premier League fixture.

A few chances came and went in the opening 20 minutes before both side’s went off for a water break in the 23rd minute as part of the Premier League restart plan.

The play did eventually start becoming more game like, but once thing that is certain is perhaps player fitness, and that could mean slower games to start off.

The key moment of the game was the introduction of Adama Traore for Wolves, not many of the Hammers could come close to his pace and strength, with only Declan Rice a mmatch for the big man.

His impact meant the game went from potentially being a 0-0 draw to a 2-0 Wolves victory through two of his darting runs up the pitch.

Overall it has it’s faults, but i do feel as the games go on the action will improve, and players will adapt to playing with no atmosphere.

For myself i did actually enjoy hear the players communicating, back chatting the referee, and their opponents all game as it’s something you never normally get to hear.


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