West Ham completed their preparation for the new season with an encouraging 2-0 win over Real Zaragoza at Upton Park this afternoon.

The Championship club scored the opener in the first half when new signing Matt Taylor got off the mark from close range. The Hammers sealed the win late on when substitute Freddie Sears tucked away their second goal.

West Ham showed enough quality, particularly in the first half through Scott Parker and Taylor, to suggest they deserve to be considered one of the favourites for the title this season.

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce picked trialist Jloyd Samuel at left-back. The former Aston Villa and Bolton defender was handed the chance to impress against the Spanish side. Freddie Piquionne started in attack with Carlton Cole on the bench. Taylor and Kevin Nolan made their home debuts after joining United this summer.

The hosts’ first chance of the game came after seven minutes when Scott Parker laid the ball off to Faubert and his shot stung the fingers of Leo Franco.

West Ham took the lead after 24 minutes when Parker burst into the penalty area and he squared the ball perfectly for Taylor to tap home the opener.

Real Zaragoza mustered their first effort on goal after 28 minutes when Leo Ponzio’s curling shot flew just past the post.

The Hammers nearly doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Taylor floated in a deft cross and Faubert’s header was palmed over the crossbar by Franco.

West Ham came within the frame of the post from extending their lead when Taylor’s free-kick rebounded off the woodwork. Piquionne followed up to put the ball in the net but the striker was flagged offside.

United came close again when the excellent Parker set up Mark Noble whose low strike was pushed around the post by Franco.

Robert Green was called into action for the first time just before the break when he comfortably saved Ponzio’s free-kick.

Zaragoza almost equalised at the start of the second half when Maurizio Lanzaro launched a diving header which was well saved by England goalkeeper Green.

Parker again cut the visitors’ defence open when he slid a through ball into the path of substitute Pablo Barrera. But his strike was saved by the feet of Franco.

England midfielder Parker was given a standing ovation by the home fans after 63 minutes when he was replaced by Cole.

Green was forced into a decent long range save 15 minutes from time when he palmed away Angel Lafita’s 30-yard effort.

Sub Frank Nouble showed a neat turn of pace late on in the match when he broke clear but the striker’s accuracy was missing as he rifled a shot well wide of the target.

West Ham sealed the win in the 88th minute when Barrera passed the ball to Sears and he smashed a low shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Allardyce’s side begin their quest to return to the Premier League at home to Cardiff City a week tomorrow.

West Ham: Green; O’Brien (Spence, 52), Samuel (Montano, 78), Tomkins, Reid; Faubert (Barrera, 39), Taylor (Sears, 70), Noble (Stanislas, 89), Parker (Cole, 63), Nolan; Piquionne (Nouble, 70)