Bril­liant Payet earns point for Ham­mers

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

Chelsea’s Wil­lian (right) cel­e­brates scor­ing his side’s first goal against Hull City in the English Premier League match at the KCOM Sta­dium, Hull, Eng­land, yes­ter­day. LON­DON (AP): HIRTY YEARS af­ter Diego Maradona’s goal of the cen­tury, West Ham winger Dim­itri Payet wound back the clock with a bril­liantly ex­e­cuted solo goal yes­ter­day, evok­ing mem­o­ries of the Ar­gentina great.

Un­like Maradona’s 1986 World Cup strike, af­ter charg­ing through brit­tle English re­sis­tance, Payet’s mazy run through Mid­dles­brough’s de­fence came on a far less sig­nif­i­cant oc­ca­sion. But the English Premier League point it se­cured might just have saved Slaven Bilic’s job, pre­vent­ing West Ham from crash­ing to a fifth suc­ces­sive loss.

Payet lit up a drab game in the 57th minute at the Olympic Sta­dium, with home fans rest­less af­ter Cristhian Stu­ani’s header six min­utes ear­lier. The France in­ter­na­tional dropped a shoul­der to turn past An­to­nio Bar­ragán on the left touch­line, jinked around Marten de Roon, and skipped past Calum Cham­bers and Ben Gib­son.

TAfter cut­ting through the de­fence with ease, Payet pro­vided the per­fect fin­ish to score his first goal of the league; one that evoked mem­o­ries for Payet’s man­ager of Ar­gentina’s cur­rent star rather than Maradona.

“It re­minded me of Lionel Messi’s goals,” Bilic said. “It was a bril­liant mo­ment of magic.”

But West Ham re­main win­less since the open­ing day of the sea­son, lodged in the rel­e­ga­tion zone with four points from seven games. Pro­moted Mid­dles­brough are two points bet­ter off.

HULL 0 CHELSEA 2

Af­ter a mis­er­able Sep­tem­ber yielded one point from three games, Chelsea started the new month in style, thanks to Diego Costa’s sec­ond-half con­tri­bu­tion. First, Costa picked out Wil­lian, who turned Markus Hen­rik­sen and David Meyler be­fore curl­ing a shot into the top of the net. Then Costa curled in his own strike from a sim­i­lar po­si­tion.

The re­sponse to last week’s 3-0 loss at Arse­nal was man­ager An­to­nio Conte drop­ping Branislav Ivanovic and switch­ing to a three-man de­fence. It pro­duced a sec­ond clean sheet of the sea­son.

“It is very im­por­tant for the con­fi­dence,” Conte said. “It was a big change in the tac­ti­cal as­pect but we feel we must find the right so­lu­tion to be more com­pact.”

Chelsea are sixth, while Hull are in 15th place.

SWANSEA 1 LIVER­POOL 2

With Liver­pool trail­ing at half-time to Leroy Fer’s tap-in, Jüer­gen Klopp en­tered the dress­ing room in a rage.

“I was very an­gry,” the Liver­pool man­ager said. “We were not ready, and it is my re­spon­si­bil­ity. It was not good. The buildup was too static, no move­ment.

“We were never com­pact enough and we lost a lot of balls ... the sec­ond half was bet­ter, but still not bril­liant.”

Cru­cially for Klopp, there were two goals — Roberto Firmino’s header and James Milner’s penalty — which were enough to take Liver­pool up to sec­ond.

Swansea, though, are on a sixgame win­less run since mak­ing a tri­umphant start to the sea­son. Francesco Guidolin’s fu­ture as man­ager is look­ing in­creas­ingly pre­car­i­ous, with former Manch­ester United as­sis­tant Ryan Giggs linked with the Ital­ian’s job.

WAT­FORD 2 BOURNEMOUTH 2

Wat­ford twice fought back to en­sure man­ager Wal­ter Maz­zarri didn’t en­dure a mis­er­able 55th birth­day. Both teams, though, re­main in the bot­tom half of the stand­ings.

Cal­lum Wil­son’s down­ward header was can­celled out by Troy Deeney. Josh King re­stored Bournemouth’s lead, but Isaac Suc­cess scored his first goal since join­ing in the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow to se­cure a point.

SUN­DER­LAND 1 WEST BROM 1

David Moyes re­mains win­less as Sun­der­land man­ager, but the north­east team did cap­ture its first point in more than a month.

Pa­trick van Aan­holt, who was forced out of the Sun­der­land team last month on the ad­vice of a car­di­ol­o­gist, came off the bench to wipe out Nacer Chadli’s goal.

AP

AP

West Ham’s Dim­itri Payet (right) scores dur­ing the English Premier League match be­tween West Ham and Mid­dles­brough in Lon­don yes­ter­day.

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