The Ham­mers nail Black Cats

CityPress - - Sport - – TEAM talk me­dia

West Ham United kept their Cham­pi­ons League as­pi­ra­tions alive yes­ter­day af­ter clinch­ing a 1-0 vic­tory over Sun­der­land in the English Premier League match at Up­ton Park. Af­ter a some­what muted start to the en­counter, the Ham­mers even­tu­ally lodged their first ef­fort on tar­get in the 19th min­u­tee when mid­fielder Mark Noble Noble’ss shot from out­side the box was saved in the top-right cor­ner by Black Cats’ keeper Vito Man­none.

They had an­other good chance to claim the lead just mo­ments later, but Em­manuel Emenike failed to hit the tar­get with a header from the cen­tre of the box.

How­ever, it was Sun­der­land who went clos­est to claim­ing the lead in the open­ing 25 min­utes.

Jan­uary sign­ing Wahbi Khazri was left ru­ing his luck af­ter un­leash­ing a pow­er­ful ef­fort di­rect from a free-kick that came crash­ing back off the bar.

How­ever, the Ham­mers re­mained firmly in con­trol and even­tu­ally got the break­through they were look­ing for on the half-hour mark. Michail An­to­nio cut in­side from the right-hand flank and skipped past his marker be­fore fir­ing a low, curl­ing ef­fort into the bot­tom-left cor­ner.

Khazri had an­other op­por­tu­nity to add his name to the score­sheet a minute later, but fired just inches wide of the right­hand post.

West Ham cre­ated an­other clear-cut chance as the firsthalf drew to a close, but again failed to cap­i­talise. Michail An­to­nio latched onto a pass from Aaron Cress­well be­fore let­ting fly from the edge of the box. How­ever, Man­none was alert to the dan­ger and snapped up An­to­nio’s sting­ing ef­fort.

Hav­ing failed to cause West Ham any real prob­lems in the first half, Sun­der­land gave a bet­ter ac­count of them­selves af­ter the half-time break. Jer­main De­foe and Pa­trick van Aan­holt both went close to bag­ging an equaliser in the open­ing 10 min­utes as the Ham­mers strug­gled to im­pose them­selves on pro­ceed­ings.

They again went close to lev­el­ling mat­ters on the hour mark as Yann M’Vila fired wide with a right-footed shot from out­side the box. The flood­gates be­gan to open as the half pro­gressed, and both sides cre­ated a hand­ful of op­por­tu­ni­ties.

West Ham duo Dim­itri Payet and Vic­tor Moses squan­dered clear-cut chances, be­fore Khazri’s and Jack Rod­well’s re­spec­tive ef­forts were saved by Adrian in the Ham­mers’ goal.

The best chance of the se­cond half came in the 76th minute, but it come to noth­ing as West Ham striker Andy Car­roll’s vol­ley came back off the cross­bar be­fore be­ing cleared to safety.

The Black Cats con­tin­ued to pile men for­ward in a bid to force a late equaliser, but ef­forts from John O’Shea, Dame N’Doye and Jack Rod­well failed to beat the im­pres­sive Adrian.

Payet had one more chance to dou­ble his side’s ad­van­tage, but fired wide af­ter latch­ing onto Moses’ headed pass.

The hosts held on in the re­main­ing min­utes to claim a vi­tal three points.

PHOTO: TONY O'BRIEN LIVEPIC

BUSY West Ham’s Michail An­to­nio in ac­tion with Sun­der­land’s John O’Shea dur­ing yes­ter­days English Premier League match at Up­ton Sta­dium. West Ham won 1-0

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