West Bromwich Albion 1 West Ham United 1
Saturday, 30th April 2016
by Staff Writer
West Ham United's run of games without a win extended to four on Sunday afternoon following a disappointing draw at home to West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground.Slaven Bilic's side had only won twice at home this season prior to today, but for the first 45 minutes it looked as if that particular stat was set to be boosted after they controlled the opening half and took a one-goal advantage into the break.
But once again the Hammers contrived to throw away a promising start by conceding a sloppy equaliser five minutes after the restart and then almost losing the game, as the visitors - rejuvenated by Tony Pulis' half-time tinkering - enjoyed the best chances.
It had started so promisingly for West Ham who took the lead after 17 minutes. Diafra Sakho, who produced little else all afternoon won a free kick on the edge of the Albion box which Zarate exquisitely despatched into Boaz Myhill's top right-hand corner.
Six minutes later West Ham should have doubled their advantage when Aaron Cresswell's delicious centre was nodded wide of the target by an unmarked Cheik Kouyate - that coming before good chances for (the excellent) Lanzini and Sakho. They were all vital misses that subsequently proved to be costly.
Mauro Zarate's opening goal - as viewed from the Chicken Run
Albion - who had barely mustered a shot on target in the first half - returned for the second period with an additional striker in the shape of Ricky Lambert, long coveted by former manager Sam Allardyce.
And it was the Liverpudlian who was to restore parity just five minutes after the restart when his effort - a snap-shot that was heading wide of goal - took a wicked deflection off the hand of Winston Reid into the back of a stranded Adrian's net.
The former Southampton and England striker could have doubled his tally on the hour mark when a low free kick pierced West Ham's wall from a free kick, but Adrian was on hand to divert the shot wide.
But there was even better to come from United's Spanish stopper three minutes later when he somehow averted Rondon's point-blank header to keep West Ham on level terms.
Bilic, keen to record a third home win of the season introduced Andy Carroll to partner Sakho with 25 minute of normal play remaining. However those plans were torn to shreds a few minutes later when Sakho went down clutching his right thigh and immediately signalled for assistance - an injury that could well keep him out of action until the new year.
With Bilic introducing Nikica Jelavic in place of the striken Senegal international, West Ham maintained their two-pronged attack - although it was to prove toothless, with neither really bothering Myhill or his back four for the remainder of the match.
Although Zarate enjoyed a couple of half chances prior to being replaced shortly before the end of full time by ??7million signing Michail Antonio, making a rare appearance in claret and blue, West Ham rarely looked like snatching a winner and the game petered out with both sides talking a point each.
Which, on the face of it, would appear to be a fair result - even though Bilic and his squad will be hugely frustrated that they were unable to turn their first half dominance into three points.
The draw takes West Ham's run without a win to four games, with a trip to Old Trafford on the horizon - although the point takes them back up to seventh in the table, having climbed back above Everton.
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Player RatingsAdrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Though his defenders didn?EUR(TM)t give him a prayer with either goal his kicking was a bit off today.
Do we have to have an MOTM this week? He was probably the least worse I suppose.
A bit off the pace all afternoon.
When you have a lumbering ox of a centre forward to look after Ginge is your man. When you haven?EUR(TM)t, his lack of pace is a concern. The red card was at best clumsy and at worst nasty. Only he knows which.
Seemed as if his mind was on other things for some reason. Cost us a goal as a result.
They stuck someone on him most of the time which curtailed those runs out of defence he usually does.
Struggled to exert any influence on the midfield today.
Poor ?EUR" if he?EUR(TM)d been taken off before the interval instead of during it nobody would have complained.
Made little contribution to proceedings before going off at half time.
One or two decent balls but seemed to be suffering from the general malaise affecting the team this week.
Messed things up up front. Messed things up in defence. Lousy day all round really.
(Replaced) Given how poor we were it was a bit of a thankless task trying to rescue things.
(Replaced) Unlucky to hit the post.
(Replaced) Came on and promptly disappeared.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo, Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Cresswell, James Collins, James Tomkins, Cheikhou Kouyate, Mark Noble, Victor Moses, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll.
Goals: Diafra Sakho 33 Cheikhou Kouyate 90 .
Sent off: None.
West Bromwich Albion: .
Subs not used: .
Sent off: None.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Man of the Match: Carl Jenkinson.