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Saturday, 20th April 2002

West Ham United 3
Sunderland 0

by Paul Reynolds

There are two questions that need to be asked after yesterday's game.

1. Is West Ham's season now starting, albeit 8 months too late?

or

2. Was that the worst side to come to Upton Park this season?

The Hammers put on an exhilarating performance yesterday at Upton Park, it just leaves the Hammers faithful wondering what could have happened with a half decent away record this season!

Joe Cole put on a performance that must surely get him into the England squad for the trip to the Far East this summer. Trevor Sinclair also put on a virtuoso performance, and is needed in the squad as well because, as we all know, England don't win the World Cup without three West Ham players.

It all started in the in the fourth minute with the 'goal' that we have all been waiting for all season - but Joe Cole's first league goal of the season was disallowed for offside. Even the match-day announcer got carried away with himself and had to change the arrival of a goal to that of a free-kick instead.

It only took until the 27th minute for the first of what looked as though was going to be an avalanche of goals arrived, Trevor Sinclair, playing up front in the absence of Kanoute finished off a smart move to leave Sorensen with no chance.

For the rest of the first half West Ham played some fantastic football to watch but without further worrying the scoreboard - although not for the lack of trying, and had it not been for the Sunderland man of the Match Sorensen the avalanche may well have come.

It took until the 51st minute when a smart one-touch move between Cole, Sinclair and Lomas ended up with Lomas scoring his third goal since his return from injury.

The one sided game was killed off in the 76th minute when Defoe scored his 13th of the season from a Sinclair flick on.

In truth if this had been a boxing match it would have been stopped long before the referees final whistle.

Player ratings:

David James (8) Can't be marked any higher he had little to do during the game.

Sebastien Schemmel (8) Played as he has done all season. SUPERB.

Ian Pearce (8) Is now begining to recapture his form from before his injury.

Tomas Repka (8) Did what little he had to do well.

Christian Dailly (8) As with Repka.

Nigel Winterburn (8) How old is he? Is it a mistake to let him go?

Joe Cole (9) Must now be a cert for the World Cup squad ( Joint Man of the Match).

Michael Carrick (8) Is looking like a mature player beyond his tender years.

Steve Lomas (8) Good solid game, just what we were missing earlier in the season.

Trevor Sinclair (9) Superb display in yet another position (Joint Man of the Match).

Jermain Defoe (8) Played up front alone for most of the game, but did it well - Scored AGAIN!!

KUMB Stats

West Ham United: James, Schemmel, Pearce, Repka, Dailly, Winterburn, Sinclair, Carrick, Lomas, Cole, Defoe

Subs: Garcia (Defoe 78), Labant (Schemmel 81), Hislop, Potts, Courtois

Sunderland: Sorensen, Williams, McCartney, Craddock, Bjorklund, Thirlwell, McCann, Reyna, Kilbane, Phillips, Quinn

Subs: Butler (Thirlwell 53), Kyle (Quinn 56), Schwarz (Phillips 70), Macho, Haas

Goals: Sinclair (27), Lomas (51), Defoe (76)

Booked: Repka (14), Schemmel (55), Pearce (68), Schwarz (78), Bjorklund (82)

Referee: Steve Bennett

Attendance: 33,319

Man of the Match: Joe Cole

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