Swansea City 1 West Ham United 4
Monday, 26th December 2016
by Gordon Thrower
West Ham secured their biggest win of the season as they ran riot against a fragile Swansea at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.And the Hammers were left singing a Christmas Carroll as goals from Andre Ayew, Winston Reid, Michail Antonio and lastly, big Andy, sent Slaven Bilic's side up to 11th in the table, having secured their first four-goal haul away from home since hitting five at Blackburn in the FA Cup last season.
Swansea boss Bob Bradley, heavily criticised by his own club's fans throughout the second half of today's game must be fearing the worst having seen his team brushed aside by a West Ham side who had averaged little more than a goal per game during the current campaign.
Well worth their win, West Ham completely dominated a game that finished with a perfectly reversed scoreline of that when the two clubs last met, at the Boleyn Ground just seven months ago.
One of the goalscorers that day was back on the scoresheet this afternoon, but on this occasion Andre Ayew was celebrating securing his first goal for West Ham, not the Swans, as he bundled Bilic's re-energised side ahead from close range with just 13 minutes on the clock.
Having maintained their slender advantage until the half time interval, West Ham increased the lead five minutes after the restart when Winston Reid nodded Dimitri Payet's near post corner beyond the reaches of Lukasz Fabianski.
And the Hammers were in dreamland 12 minutes from time when Michail Antonio deflected Havard Nordtveit's (off-target) effort into an empty net to make it 3-0, with the Swansea defence at sixes and sevens once again.
Darren Randolph, who produced another impressive performance was finally beaten in the last minute of normal time when Fernando Llorente scored from close range.
But West Ham's reply was instantaneous as Andy Carroll grabbed a fourth virtually straight from the kick off to complete a fantastic away win for Slaven Bilic and his squad, who have now taken 10 points from the last possible 12 - having gained just 12 from the opening 14 matches of the campaign.
West Ham Utd: Randolph; Nordtveit, Reid, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble (c), Kouyate; Antonio (Feghouli 83), Ayew (Fernandes 75), Payet; Carroll (Fletcher 90).
Subs not used: Adrian, Quina, Rice, Pike.
Goals: Ayew (13), Reid (50), Antonio (77), Carroll (90).
Swansea City: Fabianski; Rangel, Mawson, van der Hoorn, Kingsley; Cork, Fulton (Montero 46, Dyer 70), Britton; Routledge, Sigurdsson (c), Borja (Llorente 46)
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Fer, Naughton, Fernandez.
Goals: Llorente (89).
Referee: Andre Marriner.
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Player RatingsDarren Randolph
Looked solid with one fine save and quite a few more routine ones.
Our lack of defensive capability on the right saw him covering two or three positions at once. Not bad under the circumstances.
Still some way from his best and that back pass was a shocker.
Given a hard time by Mbokana. It probably ended up all square.
When Mbokana wasn?EUR(TM)t tormenting Reid he moved on to Ogbonna with similar results.
Slightly unfortunate to be hooked at half-time but something had to change.
As the game progressed he became more and more of a threat. Went down a bit too easy for the penalty for my liking though. Not something I?EUR(TM)m keen on.
Stuttered a bit. A few good minutes here a dodgy moment there. Judged that header on to the post to perfection. Didn?EUR(TM)t he?
More of an influence defensively than as a striker, which, in case you had forgotten, is what he is there for.
Not at all unfortunate to be hooked at half time because something had to change.
Anonymous for an hour. Better in the last 30.
A decent half.
Still not sure where he is supposed to really be playing but was much more influential than Lanzini and was unlucky not to score.
Brought on to run down the clock.
Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Match FactsWest Ham United: Darren Randolph, Cheikhou Kouyate, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, Dimitri Payet.
Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 8 Cheikhou Kouyate 22 Sofiane Feghouli 81 .
Booked: Michail Antonio Sofiane Feghouli Enner Valencia .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Swansea City: .
Subs not used: .
Sent off: None.
Referee: Andre Marriner.
Man of the Match: Darren Randolph.