Middlesbrough 1-3 West Ham United
Saturday, 21st January 2017
by Staff Writer
West Ham are back into the top half of the Premier League for the first time since August thanks to an Andy Carroll brace and a debut strike from Jonathan Calleri.Following a poor opening half of the campaign, the Hammers can now look ahead to the rest of the season without any trpidation after securing a fifth league win in seven outings.
And key to the win was the in-form Carroll, who followed his Goal of the Season contender against Crystal Palace last weekend with two goals ahead of the half time interval that put the Hammers in command.
The former England international opened the scoring for West Ham after just eight minutes when he was allowed to nod home a Maneul Lanzini corner, having lost his marker in the build-up to the set-piece.
However the home side levelled after 27 minutes when the Hammers were caught out by a swift counter attack that ended with Cristhian Stuani applying the finishing touch to a low, far post cross from Calum Chambers.
Undeterred, the Hammers restored their lead four minutes ahead of the interval when Michail Antonio's shot was saved by Victor Valdes but tucked away by Carroll, following up.
The second half proved to be a far less enthralling affair with neither side testing the opposition 'keeper too much.
Indeed, the hosts' best opportunity of the half came from the boot of Aaron Cresswell, who inexplicably fired against his own bar (seconds before Winston Reid tested Randolph with a diving header).
In the end, Slaven Bilic's side had to wait until injury time at the end of the second half before securing the win, which was guaranteed when Jonathan Calleri's shot - that was covered by Valdes - took a huge deflection via a 'Boro defender.
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Player RatingsDarren Randolph
Little of note to do bar make one excellent stop and watch Aaron Cresswell's shot crash against the crossbar.
Anotherr decent performance. No criticism for the goal ,which saw him left with two men to mark.
Took a bit of a roasting in the first half and almost scored noe of the worst own goals of all time.
Stood up to be counter - several inportant tackles and blocks.
His final game befoe a (much-needed?) op. Caught woefully out of position for the 'Boro goal.
Some decent moments but struggled to get into the game as much this week.
Never stopped working and, like last weekend, played a amjot part in a late breakaway goal.
Again, not quite at his best. Came off late on after an accidental collision.
The big man is in the form of his life with three goals in his last two games - the first here (a header) was as unstoppable as last week's bicycle kick.
Given a new lease of life as the team's primary creative force, the wee man enjoyed another decent afternoon.
Frustrating. Shows glimpses of real talent but spends a lot of the time on the dewck or complaining. Was denied a cast-iron penalty at the end of the first half.
(Replaced Noble) Struggled to get into the game. Produced little of note.
His best 25 minutes in a West Ham shirt. Will claim the goal, but truth is Valdes had his shot covered until it took a massive deflection.
If you need an extra body at the back, Collins is your man.
Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Match FactsWest Ham United: Darren Randolph, Sam Byram, Aaron Cresswell, Winston Reid, Angelo Ogbonna, Pedro Obiang, Michail Antonio, Mark Noble, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini, Sofiane Feghouli.
Goals: Andy Carroll 9 Andy Carroll 43 Jonathan Calleri 90 .
Booked: Manuel Lanzini 6 .
Sent Off: None sent off. .
Middlesbrough: Valdes, Friend, Bernardo, Gibson, Clayton, Negredo, de Roon, Stuani (Bamford 80), Chambers, Forshaw (Gestede 83), Traore.
Subs not used: Guzan, Fabio, Leadbitter, Fischer, Downing.
Goals: Stuani (26).
Booked: Gibson (80), Bernardo (83).
Sent off: None.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Man of the Match: Andy Carroll.