Premier League
West Ham United 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018
by David Fletcher

A last gasp finish from Andy Carroll sees West Ham surge up the table as they hit back at fellow strugglers West Brom having gone a goal behind deep into the first half.

Though West Ham had more penetration than West Brom, the early exchanges proved to be rather inert as neither side seemed to get the edge on the other.

West Ham showed more willingness to get forward as opposed to West Brom who lacked intent when in possession. Nonetheless it was the away side who got the crowd on their feet when Salomon Rondon caught out Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid before chipping goalkeeper Adrian from far out, his effort just went over as West Ham collectively breathed a sigh of relief.

However, West Ham soon hit back with a chance of their own as Ben Foster was promptly called into action when West Brom were opened up down the right. Pablo Zabaleta's cross wasn't entirely cleared by Ahmed Hegazi, Andy Carroll took advantage and nodded it down to Manuel Lanzini who thumped it goalwards denied by Ben Foster with a fine diving stop.

The encounter would soon sway into the away side's favour when Pedro Obiang was carelessly caught out in possession on the edge of the West Brom box. A few passes later the ball found itself at James McClean's feet who easily beat Winston Reid before cutting inside and taking a chance with his long range effort that made its way in thanks to a heavy deflection off Obiang.

Barring a couple of scares for West Brom, including another effort from Lanzini well saved by Foster, the Baggies took advantage of a vacant West Ham midfield to boss the remainder of the first half and walk into the tunnel with what seemed to be a rather commanding lead.

In the second half,with Noble replacing the ineffective Obiang , West Ham were fast out the blocks as just a minute after the restart, Arnautovic picked out Andy Carroll who's outstretched leg could only knock it over the bar from six yards out.

The Hammers kept knocking on the door and were rewarded with a goal off a throw in, as Aaron Cresswell put a delicious cross into Andy Carroll, who despite being challenged by two opposing defenders, managed to guide the ball into the far post.

West Ham remained persistent and scraped a few chances in the last half-an-hour, including an Arnautovic close range effort saved by Foster after linking up intelligently with Manuel Lanzini.

They struggled to break down a resilient and stubborn West Brom defence, so they resorted to the counter attack. Following a couple of minutes of time wasting by the Baggies, West Ham pushed forward in numbers to the other end.

Manuel Lanzini drove the ball forward and anticipated Arnautovic's movement as he found the Austrian in acres of space, he then slid the ball across the turf just out of Ben Foster's reach finding Carroll unmarked at the far post who completed West Ham's inspiring comeback, to earn the Hammers a massive three points that sees them climb out the relegation zone.

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Player Ratings

Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo
Caught out of position on a couple of occasions encouraging ambitious West Brom efforts including their only goal.

Pablo Zabaleta
Didn't do much wrong going forward. Was too eager at times, getting caught out of position when tracking back.

Arthur Masuaku
Just wasn't at the races. Careless with his control losing the ball too many times.

Angelo Ogbonna
A good source for playing it out from the back with some decent long balls. Made an excellent tackle to deny Oliver Burke from putting West Brom ahead.

Winston Reid
Cleared nearly every ball convincingly in and around the West Ham penalty area.

Aaron Cresswell
Indecisive on the wing as to when to put crosses in and was caught out on the counter a couple of times. However, despite putting in a couple of average crosses, he did provide Carroll with West Ham's first goal.

Pedro Obiang
Though his long balls were on point, he provided very little in the midfield, failing to link the defence with the attack.

Cheikhou Kouyate
Never got to grips with the match. Constantly giving his opponents half-a-yard when defending allowing them to put some dangerous balls into the box.

Manuel Lanzini
Alongside Noble, was the engine room for West Ham's persistent attacks. Very good coordination and as ever, great close control.

Marko Arnautovic
Never stopped running for the whole match. Always closed defenders down and chased lost causes. Furthermore, he was excellent on the ball and put Carroll's second goal on a plate. Rewarded with a standing ovation after the final whistle as he demonstrated his passion to the fans.

Andy Carroll
Did his job very well. Knocked down all the high balls despite the aerial prowess of his West Brom counterparts and bagged himself a couple of goals to win the match.


Mark Noble
(Replaced Obiang) Commanded the midfield in an assertive fashion and had very good close conrrol.

Javier Haernandez
(Replaced Masuaku) Failed to make an impact. Not attentive to second balls.

Declan Rice
(Replaced Cresswell) Put in a brilliant shift. Made some very important tackles, provided excellent cover for Arnautovic and was very good himself when going forward not afraid to take on a player.

Joe Hart
Did not play.

Domingos Quina
Did not play.

Saed Haksabanovic
Did not play.

Andre Ayew
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo, Pablo Zabaleta, Arthur Masuaku, Angelo Ogbonna, Winston Reid , Aaron Cresswell, Pedro Obiang, Cheikhou Kouyate, Manuel Lanzini, Marko Arnautovic, Andy Carroll.

Goals: Andy Carroll 57 Andy Carroll 90                .

Booked: None.

Sent off: None.

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Gibbs; Livermore (Robson-Kanu 64’), Yacob (Barry 83’), Krychowiak, McClean; Rodriguez (Burke 71’), Rondon.

Subs not used: Myhill, McAuley, Brunt, Field.

Goals: McClean (30).

Booked: Claudio Yacob (74), Grzegorz Krychowiak (90+6).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Mike Jones.

Attendance: 0.

Man of the Match: Marko Arnautovic.