Premier League
West Ham United 2-0 Sunderland 

Saturday, 4th April 2009
by Gordon Thrower

Sometimes you know exactly how a match is going to go well before it starts. Sometimes you know that, with an injury list longer than a Blackburn throw-in and a fixture against a side scrapping against relegation you are going to see your team struggle. And sometimes, happily, you are wrong.

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Player Ratings

Robert Green
A few good saves, a couple of wobbles some good distribution ?EUR" including that which set up our first.

Jonathan Spector
Wasn?EUR(TM)t having the most testing of days up to his unfortunate injury but was looking at getting forward more than of late.

Herita Ilunga
A quiet, steady game. Harshly booked towards the end.

James Tomkins
Preferred by Zola to Collins, the youngster fully justified his continued selection. If he looked a little less confident when moved over to right-back after Spector?EUR(TM)s injury, he compensated for that by keeping it simple. Deserved the goal and could have had more.

Matthew Upson
Another good performance from the England man and another who could have got his name on the sheet.

Mark Noble
In the absence of just about every other midfielder on our books he shouldered the responsibility well. If I have one criticism it would be that he went to ground in the tackle more than I would have liked ?EUR" mis-time those and you have a red card on the way.

Lucas Neill
A decent performance in an unfamiliar role. Let nobody down.

Junior Stanislas
Impressive full debut. Not afraid to take players on and did his share of the defensive stuff too when required. The goal was an easy finish but none the less deserved for all that.

Luis Boa Morte
Best run-out in ages. Played on the right, he constantly caused Sunderland problems and his role in the goal showed both pace and intelligence. More please.

Diego Tristan
Probably his best game for us, for what it?EUR(TM)s worth. Still lacks pace and a desire to work is sometimes conspicuous by its absence. An improvement, nevertheless.

David Di Michele
Lively and a bit unlucky a couple of times not to score.


James Collins
(Replaced Spector, 73 mins) Looked a little ring-rusty following his absence. Good clearance at the death to spare the keeper?EUR(TM)s blushes though.

Kieron Dyer
(Replaced Di Michele, 81 mins) Looked sharp on his home return and did enough to suggest that a recall to the starting line-up might not be too far away.

Walter Lopez
(Replaced Stanislas, 90+1 mins) On for injury time he could easily have scored.

Jan Lastuvka
Did not play.

Josh Payne
Did not play.

Savio Nsereko
Did not play.

Fred Sears
Did not play.

Match Facts

West Ham United: Robert Green, Jonathan Spector, Herita Ilunga, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson, Mark Noble, Lucas Neill, Junior Stanislas, Luis Boa Morte, Diego Tristan, David Di Michele.

Goals: Junior Stanislas 42 James Tomkins 53                .

Booked: Herita Ilunga 90          .

Sent off: None.

Sunderland: Gordon, Bardsley, Ben-Haim, Collins, Ferdinand, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Malbranque, Richardson, Cisse, Murphy.

Subs not used: Fulop, Nosworthy, Reid, McShane, Healy.

Goals: Andrews (51).

Booked: Whitehead (24).

Sent off: None.

Referee: Mike Jones.

Attendance: 34,761.

Man of the Match: James Tomkins.