Playing the bottom side of the league is normally a game you think you can win quite easily. However, after the start of this season and despite the win again THFC last week. Banana skin? Possibly…….
Cresswell was missing for this game, BUT the first half saw some much needed oomph from the side so as not to undo all the good work of last week. It was a very positive start by the Hammers – Antonio and Zaza (who seems desperate for a goal – pressing on all fronts – but no joy in front of goal, with Pickford earning his wages. I am trying to pick put a few moments – Payet looking to get a curler in and Zaza’s acrobatics to mention a couple, but frustrating as the Hammers had the better chances.
Second half, Sunderland had come out with purpose – Jermain Defoe always posing a threat in front of goal. However there was a lot of toil but a lack of crispness in finishing with the game heading to look like a draw.
Injury time towards the end is a nervy one. I have been told by one of my best mates, never leave the game until the final whistle, and in this case, prophetic words. A pass into the box from Payet ends up at the feet of Reid, who turns and sends the ball through a mass of Sunderland players to make it 1-0 in the 94th minute.
Cue celebrations and relief as this was really a game that we should have won more comfortably. But at the moment, I will take what we can get and back to back wins are not to be sniffed at.
Some observations: Obiang looking useful now that he is having a run of games and possibly showing why Bilic invested in him in the first place. Fernandes seems to be mis-reading passes, but give him benefit of the doubt as he has just joined the first team. But overall, there seems to be that bit better consistency as per last season. Could this be a turning point?
As the league table stands, there is just 2 points separating us in 15th from 9th spot and 5 from 6th. Once can look at the table with doom and gloom, but in reality, it is very, very tight. Another win and results in our favour means we are knocking on the top half of the table again. A home win at the LS is always a good start and we need to build on this further.
Chelski next in the League Cup, but TBH, if we lose this and concentrate on the League, it will be good thing. Then again, a win would be very satisfying………
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic speaking to BBC Sport: “It was a dramatic end. The first 25 minutes it was by far our best 25 minutes, including last season.
“We were good, sharp, created chances and we deserved to be two up. Then they came back. And in the second half they had great chances and were dangerous on the counter attack but in the last 15 minutes we pushed more and we were looking to score.
“I cannot say it was a goal from the training ground. You expect Winston Reid to score a header but it was a great decision to come in on the edge of the box.”
West Ham: Adrian; Reid, Kouyaté, Ogbonna, Antonio (Feghouli 62); Noble, Obiang, Fernandes; Lanzini (Fletcher 83), Zaza (Calleri 68), Payet
Subs not used: Spiegel, Nordtveit, Collins, Oxford
Sunderland: Pickford; Manquillo, Koné, O’Shea, Van Aanholt; Watmore (Gooch 74), Rodwell, Ndong, Pienaar (McNair 79), Khazri (Jones 85); Defoe
Subs not used: Domingues, Djilobodji, Anichebe, Honeyman
Bookings: Rodwell, N’Dong, Khazri
Referee: Bobby Madley