Sunderland’s relegation troubles increased as a solid West Ham side won 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.
Andy Carroll did not endear himself further to Sunderland fans as he put the visitors ahead before the 10-minute mark. A fine headed goal, the ex-Newcastle striker got away from his marker John O’Shea and fired the ball past the helpless Vito Mannone.
O’Shea did not have a happy match, and was riled in the first half by referee Howard Webb’s failure to award a penalty when the ball appeared to strike Kevin Nolan’s elbow in the area.
Adam Johnson came off the Sunderland bench shortly afterwards, and injected new life into a frustrated and demoralised side. He grabbed a goal back, thanks to a fabulous first touch allowing him to blast past Adrian’s despairing right hand into the top corner of the net.
Johnson improved the performance of a line-up that was industrious yet lacklustre, but even his revitalising influence could not create an equaliser.
9' - GOAL! Sunderland 0-1 West Ham: Carroll gets his head to it! He gets away from John O'Shea, Vito Mannone can't leave his line, and Andy Carroll puts the visitors in front.
25' - CHANCE! Long ball forward towards Wickham, looping over Reid's head, but the Sunderland man can't control it and it's through to the keeper.
37' - CHANCE! George McCartney puts a cross in from the left and again Carroll gets his head to it, but it's straight at the goalkeeper.
50' - GOAL! Sunderland 0-2 West Ham: The free-kick is hoisted forward, Carroll knocks in down, and Diame's shot is deflected by Vergini into the net.
60' - CHANCE! What a chance! Stewart Downing comes in down the right, narrows the angle on Mannone, and lets fly - and it zips past the far post. Did the goalkeeper get a touch on that? There's no corner awarded.
65' - GOAL! Sunderland 1-2 West Ham: Well, it was always going to be Adam Johnson who made the difference. Fantastic first touch from him, sending a screamer past Adrian, diving to his right.
70' - CLOSE! What a chance! Borini has outwitted Demel, and fires hard and fast and beating Adrian - into the side netting.
Sunderland have not won a Premier League match in which they were behind at half-time since 11th December 2011, when they beat Blackburn 2-1 at home.
Sunderland have not come back from a goal down to win a Premier League match since 19th January 2013.
West Ham have now won five of their last 30 Premier League away games (W5 D7 L18).
West Ham avoid losing three consecutive Premier League away matches for the second time this season, and extend Sunderland’s winless streak to six Premier League matches.
Sunderland have won only one of their last nine Premier League home matches.
Was that a penalty when the ball struck Kevin Nolan’s elbow? Video slow-motion replays indicate that perhaps it should have been - and perhaps that might have made the difference for Sunderland.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kevin Nolan (West Ham) - the captain led his resilient side well on a tough evening.
SUNDERLAND: Mannone 7, Bardsley 7, Alonso 6, Brown 6, O'Shea 5, Vergini 5, Ki 5, Bridcutt 6, Cattermole 5, Borini 6, Wickham 6; Subs: Gardner 7, Johnson 8, Scocco 6
WEST HAM: Adrian 7, Demel 6, Tomkins 6, Reid 5, McCartney 6, Noble 6, Nolan 7, Taylor 6, Downing 6, Carroll 7, Diame 6; Subs: Armero 6, Johnson 6, Nocerino 6
MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Andy Carroll
- Premier League
- Kevin Nolan
- Adam Johnson