Hammers bubble burst
Sunderland defeated a team which they should have beaten in September. In that 1-1 draw, West Ham dominated the game but Saturday’s action was completely different.
The Black Cats attacked West Ham from the first minute. Early on, as would come an irregular occurrence in the game, Sessegnon dribbled through the defence before cutting the ball back once he was on the by-line. Johnson’s back post volley was blocked before Vaughan’s awkward shot bounced wide.
It was with their next chance that Sunderland scored. Johnson’s ball was cleared to Demel but the Ivoirian’s header only fell to Larsson on the edge of the box. The Swede then struck the bouncing ball with his weaker left foot expertly into the top corner. The man who got 7 goals last season opened his account for the 2012-2013 season.
West Ham did manage a shot in the first half when Guy Demel skipped past McClean on the right. His ball caused some confusion in the box before Jarvis finally managed to get his shot away. However, his weak effort was saved by Mignolet.
Sessegnon provided the attacking spark again when he went past Collins like he wasn’t there before dragging his shot wide. Collins was then subbed off with a hamstring injury. James Tomkins was his replacement. At half time, Vaz Te came on for Collison as Allardyce tried to get his side back into the game.
It was Sunderland who got the crucial goal on 47 minutes to double their advantage after Larsson’s goal after 12 minutes. The Hammers were hit on the counter and after a good ball by Sessegnon, McClean found himself through. However, his powerful shot was well saved but the danger was clear yet. Fletcher had a shot saved by Adam Johnson was there to tap in. He has now scored 4 goals so far this season.
New signing Chamakh came on for Carlton Cole but Sunderland came back, trying to put the final nail in the coffin. They almost did that when Colback put Fletcher in but his well taken finish was ruled out for offside. Earlier, Colback, who was playing one of his best games in a Sunderland shirt, had a shot saved and then his follow up hit the post.
A third goal was scored on 74 minutes. It was McClean who got it for the Lads. Again, some neat dribbling work from Sessegnon saw him in the box but his scuffed shot looked to be going harmlessly wide until McClean came in at the back post to bag his 5th in all competitions from a tight angle.
Wickham then replaced Fletcher as West Ham came back and could have netted twice. Jarvis’ cross went all the way through to Vaz Te at the back post. However, the striker’s shot was well blocked by Mignolet. Tomkins’s then saw a similar chance saved by the goalkeeper’s leg.
Sunderland then gave a debut to new boy N’Diaye, who replaced Johnson. The Frenchman could have scored with his first touch when Wickham played it to him. However, his precision shot just went wide of the far post. McFadden replaced Sessegnon for the final few minutes.
Despite equaling their biggest win of the season, Sunderland stay 14th but they are well clear on points from the drop zone. The next game will be the cup replay against Bolton.
Simon Mignolet, Craig Gardner, John O’Shea ©, Titus Bramble, Jack Colback, Seb Larsson, David Vaughan, Adam Johnson (Alfred N’Diaye), James McClean, Stephane Sessegnon (James McFadden) and Steven Fletcher (Connor Wickham).
West Ham team:
Jussi Jaaskelainen, Guy Demel, James Collins (James Tomkins), Winston Reid, Dan Potts, James Collison (Ricardo Vaz Te), Lassana Diarra, Kevin Nolan © Joe Cole, Matt Jarvis and Carlton Cole (Marouane Chamakh