Ravel Morrison's first half goal was as good as it got for West Ham as Norwich surged back to win.

Watch Live: West Ham vs. Norwich City (Lineups and Discuss)

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A ding-dong relegation battle takes place at Upton Park on a chilly evening in England’s capital, as West Ham host Norwich (Watch online via Live Extra, 2:45pm ET) with a huge three-point haul on the line.

Both teams are on 25 points, as the Hammers sit 15th and just above Norwich on goal difference. And both these teams have been solid defensively, with West Ham keeping 10 clean sheets and Norwich keeping nine. This is sure to be a tight game as the two sides want to climb clear of the bottom three, as they are just two points above the drop zone.


The Hammers are aiming to win three games in a row in the PL for the first time since 2007, as they’ve now kept three clean sheets after back to back 2-0 wins over Swansea and Aston Villa, as well as that massive 0-0 draw away at Chelsea. It has certainly been their best spell of the season as Big Sam Allardyce’s side steer themselves away from danger.

As for Norwich they come off the back of a brilliant result at the weekend, as they drew 0-0 at home against free-scoring Manchester City. But goals have once again been hard to come by for the Canaries, as they’ve scored just 19 times this season, the second lowest total in the league.

The Hammers are still without Andy Carroll who is suspended after his red card against Swansea last weekend, so Carlton Cole continues to start up front. Norwich start with Gary Hooper up front on his own as Chris Hughton makes one change with Robert Snodgrass coming in for Anthony Pilkington. New signing Joseph Yobo also makes his second start in the heart of Norwich’s defense.


West Ham: Adrian, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Jarvis, Taylor, Noble, Collins, Demel, Downing, C.Cole. Subs: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Armero, Collison, Diame, Borriello, Nocerino

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey, Johnson; Snodgrass, Fer, Redmond; Hooper.  Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, van Wolfswinkel, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Elmander, Garrido

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City SC 2-1 Montreal Impact

Cyle Larin, Orlando City SC

The game in 100 words (or less): For weeks, it was a widely held belief that the Montreal Impact would snatch up the sixth and final playoff place in the Eastern Conference with little or no resistance from their opposition. As they went six games unbeaten (four wins), all looked to be setting up perfect for the club that fired Frank Klopas midseason, but there was another team in the race for sixth that kept winning themselves: Orlando City SC. On Saturday night, Montreal and Orlando City faced off at the Citrus, with the expansion Lions claiming their fourth-straight victory with a 2-1 triumph. Montreal now holds a one-point lead on Orlando in the race for sixth, and have two games in hand, but it’s no longer a foregone conclusion L’Impact will qualify for the playoffs no resistance whatsoever.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

33′ — Bush’s mistake gifts Larin the opening goal — Larin did what your taught to do as a striker — “put it on frame, test the goalkeeper” — but in no universe does a shot so feeble have any business finding the back of the net. Evan Bush has been great this year. Hopefully (for Montreal’s sake), this howler doesn’t turn into the yips with the playoffs looming.

43′ — Hall’s “mistake” gifts Oduro an equalizer — Dominic Oduro equalized in the 43rd minute, when he took the ball out of the hands of Tally Hall and smashed it into the back of the net, but the goal should have been disallowed due to Hall having full control of the ball.

80′ — Hines hits the winner for Orlando — Seb Hines put the ball back into the mixer and just so happened to find the back of the net in the 80th minute. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

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Man of the match: Seb Hines

Goalscorers: Larin (33′), Oduro (43′), Hines (80′)

MLS Snapshot: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew SC

Bradley Wright-Phillips, New York Red Bulls
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The game in 100 words (or less): Two weeks in a row Columbus Crew SC have had a chance to go top of the Eastern Conference with a victory, and two weeks in a row Crew SC have failed to take a single point from massively important fixtures. Their latest defeat, a 2-1 humbling at the hands of the East-leading New York Red Bulls, started so well for Gregg Berhalter’s side, but was undone by a pair of costly, comedic defensive errors that allowed Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips (15th of the season) to erase an early deficit (Justin Meram) and win all three points. The result not only keeps the Red Bulls top of the East, but gives them a three- and four-point cushion with three and two games in hand on their nearest competitors., D.C. United and New England Revoltion respectively. For Crew SC, they’re four points back of the Red Bulls in fourth place, one point ahead of fifth-place Toronto FC, who have a game in hand.

[ MORE: | Week 30 TOTW | POTW ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Meram pokes it past Robles for an early lead — Meram “earned” his goal all the way back in midfield, when the Iraqi international’s mazy run took a routine turnover inside Crew SC’s defensive half and turned it into a dangerous counter-attacking opportunity. Harrison Afful overlapped and provided the cross for Meram to send home.

12′ — Sam capitalizes on multiple mistakes to equalize — Crew SC pass the ball out of the back. They don’t boot it forward to clear. It’s just what they do. Sometimes, that’ll bite you. When your goalkeeper and right back both have blunders clearing the ball 10 seconds apart, you probably deserve to concede an ugly, scrappy goal.

21′ — Wright-Phillips capitalizes on more defensive gaffes — See the above description for Red Bulls goal no. 1.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Damien Perrinelle

Goalscorers: Meram (9′), Sam (12′), Wright-Phillips (21′)