West Ham 1-0 Sunderland: Hammers hold off battling Black Cats

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  • Antonio curls in only goal
  • West Ham up to fifth
  • Sunderland in drop zone

West Ham United beat Sunderland 1-0 at Upton Park on Saturday as Michail Antonio‘s first half goal was enough to edge the Hammers to victory in blustery east London.

Antonio curled home a beauty on the half hour mark and the Hammers hit the crossbar twice through Mark Noble and Andy Carroll, but Sunderland had their chances too.

Jack Rodwell had two great chances late on, while Jermain Defoe also squandered a superb opportunity as it was an unhappy return to West Ham for Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce.

With the win West Ham move onto 43 points and climb to fifth place, while Sunderland remain in 19th with 23 points and could fall further behind in their battle against relegation.

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West Ham pressed early on and Noble drilled an effort towards the top corner which Vito Mannone got his fingertips too and the ball cannoned off the crossbar and came out. So close.

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Adrian then got away with one as the ball bobbled back to him and his clearance cannoned off Defoe but looped wide. Wahbi Khazri then curled a free kick from out wide which hit the top of the bar as both teams hit the woodwork in the early stages.

Antonio then gave West Ham the lead as Patrick Van Aanholt failed to clear a looping ball and the winger drove into the box and curled the ball into the far corner. Sublime strike. 1-0.

Antonio nearly had another before the break with a stunning volley but Mannone palmed it away as the Hammers were well on top as the half time whistle blew.

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At the start of the second half Defoe had a great chance to equalize as Lee Cattermole‘s long ball over the top caught out James Collins but the former Hammers striker snatched at the effort and sent his left-foot volley wide.

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Sunderland continued to push for an equalizer as Khazri and Van Aanholt linked up but the latter slammed his effort over. After a superb ball from Jan Kirchhoff set U.S. international DeAndre Yedlin free down the right, his cut back found Rodwell but the substitute saw his first effort saved brilliantly by Adrian and then the ball bounced up and hit his hand on the follow up. A huge opportunity wasted.

West Ham had a great opportunity to put the contest to bed as Sam Byram‘s header back across goal found sub Andy Carroll but his volley cannoned off the bar, hit Van Aanholt and Sunderland somehow cleared.

Late on the away side pushed hard and Rodwell had another great chance but Byram appeared from nowhere and blocked his shot from six yards out, and that was to be as close as they got to pegging back the home side as the Hammers held on to continue their push for a a top five finish.