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West Ham United
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11 February 2014
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: M. Oliver
• Attendance: 35153
West Ham United
J. Collins 84'
M. Diamé 90'+
I'm Alex Moretto, and I'd like to thank you all for joining me here today. We'll see you all for some more Premier League action on Wednesday. Good bye!
Deserving or not, West Ham fans will be delighted with their team, after growing ever so restless late in the second half as Norwich looked likely to find a late winner. Collins the hero, as the Hammers win a third straight Premier League game for the first time in seven years! It's also a fourth straight clean sheet for West Ham, who have gone nearly six hours without conceding in league play.
FULL-TIME: WEST HAM 2-0 NORWICH CITY. It's a cruel defeat to the visitors, who deserved much more from the match. Endless wasted opportunities proved to be the Canaries eventual undoing, as West Ham took one of their few chances and capitalized on a rare goalkeeping error from John Ruddy to claim a massive three points!
90' + 5'
That's it! Norwich get us back underway but the full-time whistle is blown right away by Mark Oliver!
90' + 4'
Assist Mark Noble
90' + 4'
Goal Mohamed Diame
90' + 4'
GOAAAAAL! It's all over now! Norwich's final chance is cleared, and Diame breaks one-on-one with Russell Martin. His shot takes a generous deflection off Martin and beats a helpless Ruddy. Norwich undone on the counter, and West Ham's magical run continues.
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Anthony Pilkington
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Antonio Nocerino
90' + 1'
We've played the first of four minutes of added time now, and Norwich can't find a way through. West Ham defending in numbers. Leroy Fer crosses in for Snodgrass, who unsuccessfully tries to bring it down and dance around two defenders. They're running out of time, and really need to put everything on target at this point.
The cross is good, but there's not enough pace on it. It's met by Bassong, but he can't get much power behind it and Adrian stops it on the goal line.
Into the last minute of the 90 here, and Norwich have a free kick from the top right corner of the box as Van Wolfswinkel in dragged down by Mohamed Diame.
West Ham are playing inspired after the Collins goal, winning every 50-50 ball, much to the delight of a now boisterous Upton Park crowd.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel
It really is cruel to Norwich, but Hughton perhaps punished for not going for it sooner. He makes his final change now as Ricky van Wolfswinkel comes on for Alexander Tettey, but is it too little too late?
Assist Mohamed Diame
Goal James Collins
GOAAAAAAAAAL! It's a massive goal for West Ham United, and it's scored by James Collins of all people! Mohamed Diame's cross from the left is placed directly onto the head of Collins who really couldn't miss, especially with Ruddy well out of his net trying to fist away the cross that Collins was always beating him too.
Another interesting switch from Chris Hughton, who takes off Nathan Redmond, the man of the match so far for the Canaries. Amidst the mess of chances, Allardyce also utilized his final change, bringing on Antonio Nocerino in place of Matthew Taylor.
Another chance goes begging for Norwich, as Joseph Yobo nearly has his first for the Canaries! The corner is barely palmed away by Adrian, and falls for Joseph Yobo in space, right on the penalty spot, but his half-volley is onto the roof of the net. If it were anyone but a central defender, you would have to fancy their chances of scoring there.
GREAT SAVE RUDDY! Out of nothing, the Hammers nearly have an opener! The ball is lofted forward for Kevin Nolan just inside the box, who lays it off for Diame with his first touch. The midfielder has a clean look at goal but can't curl his effort past the right arm of Ruddy. Brilliant stop from the Norwich keeper!
Hughton finally makes a change, but it's not the most positive of switches, as Johan Elmander comes on for Gary Hooper. It's a straight swap, like for like, that doesn't indicate any sort of final push from the Canaries.
Redmond cuts in now from the right, using the run of Gary Hooper to create space for a shot. He tries to go near post, but his shot is a few feet wide and West Ham are back in possession.
Perhaps this stat can provide some reasoning behind Hughton's hesitation to make a change to his team: Of the 60 substitutions made in the league this season by Chris Hughton, not one has produced either a goal or an assist for the Canaries.
Norwich are growing in confidence as this game progresses! The home fans are growing restless as the Canaries continue to pile on the pressure! Now would be as good a time as ever for Chris Hughton to bring on Johan Elmander or Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Another brilliant save from Adrian! What a chance that was for Gary Hooper! Bradley Johnson has Hooper running to his right and Redmond to his left. He wonderfully chips the ball forward for Hooper, who is in alone but can't find a way to beat Adrian who closes his legs in time to turn aside the striker's shot!
West Ham push forward for the first time in what seems like forever. Another long, lofted free kick from Tomkins is headed clear, but only as far as Downing, whose cross is poor and into the waiting arms of Ruddy.
The patience and style has worked itself out of the match now, which is getting increasingly sloppy as we approach the final 20 minutes. Snodgrass cuts in from the right, and tries a hopeful shot as opposed to trying to pick out a pass. The effort sails well wide, and out for a goal kick.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich have managed to score just 19 goals so far this season - only one better than league worst Crystal Palace.
Another substitution now from Sam Allardyce, who brings Mohamed Diame on in place of Matthew Jarvis. This likely means the Hammers are going for a more direct approach, as the departure of Jarvis takes away a lot of their width on attack.
Yellow Card Bradley Johnson
Norwich do a great job of keeping possession inside the attacking half. Martin switches the play to Redmond, who passes off for Bradley Johnson. The midfielder gives it away to a back-tracking Marco Borriello, and earns himself a yellow card as he tries to win the ball back.
Great rush now by Olsson, but his final effort is poor. He gets the ball at the touchline before turning around Matthew Taylor, and cutting inside Guy Demel, beating the defender with good pace. As he approaches the top of the box, he attempts to hit it with the outside of his foot instead of pass it off, and the shot loops well wide of the far post. Wasted opportunity there for Norwich.
West Ham get play back underway after a lengthy delay, and get into the box, but Jarvis' attempted cut-back is poor allowing Norwich to break on the counter. Alexander Tettey surges forward and had a go from 30 yards out. His low, driven shot is straight at the feet of Gary Hooper, who stops it at the top of the box and has a shot of his own, but he just couldn't get enough on it as Adrian collects well to make the save.
Olsson and Downing both go down now, as the Swede looks to have smashed his forehead against the back of the head of Downing. The Hammers midfielder appears to be alright, but the medical staff is out to attend to Olsson who looks to be in a bit of pain.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich are winless in their last six trips to Upton Park (3D, 3L), with their last victory coming back in 1989.
Lethargic start to the second half from both teams. Norwich trying to push the pace a bit, while West Ham are clogging the midfield, struggling to break down the Canaries' defence.
Appeals for a handball, as George McCartney appears to have handled it just outside the area, but Mark Oliver says no and Norwich settle for a corner.
The players are back out and Leroy Fer and Gary Hooper get us underway to start the second half! One substitution to speak about at half-time, as Marco Borriello makes his home debut, replacing Carlton Cole.
Sam Allardyce on the other hand may look to the likes of Marco Borriello and Pablo Armero to come on in the second half and inject a bit of pace into the Hammers attack, which was lacking for much of the opening 45 minutes.
Chris Hughton may fancy his team's chances to come away with this match with three points, and may look to bring on another striker in Johan Elmander to help Norwich find that elusive first goal.
HALF-TIME: WEST HAM 0-0 NORWICH CITY. Both teams enjoyed some solid spells in that first half, but it was the visitors who had the better of the play overall. Plenty of missed chances by the Canaries which they hope will not come back to haunt them in the second half. The Hammers extend their streak of not conceding a goal in league play to over five hours now, thanks to some great goalkeeping in that first half from Adrian.
45' + 1'
Lovely ball movement by Norwich right on the stroke of half-time! Leroy Fer charges forward, passing off for Alexander Tettey. The Norwegian works a give-and-go with Gary Hooper, working himself into the box for a shot that Adrian does wonderfully palm aside! The ensuing corner is cleared and Mark Oliver brings an end to the first half.
Great bit of skill from Mark Noble, who gets himself into a good shooting position before scuffing his final shot from just outside the box. He did well to cut by two Norwich defenders, but had more room to run in as opposed to rushing his shot.
Yellow Card Martin Olsson
Norwich keep possession well in the West Ham half, stringing passes together nicely, before a lofted ball over the top is chased down by Olsson, who plows into the back of James Collins, conceding a free kick and earning the game's first yellow card.
As of the 41st minute, it has now been over five hours of Premier League play since West Ham have conceded.
West Ham are pushing the pace here as we approach half-time. Downing races down the right, and passes off for Demel who can cross it in. His final ball is very poor, however, as it rolls out of play and Norwich can relieve a bit of the pressure.
Appeals for a penalty! Carlton Cole goes to ground following a free kick, but Mark Oliver is having none of it as he urges play to continue. Upon review, it was a good call by the referee, who was in great position to see the play develop.
STAT ATTACK: Norwich won this season's reverse fixture 3-1 at Carrow Road, thanks to goals from Gary Hooper, Robert Snodgrass and Leroy Fer. Ravel Morrison scored the lone goal for the Hammers.
West Ham win a free kick just inside the Norwich half, and a long ball in is headed clear by Bassong, but out for a corner. Downing's original corner is poor, but he gets another chance at a cross and this time it's put into a very dangerous area, eluding Ruddy, but eventually headed behind by Yobo for another corner.
Hooper and Snodgrass show some nice skill, passing back and forth along the left, dancing their way around Demel and Taylor. Snodgrass eventually picks out Tettey at the top of the box, but his shot is blocked and the danger is turned away.
Norwich win a throw in now, much to the dismay of Sam Allardyce who believes Gary Hooper should have been called for a high boot on James Tomkins. The argument from Big Sam is all for nothing, as the throw is poor and West Ham regain possession. After a wild ten minutes, the pace has started to slow once again.
West Ham keep the pressure up, but are struggling to create any good scoring chances. Nolan holds off a defender and lays it off for Noble, but his shot from about 25 yards out is caught with ease by Ruddy and Norwich look to break again on the counter.
Right back the other way now come West Ham. Jarvis streaking down the left is able to pick out Carlton Cole at the top of the box. He turns around a defender, but can't get enough on his shot as it's easily saved by Ruddy.
Superb tackle from Tomkins to prevent what looked like a sure Norwich goal! Ruddy's goal kick picks out Hooper, who switches the play to Redmond on the left. He lays it off for the run of Snodgrass, who cuts it back for Johnson just inside the top of the box. The midfielder has a clear look at goal from eight yards out, but Tomkins comes diving in from behind to break up the opportunity! Fantastic defending.
The pace is really starting to pick up now. West Ham push forward the other way, with Jarvis and Noble linking up. Jarvis receives a return pass inside the box, but his left-footed effort is saved well by Ruddy.
Another brilliant chance for Norwich, but Adrian denies Snodgrass from giving the visitors the lead! Redmond shows his class, delivering a stunning ball over the top of the West Ham defence, sending Snodgrass in alone, but he can't tip it past Adrian who makes a tremendous save with his right hand.
STAT ATTACK: The Hammers have kept 12 clean sheets this season, the most in the Premier League.
West Ham push forward themselves now, and win a free kick along the left after a handball. Downing tries to whip it in with his left foot, but the cross is lacking in height, and it's cleared well by Russell Martin.
Again it's Redmond creating all sorts of problems for West Ham down the left. This time Downing tracks back well and is able to play it out off Redmond for a goal kick. Demel is going to have his hands full today.
So close to a first goal for Norwich! Redmond shows excellent skill and pace on the ball, beating Demel easily along the left. His cross in for Hooper is perfect, but his header is saved well by Adrian as he gets down quick enough to make the save. Tomkins comes in and clears for a corner, but nothing comes of it.
Great defending shown from West Ham's James Tomkins. Nathan Redmond picks out Robert Snodgrass at the top of the box, in a shooting position, but Tomkins closes the gap and forces the midfielder all the way to the outside, eventually turning the ball over.
The game has gotten off to a very physical start, with both teams conceding plenty of free kicks. This time Nolan goes in from behind on Fer, and Norwich can push forward.
Noble's lofted cross is cleared easily, however. Norwich win possession, and Noble commits a foul, relieving the early pressure applied by the Hammers.
Nervy moments at the back for Norwich, as Joseph Yobo completely misses a James Collins free kick from half way, forcing a rushed clearance from the Canaries. West Ham win it back and Fer concedes another foul on Noble in a promising area.
West Ham get us underway, moving from right to left, and immediately work the ball forward, winning a attacking throw-in and applying some early pressure on the visitors.
The players are out of the tunnel, onto the pitch and just about ready to get underway! West Ham are wearing their red kits with light blue sleeves, while Norwich are in their classic yellow and green.
STAT ATTACK: The two teams are tied at 25 points coming into the match, on identical 6-7-12 records, with West Ham only ahead on goal differential. There are just two points separating them from the relegation zone.
Jonas Gutierrez, Ryan Bennett and Michael Turner remain out for the Canaries, while Robert Snodgrass returns to the starting XI, forcing Any Pilkington to the bench.
SUBS: Bunn, Elmander, Garrido, Hoolahan, Pilkington, van Wolfswinkel, Whittaker
Norwich City XI (4-4-1-1): Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Redmond; Fer; Hooper
West Ham will again be without the suspended Andy Carroll as he serves the second of a three-match ban, following his controversial red card. Mohamed Diame has been deemed fit and returns to the team after missing the Hammers big win at Villa Park on Saturday, while Joe Cole, whose status was in question, remains out.
SUBS: Armero, Borriello, Collison, Diame, Jaaskelainen, Nocerino, Reid
West Ham XI (4-2-3-1): Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Collins, McCartney; Taylor, Noble; Downing, Nolan, Jarvis; Cole
The teams have been announced, so let us take a look at today's starting line-ups:
Norwich enter the match with an identical record to the hosts, meaning a loss in today's fixture would be detrimental to either team. The Canaries have won just one of their last 10 league matches, but have managed five draws in that span, and you would have to think Chris Hughton would be content with a point today, especially considering the hosts' recent good form.
West Ham are riding high as of late, earning 10 points from their last five league fixtures, helping them jump out of the relegation zone. Their defensive issues look to have fixed themselves for the time being, but Sam Allardyce still has his work cut out for him. Survival is far from guaranteed, and with five of the top six teams in the Premier League still left on the Hammers schedule, it's as crucial as ever for them to get three points from games like today.
Good afternoon Premier League fans around the world, and welcome to today's match, a big one for both West Ham and Norwich City at Upton Park as they look to move further away from the relegation zone. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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