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West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
December 14, 2013
• Boleyn Ground, London
Referee: A. Marriner
• Attendance: 31843
West Ham United
Well that's it from me today. Thanks for following along today, and enjoy the rest of the weekend's action!
FULL-TIME: WEST HAM 0-0 SUNDERLAND Much to the dismay of the home fans, the Hammers should consider this point a gift. The Black Cats will rue their missed chances. Jaaskelainen, his crossbar and a lack of composure in front of goal proved to be too much for Sunderland to overcome, as they are forced to settle for a point. Allardyce has his work cut out for him, as they remain on the edge of the relegation zone, while Poyet continues to search for a way to get Sunderland out of the bottom.
90' + 4'
Andre Mariner blows his full time whistle and that will do it at Upton Park.
90' + 3'
Collins off the corner! He climbs up to get on the end of the cross but sends his effort wide. That might just do it.
90' + 2'
McCartney! A chance out of nothing, really as his cross nearly goes in, if not for a smart tip over by Mannone.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of added time. Fans already funneling out of Upton Park.
It's the first real chance in a while for West Ham. Maiga gets it in space and gives a good ball in for Cole, but it's sent wide for a goal kick says Mariner. Looked like it may have gone out off O'Shea for a corner.
The crowd at Upton Park gets as loud as they've been all game! It's not saying much. Giaccherini goes down easily, West Ham put the ball out in the name of fair play, and the crowd isn't afraid to voice their displeasure.
Morrison charges up the center, but lets a shot go from distance and it's well wide. This has been a very uninspiring performance from the Hammers - certainly not how Allardyce hoped to be celebrating his 100th match with the club.
This game has lost any sort of urgency. Both teams look content on playing out the draw. I can understand West Ham's willingness at this point, but Sunderland can't be content with a point after all the chances they've wasted.
Bardsley has picked up a knock and he'll give way to Andrea Dossena.
Bardsley has picked up a knock and he'll give way to Andrea Dossena.
STAT: In 41 all-time meetings between West Ham and Sunderland at Upton Park, there has never been a scoreless draw. We're less than 10 minutes from the first one here today...
Morrison this time with a great run for West Ham, but he's forced to the outside and it results in a feeble ball into the box.
KI! It's so close to an opening goal for Sunderland! The South Korea international gets off a great shot from close range, but the great reactions of Jaaskelainen keep this game scoreless.
Sunderland applying some pressure here, but West Ham are doing well to keep everything outside the box.
Carlton Cole on for Joe Cole. Allardyce hoping just maybe they can find a winner, although it doesn't look likely at the moment.
Diame is the only player for the Hammers who looks like he could have a goal in him today. Another fine run from him, but his shot is easily collected by Mannone.
Sunderland aren't really going for it here. Poyet replaces Altidore and Borini for Fletcher and Johnson. You just feel like this game is there for the taking for Sunderland, but is Poyet being overly-cautious with these substitutions?
Chance for Collison, and that really sums up the afternoon for West Ham. Cole lays it off for him with too much pace, and the shot trickles helplessly wide.
A bit of life shown by Sunderland. Bardsley has space on the outside of the box, but fails to pick out Borini and West Ham break the other way.
The game has really died out here. The ball has barely left the midfield. It feels as though both teams are getting this into the final 20 minutes before they really go for it. Let's hope so, or this could be a dreary end to the match at Upton Park.
West Ham are showing no signs of snatching a goal here. You just wonder if Poyet will send on Fletcher or Johnson and try and take all three points from the Hammers.
The chances are coming, but both teams are being limited to diagonal crosses and shots from distance. A goal would really bring this game to life.
ALTIDORE THIS TIME! The American does well to turn past the tackle of Collins, and fires a strong shot back across goal. Jaaskelainen does well to get down and hold on to make the save.
More pressure from Sunderland now! Giaccherini's shot from twenty yards out is blasted high and wide, however.
Guy Demel is forced to sub off as he appears to have picked up a knock. Joey O'Brien will be the man to replace him.
Diame powers through the Sunderland defence, and gets into a dangerous area but sends his shot into the side netting.
Matt Jarvis gives way here for Jack Collison, as Allardyce tries to breathe some life into his squad. It's the 100th league appearance for Collison, on the same day Allardyce manages his 100th game for the Hammers.
Finally some life in the crowd at Upton Park
West Ham finally applying some pressure on Sunderland. A string of passes leads to a good opportunity for Ravel Morrison, but Mannone makes an easy save.
Both teams are easing their way into the second half, but surely will have to go for it as the game progresses. A draw would do Sam Allardyce no favors, while Sunderland will be hoping for more considering their performance so far.
Ki lays it off nicely for Altidore, but his thumping shot is deflected behind for a corner.
The crowd at Upton Park has been subdued this afternoon. West Ham need to find a spark or Sunderland will feel confident in their ability to take this game over.
It will be interesting to see how Allardyce approaches this second half. He knows the importance of getting three points from this fixture as they face Manchester United and Arsenal in their next two league matches.
West Ham get this second half underway...
Sam Allardyce is still waiting for someone to step up in the absence of Andy Carroll. Maiga is still looking for his first goal in his eleventh game of the season today. Ricardo Vaz Te (two goals) and Carlton Cole (one) are available as substitutes.
Sunderland are still looking for their first away win on the season, and after that first half you'd think they would fancy their chances here today.
HALF-TIME: WEST HAM 0-0 SUNDERLAND... The hosts started strong and looked like taking the game over in the early stages, but as has been the story all season, lacked quality in front of goal. Sunderland grew in confidence as the half progressed, and in all likelihood will be kicking themselves for not taking their chances. Altidore and Borini could have a goal each, while the absence of Andy Carroll continues to haunt Sam Allardyce.
45' + 1'
CATTERMOLE! It's a remarkable effort from distance, but it's turned away nicely by the strong hands of Jaaskelainen, and with that, Andre Mariner puts an end to the first half.
One minute of added time...
Sunderland growing in confidence! A cross in is cleared, but the ball falls beautifully for Giaccherini who has his shot deflected just wide, much to the relief of Jaaskelainen.
Nice bit of skill from Ravel Morrison! He dances his way into the box, but can't find enough space to pick out a cross or a shot. Sunderland defending well there.
Cole creates a turnover in the attacking third, and had options to either side, but elects to go for goal and sends it shockingly wide.
Larsson sends a great ball in and it's cleared for yet another corner. West Ham on the back foot here!
Ki does really well down the left, he tries to skip past Joe Cole, but it's turned out of play for a corner... although it looked to be out off Ki. Tough break for Cole.
Concerted pressure here from Sunderland! Ki picks out Borini in the box, but it's a dreadful header by the Italian as he sends the ball out for a goal kick.
OFF THE BAR!! A tremendous effort by Phil Bardsley from about 25 yards out beats Jaaskelainen but not the bar! Sunderland just inches away from an opening goal!
SO CLOSE FOR SUNDERLAND! Altidore blocks the free kick of Collins and the ball breaks for Borini who has plenty of time and space, but slams his shot into the thankful arms of Jaaskelainen! The Italian really should have done better there!
Sunderland managing some pressure of their own now, and the ball goes out for another corner, but nothing comes of it.
Sunderland back the other way now, Giaccherini's ball in for Altidore is good, but he's taken down by McCartney! Mariner says no penalty, and Sunderland will have to settle for a corner.
The Hammers are having plenty of success building down the left through Diame and Jarvis. They're getting into plenty of space, but seem to be lacking the final ball.
Yellow Card Mark Noble
West Ham continue to apply the pressure, but Mark Noble concedes possession with a late tackle and receives the game's first yellow.
Celustka topples over the back of Noble right outside the area, but no foul is given! Questionable decision by Mariner, one I think he got wrong. Should have been a free kick in a dangerous area there for the Hammers.
Appeals for a penalty! Tomkins heads the corner back across the face of goal, and West Ham appeal for a handball, but referee Andre Mariner has called a foul against Guy Demel for a push. Sunderland can finally relieve some of the pressure here.
West Ham applying the pressure here! Collins' flick on is smartly cleared by Bardsley or Cole would have had a simple tap-in at the far post.
MAD SCRAMBLE! Noble takes a free kick that Collins manages to head into the danger zone, and three players had a kick at it before it's finally cleared by Sunderland!
Jarvis breaks down the left now and he nearly picks out Maiga, but Mannone manages to cover up safely!
Sunderland with a free kick from about 30 yards out. Larsson delivers, but nothing comes of it as Brown is ruled offside.
The teams are slowly starting to settle into the match now, after a very lively start.
West Ham controlling the ball well in the midfield, but seem to be forcing the ball forward, turning it over far too cheaply as a result.
Jarvis gets it on the edge of the box and his cross is turned out by Bardsley, but the assistant referee says goal kick! No corner for West Ham, much to the dismay of Jarvis.
STAT ATTACK: You have to go back to April 10, 2010 to find the last time Sunderland lost at Upton Park. The Black Cats are also unbeaten in their last four against West Ham.
Both teams with chances in the early going here, but Altidore really should have the visitors in the lead! Those are chances Sunderland can't afford to miss when you're sitting bottom of the table.
Sunderland's ensuing corner is cleared, and we have a stoppage as Collins is down after a collision with Bardsley.
ALTIDORE! The USA international is sent in alone with all the time and space in the world, but it's an inexcusable effort that's easily turned aside by Jaaskelainen.
West Ham really picking up the pace here! Diame again with a strong run and he picks out Maiga yet again, who heads it back across the face of goal and out for a goal kick. Jarvis just failed to get on the end of it.
What a great run by Diame!! The midfielder went roaring by O'Shea and Cattermole, but Maiga is unable to connect well with his final ball.
Giaccherini finds some space and lays it off for Ki but his shot rolls safely into the hands of Jaaskelainen.
The teams are content on feeling each other out early on here, with Sunderland happy to slow the tempo and keep possession.
And we're off!
Bubbles fill the air as the players take the pitch at Upton Park. Which manager will have their bubble burst today?
However, after a run of four defeats in five games, Hammers fans are starting to question Sam Allardyce. West Ham enter the match in 17th place, ahead of Fulham and Crystal Palace on goal differential, and the three clubs below them have undergone managerial changes less than half way into the campaign. With Sunderland currently bottom of the table, both teams will be desperate for three points today. This should make for an entertaining match!
West Ham are struggling for goals, while Sunderland can't win away. Something has got to give today in Sam Allardyce's 100th game in charge of the Hammers!
SUNDERLAND (4-4-2): Mannone; Celustka, Bardsley, Brown, O'Shea; Cattermole, Ki, Larsson, Giaccherini; Borini, Altidore
WEST HAM (4-5-1): Jaaskelainen; McCartney, Tomkins, Collins, Demel; Morrison, Noble, Jarvis, Diame, J.Cole; Maiga.
Before we get into any specifics, let's have a quick look at today's starting line-ups:
Good afternoon Premier League fans! Or good day, depending on where in the world you live. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be guiding you through today's action as Sunderland travel to Upton Park to take on West Ham in an intriguing bottom of the table fixture.
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