Sunderland 1 West Ham United 2 match report: Andy Carroll ignores boos to push Sunderland closer to the drop

 

The Stadium of Light

The cacophony of jeers that echoed around the Stadium of Light were for the losers, Sunderland. West Ham once more won a football match (now six of their last nine) and heard the anger of supporters. None were from the 800 or so who had travelled north.

Instead, there was genuine hostility from a set of fans who have had enough of this miserable Premier League season. Monday night was the ninth time Sunderland supporters have seen their side lose at home in the league. There have been three wins. It is not an argument about style, it is of substance. Sunderland don’t have any.

They have lost six of their last seven games, the other being a goalless draw with Crystal Palace. The bottom five have all changed their manager during the season. The result, in Sunderland’s case for certain, is a fragmented football club. Gus Poyet was jeered on Monday night. His decision to play with three central defenders for an hour in a game his side had to win made no sense. Only when Adam Johnson came on, and with Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diamé having scored for West Ham, was there an injection of life into the home side. Johnson scored in the 65th minute and there was a frantic finish, but it all feels too little and too late.

What a contrast to and for Sam Allardyce, who was raising fists towards his club’s supporters. This time there was elation in victory. West Ham are as good as safe.

Carroll had struck early. For a crucial home game, the three centre-halves smacked of unnecessary caution. It also made no difference. The game was not even 10 minutes old when the excellent Mark Noble sent over a left-wing corner. Carroll brushed aside John O’Shea and powered his header home, despite goalkeeper Vita Mannone’s attempts to keep it out.

That Carroll started his career at Newcastle and is booed relentlessly by Sunderland’s supporters added to his individual joy. It was only his 15th Premier League goal since he left Tyneside for Liverpool in 2011. There was nothing unusual about the goal for the home side though. In a season of staggering ineptitude, it was the 14th they have conceded from set-pieces. West Ham should have led by more.

Matt Taylor took a Noble pass just outside the Sunderland penalty area and even at full stretch, his effort whistled narrowly wide. Mannone had to deny another Carroll header in the 37th minute. By then the home side had at least stirred, but when the ball broke to the unmarked Lee Cattermole 15 yards from the West Ham goal, he shot weakly at Adrian and then blasted the rebound over the crossbar.

Sunderland could have only one complaint during the opening 45 minutes, when Kevin Nolan clearly elbowed the ball to clear it from his own penalty area just before the break. Referee Howard Webb, however, ignored the appeals.

The second goal came within just five minutes of the restart, and again Sunderland’s inability to defend was evident. James Tomkins’ free-kick was chested down by Carroll – who this time brushed aside Wes Brown – and from there, Diamé’s shot deflected off Santiago Vergini into the bottom corner.

In the 61st minute, the game should really have been all over. Stewart Downing was sent clean through, but saw his left footed shot finger-tipped around the post. Within four minutes his former Middlesbrough team-mate Johnson, somehow unable to get a start, had replaced Cattermole and taken a clever pass from fellow substitute Craig Gardner before curling an left-footed strike past Adrian.

In those five minutes, the atmosphere of a stadium changed. There was a frantic finish. In the 92nd minute, Alonso’s left-wing cross found the third Sunderland substitute, Ignacio Scocco, who, headed over the crossbar. It was Sunderland’s last hope. There is little of that left now.

Match details

Sunderland: Mannone; Ki; Wickham; Bardsley; Vergini; O’Shea; Brown; Alonso; Cattermole; Bridcutt; Borini

West Ham: Adrian; McCartney; Reid; Tomkins; Demel; Diamé; Taylor; Noble; Downing; Nolan; Carroll

Goals. Sunderland: Johnson 65. West Ham: Carroll 9, Diamé 50

Subs: Sunderland Johnson (Cattermole, 53), Gardner ( O’Shea, 60), Scocco (Ki, 79).

West Ham Armero (McCartney, h-t), Johnson (Diamé, 79), Nocerino (Nolan, 84).

Booked: Sunderland Alonso, Wickham. West Ham Nolan, Noble, Reid, Adrian.

MOM Noble

Match rating 5/10.

Poss: Sunderland 61% West Ham 39%.

Atts on target: Sunderland 7 West Ham 6.

Referee H Webb (S Yorks). Att 37,396

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine