West Ham vs Sunderland player ratings: Was match-winner Michail Antonio the Hammers' star man?

West Ham United 1 Sunderland 0

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The Independent Football

West Ham's chances of hosting European football next season at the Olympic Stadium received a boost on Saturday, after it beat relegation-threatened Sunderland 1-0 at Upton Park to climb to provisional fifth place in the Premier League. 

Winger Michail Antonio scored the game's only goal in the 30th minute, cutting in from the right touchline and muscling past three Sunderland defenders to curl the ball past keeper Vito Mannone. 

Sunderland remains anchored in the drop zone in 19th place, with manager Sam Allardyce enduring a miserable first return to Upton Park since leaving West Ham last year. 

Currently in the Europa League positions, West Ham is now unbeaten in its last 13 home games in all competitions ahead of its move to the Olympic Stadium next season. 

Antonio said: "It was hard-fought, they threw everything at us. It was a good clean sheet and great to get the three points.

"Randomly, I started practising it in training yesterday - cutting in on my right-foot. I put in five in five with no keeper, but I managed to do it against a keeper today.

"The celebration came to me when we were in hotel room with the lads yesterday.  They didn’t think I’d do it but I said if I scored today it’s definitely going to be done."

West Ham United 

Adrian: Nearly got into trouble with some ill advised first half juggling but did very well to keep out Rodwell in second half and maintain a clean sheet. 7

Sam Byram: Nearly allowed Rodwell in to score late in second half, and made the odd error in between some bright moments. 6

James Collins: Never really troubled by Sunderland’s possession starved attack. 6

Angelo Ogbonna: Had a pretty easy ride at the back. 6

Aaron Cresswell: Perhaps could have got forward more, but did well to stifle Sunderland on his flank. 6

Mark Noble: A solid game in midfield, nearly scored with a first half screamer and was subbed late on. 6

Cheikhou Kouyate: A fairly low key game, but helped his side dominate possession. 6

Michail Antonio: Named man of the match and his goal made the difference, looked lively all game. 7

Dmitri Payet: Showed flashes of his class, but rarely and struggled to make much meaningful impact on the game. 6

Manuel Lanzini: Subbed in the second half as he makes way back from injury, struggled like others to really have much creative influence on the game. 5 

Emmanuel Emenike: Subbed early in second half for Carroll after a largely anonymous performance. 5


Vito Mannone: Made a great save to deny Noble, but otherwise had little to do. 6

Deandre Yedlin: Not put under massive pressure, but perhaps could have got forward a bit more regularly. 6

Lamine Kone: Had a slightly foolish tangle with Payet in second half that could have gone badly wrong, but otherwise rarely put under much pressure. 6

John O’Shea: Showed his experience at the back but didn’t have a particularly tricky ride against a rather lacklustre West Ham. 6

Patrick van Aanholt: Not up to the standards he has set so far this season, made the crucial and stupid mistake for the goal and made little impact getting forward. 5

Jan Kirchhoff: A positive for Sunderland, enjoyed this game more than his horror debut, looking lively on the counter attack and causing West Ham some problems, particularly in second half. 7

Lee Cattermole: Threaded a lovely ball through to an offside Defoe in first half, and generally looked bright. Perhaps slightly surprisingly subbed midway through second half. 6

Yann M’Vila: Didn’t have enough of an impact on the game, particularly as his side were somewhat starved of possesion. 6

Wahbi Khazri: Started brightly and showed the odd flash of inspiration but could change the game in the way his manager would have liked and embarrassed himself with a botched rabona late on. 6

Dame N’Doye: Failed to impact the game at all really, hit a terrible free kick straight into the wall. 5

Jermain Defoe: Starved of any meaningful ball and was offside for only real decent chance he got. 6

Additional reporting by AP.