Premier League: West Ham 3 West Brom 1
By Football News
West Ham celebrated confirmation of their deal to lease the Olympic Stadium with a convincing 3-1 win over West Brom on Saturday.
Playing their first game since news of the landmark arrangement was announced, West Ham strolled to victory at Upton Park thanks to two goals from Andy Carroll and one from Gary O'Neil.
A lifeless West Brom side attempted to establish a foothold in the game during the second half but they could only muster one goal in reply through a late penalty from Graham Dorrans, while Youssuf Mulumbu was sent off in the final moments.
West Ham began the game terrifically as Mohamed Diame bossed the midfield, allowing Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te to fashion chances straight away.
But visitors were also posing a threat and did manage to put the ball into the back of the net. The goal did not stand, however, as Gareth McAuley produced a blatant foul on Jussi Jaaskelainen before bundling the ball home.
Romelu Lukaku's deflected free-kick then crashed against the post, almost fooling Jaaskelainen. The veteran keeper had to produce a fine stop to push it onto the woodwork before collecting safely.
That period of West Brom pressure was brief, however, and soon after, Carroll powered the home side into the lead, leaping above everyone else and dispatching a fine goal-bound header from O'Neil's corner.
And the 29-year-old turned scorer 12 minutes later as West ham doubled their lead with a fantastic counter-attacking move.
A West Brom corner was cleared and straight up the pitch went O'Neil, Vaz Te and Matt Jarvis. After some slick passing, midfielder O'Neil received the ball on the edge of the box and curled a beautiful shot to his left and into the bottom corner of the net.
The away side were offering little resistance but did came close to pulling one back through Dorrans minutes later after a defensive mix up allowed him space in the area, though he fired over.
When half-time came, West Ham were in control and the visitors were determined to change that at the resumption. Steve Clarke's men dominated possession early in the second period and kept the ball firmly in West Ham's half.
But despite their forways forward, the away team had little to show for their efforts, with Dorrans' free-kick across goal the closest they came.
After 70 minutes, West Ham looked to have sealed all three points when James Collins netted with a fine finish, only for the linesman to flag for offside.
West Brom's most notable contribution was the introduction of Peter Odemwingie, who was heavily booed by both sets of fans upon arrival. The Nigerian - still out of favour with West Brom fans after agitating to leave the club in January - almost turned from villain to hero with some fine skill but could not trouble Jaaskelainen with a near-post shot.
But there would be no way back for the visitors as Carroll scored his second late on with a fantastic first-time volley from inside the box.
Dorrans struck from the spot for West Brom late on but that effort proved immaterial, while Mulumbu earned a red-card after kicking the ball at a West Ham player on 90 minutes.