Premier League: West Ham 1 Sunderland 1
By Football News
At Upton Park, Steven Fletcher opened the scoring for Sunderland with an early strike in the first-half to make it four goals in three league matches for his new club. Despite their early lead, West Ham constantly applied pressure on the visitors' goal with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet producing a world-class save from a Kevin Nolan bicycle kick.
Sunderland put in a solid defensive display against the Hammers, constantly dealing with an onslaught of long balls and crosses into the box from the hosts. West Ham finally made a breakthrough when Nolan volleyed home a close-range goal in the final minute of the game.
Sunderland took the lead early on in the game in the ninth minute. Sebastien Larsson chipped the ball into Fletcher who controlled the ball and fired a low shot into the bottom corner.
The hosts responded well after going a goal down by forcing a couple of corners but Sunderland cleared their lines both times and looked well organised in defence as they looked to stop West Ham from playing their game.
Ricardo Vaz Te missed a great chance to bring West Ham level after Matthew Taylor whipped in a cross from the left and the former Bolton player headed the ball down and wide at the far post.
West Ham looked the more dangerous side as the first half continued. The hosts had numerous chances and Carlton Cole missed a great chance for an equaliser in the 34th minute. Mohamed Diame delivered a good cross and Cole had beaten John O'Shea but he saw his header fly over the bar.
Nolan had missed numerous half chances in the first half but the midfielder finally tested Mignolet. Vaz Te floated in a cross and Nolan hit a spectacular bicycle kick which the Sunderland keeper managed to keep out with a superb save.
Vaz Te's last contribution to the game was a miss from close range as Cole flicked on a long ball for the 25-year-old, and the striker was substituted for Matt Jarvis in the 57th minute along with Taylor coming off for Yossi Benayoun as Sam Allardyce looked for an equaliser.
Jarvis looked dangerous down the left as he aimed a cross towards Benayoun but Danny Rose headed the ball away from danger for Sunderland who was showing a solid defensive display against the hosts.
West Ham came close to coming level in the 76th minute as James Collins saw his header hit the top of the Sunderland crossbar for the Hammers best chance of the game to go missing.
Sunderland had a good chance to make it 2-0 with a rare break from the Teesiders as James McClean whipped in a ball across West Ham's goal but David Vaughan couldn't reach the cross.
In the third minute of injury time, West Ham finally got the equaliser they had been pushing for. Modibo Maiga headed a loose ball into the path of Nolan who volleyed a strike into the top corner of the goal.