Match Report: West Ham 0 Sunderland 0

By Rob Virtue on December 14, 2013 6:32 PM |

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There was nothing to separate West Ham and Sunderland as they played out a lacklustre 0-0 stalemate at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.

Both of the relegation contenders needed maximum points and the pressure seemed to be too much for them.

West Ham are now winless in their last seven including losing their previous two matches, while Gus Poyet's men are the only team in the Premier League not to pick up an away win this season.

Good patient build up play from the away side early on saw Italian playmaker Emanuel Giacchierini feed on loan midfielder KI Seung Yeung, but his tame effort was saved by Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Three minutes played, Mohammed Diame sprinted down the line and crossed for Modibo Maiga, but his shot was well wide of the left hand post.

Thirty seconds later, Diame's far post cross found the head of Maiga, but his header towards the far post was just out of reach for winger Matt Jarvis.

Five minutes later and the best chance of the game came to the visitors. Sunderland's, Jozy Altidore found himself one-on-one with the keeper, however, Jaaskelainen was on hand to pull off a magnificent tip around the post.

After 21 minutes, right back, Guy Demel thought he had started his West Ham goals tally, after James Tomkins' guided header towards the back post was finished well by the Ivory Coast defender after a tussle in the area, however, referee Andre Marriner chalked it off and the score remained goalless.

After Altidore blocked a harmless free kick from James Collins, Fabio Borini broke away, but again, his tame effort was easily collected by Jaaskelainen.

Left back Phil Bardsley was inches from giving Sunderland the advantage, when his 30 yard piledriver beat Jaaskelainen but not the crossbar after 35 minutes.

To cap off the final minute of the half, a short Seb Larsson corner to Lee Cattermole saw the Mackams hard man unleash a 30 yard drive, with Jaaskelainen pulling off a superb save to end the first half all square.

The first shot of the second half came after Altidore's shot from 20 yards out was expertly blocked by centre-half James Collins.

On the 55th minute youngster Ravel Morrison, who missed last week 4-1 loss against Liverpool, had his effort from 25 yards out saved by former Arsenal keeper Vito Mannone.

After taking on Phil Bardsley from the right wing, Diame's shot then hit the side netting, and the Hammers were starting to carve out some chances.

Fabio Borini's lay off on the edge of the box found Giacchierini in acres of space, but his first time shot was no worry for Jasskelainen. Altidore wiggled his way through the Hammers backline, but his low effort was handled well by the keeper.

A neat one-two lay off between Maiga and Joe Cole saw the ball fall to Jack Collison on the edge of the box, but the Welshman could not adjust his feet in time and his effort went well wide.

After John O'Shea's interception from Diame, the ball fell loose and the Senegal international's turn and swivelled shot was saved by the visiting shotstopper Mannone.

South Korean midfielder Ki Seung Yeung jinked past substitute Joey O'Brien, but his drive was no match for veteran Jaaskelainen.

Morrison's burst of pace then scared the Sunderland defence, but the talented teenager's low shot went well wide of the left hand post.

In the 90th minute, Maiga's high and curling cross was inches away from substitute Carlton Cole's head, and it was another chance wasted for the hosts.

Left back George McCartney's cross-cum-shot nearly caught out Mannone in the dying embers of the match. From the resulting corner, James Collins glanced header went just wide to end a rather dismal performance.

Jack Pinnock

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