Dec 14, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT
An open match somehow ended 0-0 as Sam Allardyce failed to quiet the doubters and pick up points against fellow relegation candidates Sunderland in a 0-0 draw.
With many expecting home supporters expecting a result against Gus Poyet’s struggling side, West Ham were maybe even lucky to get a point as they repelled a number of Sunderland attacks.
It was a bright, exciting start for both sides, with everyone knowing what’s at stake and no sign of what was to come at the end.
Maiga had an early chance inside five minutes, but having received service in the box he skied it over Mannone’s net.
West Ham continued to push forward early, with Mohammed Diame finding Maiga with a cross, and his header to the far post was almost turned in by Matt Jarvis.
Sunderland also then just after missed as well, with Jozy Altidore pushing wide after having been fed through onsides. The American probably should have done better, with the angle not helping him but no defenders in the way.
Neither side had much in the first thirty minutes following that chance, but on 35 minutes Phil Bardsley, with three goals in his last six matches from central defense, clattered the crossbar with a brilliant effort from distance that nearly tucked into the corner.
The first chance of the second half fell to Jozy Altidore, as Ki Sung-Yueng laid off for Jozy, but his driving effort was just deflected away by a defender.
West Ham responded with pressure, Upton Park giddy with every touch by Ravel Morrison. The youngster got some space at the top in the 55th minute but his shot was saved. A few minutes later an acute effort from Diame went into the side netting as West Ham were boosted by the home fans.
The game opened up a bit, with chances on both ends, but all attacks proved wasteful as nobody could fool the opposing goalkeepers.
Sunderland’s point moves them four away from Fulham in 19th place, and West Ham climb out of the relegation zone as well with their share of the spoils, but between the performance and expectations it’s disappointing for the home side for sure.
West Ham – Jaaskelainen; McCartney, Tomkins, Jarvis (Collison 56′), Maiga; Morrison, Noble, Collins, Demel (O’Brien 58′), Diame; J.Cole (C. Cole 75′).
Sunderland – Mannone; Celustka, Bardsley (Dossena 82′), Brown, O’Shea; Cattermole, Ki, Larsson, Giaccherini; Borini (Johnson 72′), Altidore (Fletcher 73′).
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