Mar 31, 2014 at 8pm UK at ​Stadium of Light
West HamWest Ham United
Johnson (65')
Alonso (73'), Wickham (75')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Carroll (9'), Diame (50')
Noble (3'), Nolan (67'), Reid (88'), Adrian (90')

Live Commentary: Sunderland 1-2 West Ham United - as it happened

Sports Mole provides live text coverage of West Ham United's trip to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland.

Sunderland hosted West Ham United on Monday night looking for a victory to boost their chances of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

The Hammers made the perfect start as Andy Carroll headed in the opening goal in just the ninth minute, and their lead was doubled early in the second half thanks to Mohamed Diame's deflected effort.

Substitute Adam Johnson set up a tense finish by pulling a goal back in the 65th minute, but Sunderland were unable to prevent the visitors from collecting all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Read below to find out how events unfolded on Monday evening.

7pmGood evening everyone. It's been a busy few days in the Premier League. We've got more action for you tonight as Sunderland host West Ham United at the Stadium of Light. I'll be bringing you regular updates throughout the evening as the Black Cats look to boost their survival hopes.

7.02pmIt's a big night for West Ham, too. Sam Allardyce's side are almost safe, but another victory tonight would surely allow them to start planning for next season. It's been a strange week for Allardyce. Can he win back some support with an impressive display tonight?

7.05pmIt's simple. Sunderland are running out of time. Gus Poyet's team goes into the match in 19th spot, four points from safety. The Black Cats have played just 29 games, with 18th-placed West Brom being two matches ahead in their schedule. Sunderland must make these games in hand count.

7.07pmThis is a must win game for Sunderland, but they surely won't have it all their way at the Stadium of Light. West Ham earned a 2-1 win over Hull City in their last match on Wednesday. However, that didn't tell the whole story. The Hammers faced boos for their display from supporters at Upton Park. Allardyce has hit back since then, but it's clear that some fans were not happy with the man in charge.

7.11pmSUNDERLAND: Mannone, Bardsley, Alonso, Brown, O'Shea, Vergini, Ki, Bridcutt, Cattermole, Borini, Wickham

SUBSTITUTES: Gardner, Johnson, Colback, Altidore, Cuellar, Scocco, Ustari

7.13pmThe team news is in for the hosts. A big positive for Sunderland is that Fabio Borini returns to the starting lineup after being ineligible to face parent club Liverpool in the defeat at Anfield. Ki Sung-Yueng, who made a difference late on in that loss, is given a start. Marcos Alonso is also back for the Black Cats following his suspension.

7.16pmWEST HAM: Adrian, Demel, McCartney, Reid, Tomkins, Noble, Taylor, Nolan, Downing, Diame, Carroll

SUBSTITUTES: Jaaskelainen, Armero, Johnson, J.Cole, C.Cole, Jarvis, Nocerino

7.18pmJust one change for the visitors as Winston Reid replaces the injured James Collins to partner James Tomkins in central defence. As expected, Andy Carroll will once again lead the Hammers in attack.

7.21pmWest Ham will be quietly confident heading into tonight's match, but it's a difficult one to call. Sunderland need this win more than their opponents, and know that they simply cannot afford to drop more points at home with the away games they face over the next few weeks.

7.23pmPoyet has been praised for changing the style this season. Now, it's all about points. Sunderland have threatened to find their best form on a number of occasions, but there can be no excuses anymore. Nine games remain in their season. The Black Cats boss may feel that his side need three or four wins before the end of the campaign to be safe.

7.28pmSunderland's nest three fixtures after tonight - Tottenham Hotspur (A), Everton (H), Chelsea (A). The Black Cats have proved, albeit mostly in cup competitions, that they can pull of shock results, but those next three games prove just how important this match is for their survival hopes. It's a must-win for Poyet and his players.

7.30pmWest Ham are currently 11th in the table. Some supporters will be targeting a top-half finish, but Allardyce's only focus is to make sure his side stay in the Premier League. Not many will be tipping the Hammers to be relegated with so few games remaining. However, we've seen before that anything can happen at this stage of the campaign.


7.35pmIt's going to be a big night for the home supporters this evening. They've not seen too much success at the Stadium of Light this season, but the atmosphere could be an important factor if the Black Cats manage to catch West Ham starting slowly.

7.39pmConnor Wickham could be a key man for Sunderland tonight. The Black Cats have struggled to threaten with their centre forwards this season due to Steven Fletcher's fitness problems and Jozy Altidore's inability to produce his best after joining last summer. Wickham has impressed in the Championship during a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday, but he must step up this evening. Sunderland need someone to lead the attack and link up play. Is he up for the challenge on his 21st birthday?

7.42pmSunderland need goals this evening, but they also require some big performances at the back. Andy Carroll can cause problem after problem if he is allowed to dominate from the first whistle, so Wes Brown and John O'Shea must use all of their experience to deal with the England international.

7.45pm"I'm still saying that we need 38 points," Allardyce, speaking about what his team require to be safe from relegation, has told Sky Sports News ahead of the match. "We've got to deliver a very good performance tonight to get a result against a Sunderland side playing at home."

7.47pmPREDICTION: Kickoff is quickly approaching, so it's time for me to have a guess at what the score will be at the Stadium of Light. It's a big night for Sunderland, but the Hammers are edging closer to safety, meaning that there is plenty to play for. I'll go for an entertaining 2-2 draw.

7.51pm"It is very important today that we score first and are aggressive and impose ourselves on the game," Poyet tells Sky Sports News. "On paper winning games against the bottom teams is the best way to stay up, but unfortunately we are playing better against the top teams. Today is a big chance for us."

7.54pmThe players are set to emerge from the tunnel in just a few moments. Howard Webb takes charge of the match tonight after being on fourth official duty at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Plenty of Hammers supporters have made the long trip. Will they head home happy?

7.58pmThere's a great atmosphere inside the ground as both sets of players get the handshakes out of the way. Everyone seems to know just how big this match is as the Sunderland supporters make themselves heard early on.

8pmHere we go then. We're ready for the match to start at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland will get the game underway.

1 minSunderland knocking the ball around the pitch nicely, with Wickham getting involved early on to link play with the midfield.

2 minCLOSE! Bridcutt plays a lovely pass to the right wing. It isn't clear whether Bardsley is crossing or shooting, but his effort only misses the far post by a yard. Great start from the hosts.

3 minYELLOW CARD! Noble attempts to slow down a West Ham attack by pulling Ki back, He's correctly booked by Howard Webb. Noble will now have to play the rest of this game with a yellow card.

5 minA long free kick into the box is punched by Mannone. The move is kept alive by the Hammers, but the ball is headed through to the Sunderland goalkeeper, who collects with ease on this occasion.

6 minIt's clear what Poyet has instructed his players to do early on. The back three of Brown, O'Shea and Vergini is allowing Bardlsey and Alonso to get forward to join attacks. It's looking promising for the hosts.

8 minSunderland retain possession well as Noble and Taylor are forced to chase shadows in midfield. The ball reaches Cattermole, but his chipped pass is too strong for Alonso on the left.


9 minHow big could this goal be? Sunderland concede a couple of corners, with the second being delivered into a good area by Noble. Carroll is far too strong for O'Shea as he rises highest to powerfully head past Mannone. Not a popular goalscorer given his history with Newcastle.

11 minIt's been a good response for the home supporters, who are desperate to see a reaction from his side. Poyet spoke about how important the first goal might be tonight. They've conceded the opener, and he'll be furious with how easy it was for the visitors.

12 minSAVE! Ki advances into the box before miscuing an effort, which is deflected to Cattermole at the back post. The midfielder has time and space to pick a spot, but he can only strike a weak shot straight at Adrian. A second effort is wayward as a brilliant chance is wasted.

14 minSunderland win a free kick in a good position, but fail to make the most of the opportunity as West ham clear the ball to Carroll, who is then fouled on the halfway line.

15 minCarroll drops deep before picking out Downing on the right. Alonso fails to prevent the winger from cutting inside and delivering a cross which just evades a couple of West Ham players in the box.

17 minGood work from Taylor to track back and block a Cattermole cross from just outside the box. Plenty of promising moves from Sunderland, but they've just missed the final touch to trouble the visitors more often.

19 minSHOT! West Ham manage to keep a move alive when very little seemed to be on at one stage. Noble collects the ball just outside the box and chooses to pick out Taylor, who sends an effort just wide while on the stretch.

22 minIt's not going the right way for Sunderland in attack as another move breaks down 25 yards from goal. West Ham are improving with every passing minute as Diame curls an effort into Mannone's arms from the edge of the box. Worrying times for Poyet.

23 minSunderland fans voice their frustration when Bardsley takes a long time to make a decision from a throw-in. West Ham defend well in a difficult position as McCartney wins a goal kick for his side.

25 minWickham pulls away from Reid, who feels he is fouled, but the young striker fails to control a long ball forward from Vergini. That could have been a good opportunity for the hosts.

26 minMuch better from Sunderland as the move the ball at pace to find Alonso, who wins a corner. Ki's delivery is excellent, but Bardsley fails to make the right connection inside the box. The Hammers clear the second corner that follows.

28 minSunderland seeing much more of the ball as Bridcutt begins to dictate the pace from a deeper position. Vergini decides to unleash a shot from 25 yards, but he fails to test Adrian with a speculative effort.

29 minWickham does his job well as he wins a free kick on the halfway line under pressure from Reid. We've seen very little of the striker facing the opposing goal, while Borini has barely been involved in the match.

31 minWest Ham launch a ball forward from a set piece on the halfway line. Nolan finds space to collect the ball in a dangerous position, but the flag confirms that he had strayed offside.

32 minKi leads Sunderland forward with an impressive run from midfield. Borini collects the ball in the box, but the Italian is offered very little space by the West Ham defence. Good work from the visitors.

33 minBardsley weaves his way into the area to find space. However, the full back miscues his effort and West Ham can clear again. The Black Cats need to make the most of this period of pressure.

35 minKi runs out of options on the edge of the box, so he turns back to pick out Bridcutt. The midfielder is gifted plenty of space as he curls an effort over the crossbar from 25 yards.

36 minO'Shea is confident enough to let the ball run past him under pressure as Mannone sprints off his line to clear the ball. I'm not sure if the goalkeeper was quite as relaxed as his teammate on that occasion.

37 minMore evidence of the threat Carroll's poses as he rises well to head a McCartney cross straight at Mannone from 12 yards out.

39 minThe frustration is clear as two Sunderland players cause confusion when a ball drops inside the box. A couple of optimistic appeals for a penalty are waved away as the Hammers clear the danger. Poyet will be desperate for his side to hit back before the break.

40 minA quick replay suggests that West Ham may have been lucky a few moments ago. Nolan seemed to stick out an elbow to block a ball in the box when Sunderland were attacking. O'Shea is still furious with Howard Webb, who seemed to have a clear view of the incident.

42 minAlonso keeps the attack moving when a Ki corner is too strong for the men in the box, but the full back low cross is cleared by Demel. Sunderland need to make sure the pace of their moves remain high. At times, they've allowed West Ham to recover at crucial moments.

44 minPoor from West Ham as Carroll and Downing take far too long to decide what to do on the edge of the box. Sunderland are allowed to retreat as the danger passes for the hosts.

45 minAnother free kick is launched forward by the visitors. It's no surprise to see Carroll win the header, but the striker is unable to pick out Nolan with the flick on. There will be one minute added on at the end of the first half.

45+1 minSunderland ending the first half on the front foot as the volume inside the crowd increases again. Very little to cheer about in the final third of the pitch, though.


8.49pmWorrying times for Poyet as his side are jeered off by the home supporters at half time. On a night when Sunderland need to produce their top form, it's not been good enough so far. West Ham lead through Carroll's header at the break. You can read a report of the first half here - Sunderland 0-1 West Ham

8.51pmSunderland have seen much more of the ball than their opponents, but they've failed to take advantage. They seem to lack ideas in the final third of the pitch, and the home fans have made their feelings about the pace of their attacks clear. Will Poyet make changes at half time?

8.54pmAllardyce will be very happy with his side at the interval. The Hammers have defended well, with Cattermole's effort being the only clear opportunity created by the hosts in the first half. Carroll has played will since breaking the deadlock, and the visitors have been able to attack on the break.

8.56pmA big talking point from the first half will be Sunderland's appeal for a penalty. I've seen it a few times now. It looks very bad for Howard Webb, who really should have pointed to the spot when Nolan moved the ball away from O'Shea with his elbow. Clear penalty. Poor decision.

9.00pmSUBSTITUTION: The players are back out for the start of the second half. Pablo Armero is on for the Hammers to replace McCartney, who is believed to have picked up a hamstring injury in the first half. No changes for Sunderland. West Ham will get the game back underway.

46 minSHOT! Promising start for Sunderland at the start of the second half. Wickham sees an effort deflected on the edge of the box, but he manages to retain possession before dragging another shot wide of the far post.

48 minIt was a surprise to see Poyet resist the urge to make a change at the break, but I'm sure a substitution won't be far away if the continue to struggle in attacking areas. West Ham settling down once again.

49 minCarroll drifts out wide to link with Downing, who beats a defender on the right before seeing a deep cross collected by Mannone.


50 minDisaster for Sunderland! A long free kick forward to Carroll causes problems. The ball breaks loose to Diame on the edge of the box and he enjoys a big stroke of luck when his effort takes a deflection off a hesitant Vergini before beating Mannone, who was left helpless in the Sunderland goal.

51 minThe hosts threaten to make an immediate response when a chipped pass reaches Bardsley, who fails to control the ball in plenty of space inside the box.

53 minSUBSTITUTION: Alonso makes a great connection with a shot which just drifts wide of the far post from 25 yards. Poyet then makes his first change by replacing Cattermole with Adam Johnson.

55 minJohnson looks lively as he reaches the byline to win a corner for his side. Nolan is back for his side to clear the initial delivery. Alonso's deflected effort then causes problems when Adrian and Carroll collide, but the goalkeeper manages to collect at the second attempt.

56 minDowning swaps wings to pick up the ball on the right. The England international is allowed to cut inside, but his low effort is easily stopped by Mannone.

58 minThe Sunderland fans are furious as a lack of communication means that Ki is unable to retain possession in a good position for the hosts. It's a long way back for the Black Cats from here.

59 minDowning should do much better on the right when West Ham take a free kick, but his delivery is far too strong for his teammates in the middle. Just over half an hour of normal time remaining at the Stadium of Light.

60 minSUBSTITUTION: It looks like Sunderland will switch to a back four as Craig Gardner comes on to replace O'Shea.

61 minSAVE! Alonso takes his eye of the ball to allow Downing a clear run at goal. The winger looks set to add a goal to a very impressive display, but Mannone responds superbly to get a hand on his shot. Webb fails to see the save as he gives a goal kick to the hosts.

63 minBorini fires the ball towards foal from 25 yards out, but his effort isn't close enough to Wickham at the back post as another move breaks down.


65 minLovely goal from Sunderland to keep this match alive. Gardner plays the perfect pass with the outside of his boot to find Johnson, who opens up his body and curls an effort past Mannone. Great finish from the substitution. Huge response from the home supporters. Can they claim something from this match?

66 minYELLOW CARD! Nolan is the second player to receive a caution after catching Gardner in the middle of the pitch.

67 minBardsley feels he is fouled inside the box by Diame as a Johnson pass is cleared by the visitors. It doesn't look like a penalty. West Ham are on the back foot now as the atmosphere goes up another gear.

68 minSAVE! Ki tries his luck from outside the box with a powerful effort. Adrian seems to be struggling to see the ball as he fumbles the effort on his line. Wickham threatens to tap in the rebound, but the West Ham goalkeeper does well to punch the ball clear.

70 minCHANCE! Sunderland should be level. Johnson, who is at the centre of everything right now, picks out Borini on the run. The Italian is under pressure from Demel as he slices a shot into the side netting from inside the box. Will Sunderland be forced to regret that missed opportunity?

72 minTomkins and Reid, who have been so impressive all game, are being asked plenty of questions now. West Ham have under 20 minutes remaining to hang on for all three points.

73 minYELLOW CARD! Alonso is booked for obstructing Downing's run as the winger looked to make progress on the right.

74 minA deep cross finds Carroll at the back post. His effort is powerful, but the volley is deflected behind for the corner. A foul by the forward in the box gifts the ball back to Sunderland.

75 minYELLOW CARD! Wickham completely misreads a bounce in the middle of the pitch before going into the book for a blatant hand ball.

77 minWe're so used to seeing Johnson play on either wing, but he's making an impact in the match from the middle of the pitch as he looks to get on the ball as often as possible. Time running out for Sunderland as they look for a way back into the match.

79 minSUBSTITUTIONS: West Ham look set to go to a back five as Roger Johnson comes off the bench to replace Diame, whose goal could prove to be the match-winner. Ignacio Scocco is on for Sunderland, with Ki making way.

81 minSunderland do well to clear a couple of crosses into the box before advancing forward. Borini collects the ball on the left, but he fails to trouble Adrian with a wayward effort after cutting in off the wing.

82 minMore frustration for Sunderland as Gardner ignores the options to drag a speculative shot wide from 25 yards out. The home supporters were not pleased with that effort from the substitute.

84 minSUBSTITUTION: Carroll is still proving to be a handful as he wrestles off a challenge before slicing an effort wide on the turn. Allardyce then makes his final change to replace Nolan with Antonio Nocerino.

85 minBrilliant from Johnson as he turns a couple of defenders before chipping a ball to the back post, where Taylor does well to head over his own crossbar.

86 minSHOT! The corner which follows Taylor's clearance is taken short. Gardner rolls the ball across to Alonso, who drills a powerful strike over the crossbar from the edge of the box.

87 minYELLOW CARD! Gardner attempts to keep an attack flowing with a pass from deep. Reid is late with a challenge on the midfielder and is booked for the tackle. The central defender is forced off the field after picking up an injury from the same incident.

88 minMannone is coming up for a corner after Johnson's cross is headed behind by a West Ham defender.

89 minSunderland once again take the corner short, this time to Bridcutt, whose lofted ball to the back post is too strong for Mannone and his teammates as West Ham win a free kick.

90 minMore pressure from Sunderland as Alonso's latest effort is deflected behind for a corner. The fourth official confirms there will be five minutes added on.

90+1 minIt's desperate stuff from the Hammers as they clear a number of crosses as Mannone once again attempts to cause problems in the box. Can the visitors hang on?

90+2 minCHANCE! Opportunity wasted as Alonso's powerful cross is headed over from 12 yards by Scocco. Difficult chance for the substitute, but Sunderland needed that to go in. Adrian is then booked for time wasting over the goal kick.

90+4 minWest Ham are only interested in keeping the ball in the corner when they do get forward, but Noble can only hold off the pressure for a few moments. Sunderland have just over a minute to claim a point.

90+5 minSHOT! Gardner's cross is cleared to Alonso, whose volley is blocked. Johnson collects the loose ball, but he drags a shot wide of the target. It looks like West Ham will collect all three points.


9.54pmIt's all over at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland simply had to record a victory tonight. They haven't been able to achieve their target, and they remain four points away from safety. No jeers aimed at West Ham tonight as they hang on to move to 37 points. That may well be enough to keep them in the Premier League for another season.

9.56pmThat's all from our coverage. Thanks for joining me for an exciting night of football. Goodbye.

Sam Allardyce manager of West Ham United looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at Britannia Stadium on March 15, 2014
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