Live Commentary: West Bromwich Albion 1-0 West Ham United - as it happened

Live Commentary: West Brom 1-0 West Ham - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the Premier League clash at The Hawthorns as West Bromwich Albion beat West Ham United 1-0.

Saturday's Premier League clash at the Hawthorns pitted West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United.

The home side led 1-0 at the interval following a close-range finish from Saido Berahino.

Both teams had a number of opportunities in an end-to-end second period, but West Ham could not respond as the Baggies eased their relegation worries with a vital three points.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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2.01pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's Premier League coverage continues from the Hawthorns as West Bromwich Albion welcome West Ham United. As it stands, the home side sit in 16th position in the table, just three points outside of the bottom three with four games remaining. West Ham, meanwhile, sit 12th, seven points outside of the drop zone, but they have played one game more than their opponents this afternoon.

2.04pmFive of the last six Premier League meetings between the two sides have ended in draws. West Ham were 3-1 winners on their own patch last season, but the reverse match earlier this season ended in a 3-3 draw. West Brom have won just one of their last 10 matches against the Hammers, meanwhile, with their last success coming in a 3-2 victory in September 2008. The team news for this afternoon is expected shortly.

2.07pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Saido Berahino leads the line for West Brom this afternoon, with the youngster gaining support from Stephane Sessegnon. There is also a start in central midfield for Graham Dorrans, who scored against Manchester City last time out. West Ham, meanwhile, welcome Kevin Nolan back into their XI. The front three is as expected, with Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing providing support to Andy Carroll. Italian international Antonio Nocerino, meanwhile, is only on the bench. Full teams to follow.

2.10pmTEAMS:

WEST BROM: Foster; Reid, Dawson, Olsson, Jones; Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Brunt; Sessegnon; Berahino

WEST HAM: Adrian; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, McCartney; Nolan, Noble, Diame; Jarvis, Carroll, Downing


2.13pmBerahino is preferred in attack by Baggies boss Pepe Mel to Victor Anichebe and Vydra, who are both on the bench. Steven Reid returns at right-back, but Gareth McAuley is still out of action. West Ham, meanwhile, are as expected, with Joe Cole and Carlton Cole among the substitutes at the Hawthorns.

2.16pmBerahino's 69th-minute strike ensured that West Brom took a point from the 3-3 draw in London earlier this season. However, the match was perhaps most remembered for the 'quenelle' gesture made by Baggies forward Nicolas Anelka, which overshadowed what was an end-to-end and pulsating afternoon of football.

2.19pmIncredibly, West Brom have won fewer games (six) than any other Premier League side this season despite sitting three points outside of the bottom three. They have lost 13 times, but drawn 15, which is the highest number in the division. In truth, it should not have come to this for the Baggies, but for some poor last-minute defending against Cardiff City and Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks, they would have picked up six points rather than two and would now be level on points with West Ham and in a safe position.

2.22pmBaggies boss Mel, meanwhile, is still looking for his first home victory in charge of the club. Since the former Real Betis boss arrived in January, West Brom have drawn six and lost one of their seven home games in the league. What's more, they have conceded three times in each of their last three home games.

2.25pmWest Brom were beaten 3-1 at Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium last time out, but offered enough in that particular match to hand their supporters hope of Premier League survival this season. A 1-0 win over Norwich City on April 5 gave them a little breathing space, but they are still very much in a relegation battle and could find themselves in the bottom three if results go against them this weekend.

2.28pmAs touched upon, West Brom's home form this season has been disappointing. They have won just three of their 17 matches – the joint-fewest in the division. That said, they have lost just five times, which is less than Manchester United at Old Trafford. Drawing games has been a common occurrence this season, with dropped late points in recent weeks keeping them in trouble. Little over 30 minutes until kickoff this afternoon.

2.31pmWhat's more, the Baggies have the third-worst record in the league this season against teams in the bottom half of the table. Performing against the so-called bigger sides has not been too much a problem, but they have won just four of their 16 matches against sides in the bottom half of the division.

2.34pmScoring goals has not been too much of a problem for West Brom this season, with 41 strikes in their 34 games. However, their top scorer in the league is still Republic of Ireland international Shane Long, who left for Hull City in January. West Ham, meanwhile, have scored 38 times. Down the other end, West Brom have conceded 54 times, while the Hammers have conceded just 48, keeping 13 clean sheets in the process.

2.37pmWest Ham, meanwhile, enter the match off the back of three successive league defeats. They beat Hull and then Sunderland at the end of last month to ease their lingering relegation troubles, but have since lost to Liverpool, Arsenal and most surprisingly, at home to Crystal Palace. That said, they remain in 12th spot in the table, seven points outside of the bottom three.

2.40pmIn truth, it would take a serious collapse from the Hammers and indeed the teams around them for Sam Allardyce's side to be relegated this season. They are on a torrid run of form, however, losing six of their last eight in the league and losing three of their last four on the road. The capital outfit have also lost a league-high 20 points from winning positions this season. Little over 20 minutes until kickoff...



2.43pmThe Hammers still have a strong defensive record this season, but they have not kept a clean sheet in their last nine league games. Prior to that, they had managed four shutouts in a row. Allardyce has also been forced to defend his playing style on a number of occasions following groans from home supporters.

2.46pmWest Ham's away form this season has been fairly disappointing, meanwhile, with four defeats, four draws and nine defeats from their 17 games. They have also lost nine times on their own patch, but as touched upon, are almost certainly safe from the drop this season. Whether or not that is enough for their supporters is a different matter entirely. It also remains to be seen what funds, if any, Allardyce is handed this summer.



2.49pmHere's a word from Baggies defender Jonas Olsson, who starts today. The centre-back told the club's official website on Friday: "We need to get over that line sooner rather than later. And why not on Saturday? We will focus totally on that and get ready for it. Of course it will be a different game to [the 3-1 loss at] Man City but we will speak about it and we will have time to prepare and make sure we're ready."

2.52pmMeanwhile, West Ham boss Allardyce told reporters: "[It will be] really tough. They've had a resurgence and at their home ground they've been so close to so many victories and only slipped up in the dying seconds of two particularly thrilling 3-3 draws. We don't want to be in that position where we're trying to fight our way back from behind on Saturday. The pressure in that game will be pretty intense because we all know what's at stake. We have to handle it better than West Brom." Right, just about time for my pre-match prediction.

2.55pmPREDICTION: In truth, it is a match that West Brom dare not lose. It would not make them favourites for the drop, but would seriously damage confidence ahead of their final three games. West Ham, however, enter the match in a horror run of form and I am finding it difficult to back them in this particular contest. I am not expecting too many goals, but think that West Brom will just nick it 1-0.

2.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - could be vital in this type of contest. We are just about ready at the Hawthorns.

0 minJust a reminder that West Brom have won just once at home since Mel took charge in January, but another victory this afternoon would seriously ease their troubles. West Ham, meanwhile, appear to already be on their holidays. The home side get the first 45 minutes underway inside what is a packed Hawthorns Stadium.

2 minBright start from the home side as Brunt finds some space down the left before driving a low cross towards Berahino, but Reid is on hand to clear the danger. West Ham break with Carroll moments later, but Olsson clears out the England international and teammate Mulumbu, who looks to have a serious problem here.

4 minMulumbu does return to the field following a period of treatment, which is good news for the home side. Wonderful noise inside the stadium in the early exchanges as both sides attempt to settle in possession. Plenty of challenges for the referee to deal with in the opening four minutes, but no real opportunities.

6 minWest Ham have the opportunity to threaten from a free kick as Amalfitano brings McCartney to the ground outside the box. The resulting set piece is delivered by Noble, but Olsson just does enough to head clear. Downing is across to deliver the corner, which eventually falls for Carroll, but Foster is down to make a really smart save at his near post. Good pressure from the Hammers in the early exchanges here.

8 minPlenty happening in the middle of the park at the moment as the challenges continue to arrive from both sides. However, referee Mike Dean has not looked to his pocket thus far. Another half-chance arrives for West Ham as Jarvis delivers a low cross towards Carroll, but the England striker cannot make enough contract.

10 minPlenty happening for West Ham in wide areas as Downing and Jarvis both deliver into the Baggies box in quick succession, but the home side manage to force it clear. Not too much to report in terms of West Brom pressure, which is bringing whistles from the home supporters. Extremely high tempo to this contest.

11 minGOAL! West Brom 1-0 West Ham (Berahino)

12 minThe home side take the lead with 11 minutes on the clock as Sessegnon drives into the West Ham half before squaring for Amalfitano, whose low cross is turned into the back of the net by Berahino. It has been all West Ham thus far, but the home side score what could be an all-important first goal.

14 minThree points this afternoon would not make West Brom mathematically safe, but it would be a big step in the right direction that is for certain. End-to-end football in the last couple of moments as both teams continue to commit players in the final third. Reid, however, calmly heads back to Adrian under pressure from Brunt.

17 minSlightly untidy period of the match in terms of challenges in the last couple of moments as West Ham force another free kick outside the West Brom box. The resulting set piece is delivered by Noble towards the head of Nolan, but Foster is out to collect before releasing Brunt down the left. Brilliant intensity.

19 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of minutes as West Ham continue to concede possession in the final third. The long ball towards Carroll is their main avenue, but Olsson has been aerially dominant thus far. That said, the Hammers are certainly enjoying the majority of the possession.

20 minCHANCE! Brilliant chance for West Ham as Diame puts a cross onto the head of Carroll, but Foster is down to make a fantastic save. It has been a strong response from the visitors since conceding.

22 minWest Brom have a free kick just outside the West Ham box as Noble arrives late in a challenge with Berahino. The resulting set piece is taken by Dorrans, but his effort is straight into the arms of Adrian. End-to-end football in the last couple of minutes as both sides continue to threaten. However, still West Brom lead 1-0.

24 minHalf-chance for the home side as Amalfitano finds some space down the right before delivering towards Berahino, but Tomkins is on hand to make the clearance. The West Ham defender injures himself in the process, but returns to his feet moments later. Little over 20 minutes of the first period remaining in Birmingham.

26 minCarroll remains involved for West Ham, who continue to play the ball long towards the England international, but he is struggling for support as Olsson and Dawson clear up once more. Sessegnon has a sight of goal outside the West Ham box moments later, but Reid stands tall to make a fine block at the vital moment.

27 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for the home side to score their second as Amalfitano finds Jones inside the West Ham box, but somehow his header flashes wide of the post. It really should be 2-0 West Brom.

29 minIt is absolutely pouring at the moment as the play continues to flow from end-to-end, but it is West Brom that are creating the better chances. It is also the home supporters that are making the most noise. You just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - will be crucial in terms of the final result.

32 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Sessegnon drives to the edge of the box before sliding a pass towards Brunt, who delivers towards Berahino, but the striker is penalised for fouling Reid and West Ham regain possession with a free kick. Moments later, Foster clears for a corner under pressure from Jarvis.

33 minCHANCES! Another opportunity for the away side as Demel finds himself unmarked inside a crowded box, but his effort is straight at Foster. West Ham force a chance on the immediate counter, but Dorrans drives one wide of the post following smart work from Brunt. Chances galore this afternoon!

33 minSUB! West Ham are forced into a change as Tomkins, who has been struggling with an injury, is replaced by James Collins. Moments before, Diame had fired one high and wide of Foster's crossbar.

35 min

36 minCarroll remains the target for the away side as Noble cuts inside Mulumbu before chipping a cross towards the striker, but it runs straight out of play for a goal kick. The opening 36 minutes of this contest have just flown past, but somehow just one goal has arrived. Sessegnon has another sight of goal after beating Collins inside the West Ham box, but the Welshman manages to make a block at the final moment.

38 minPossession football from the home side in the last couple of minutes as the first period enters its latter stages. Sessegnon is again involved for the Baggies after combining with Berahino, but Collins is across to make the block. West Ham attempt to counter, but the move breaks down with Downing down the left.

41 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Reid meets a free kick from Noble, but his header is straight into the arms of Foster. The end-to-end period of the match continues as Amalfitano breaks down the right, but Diame is across to clear. Both sides have been guilty of losing possession too easily in the final third.

43 minWest Ham again threaten from the left as Jarvis drives past Reid before finding Nolan, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Plenty of half-chances for West Ham, but their finishing has been poor thus far. Still the two sides are separated by that close-range Berhaino strike in the opening 11 minutes.

45 min+1SUB! West Brom are forced into their first change of the match late in the first period as Reid leaves the field with a groin problem. The right-back's replacement is James Morrison.

45 min+3HALF-TIME: West Brom 1-0 West Ham

3.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with West Brom leading 1-0 courtesy of Berahino's close-range finish after 11 minutes. Both sides have had opportunities to add to the scoring in an end-to-end first period, but one goal remains the difference. Let's hope for more of the same after the break.

3.54pmSTATISTICS: West Ham have shaded the possession with 57%, while they have had six attempts - four of which have been on target. West Brom, meanwhile, have hit the target with two of their eight attempts. There has not been a single yellow card, however, with referee Dean keeping a lid on developments.

3.59pmBENCH WATCH: Both sides have already been forced into defensive changes this afternoon. Collins replaced Tomkins for West Ham, before West Brom right-back Reid was replaced by Morrison late in the half. The Baggies have attacking options in the shape of Vydra, Thievy and Anicebe on the sidelines. West Ham, meanwhile, have the likes of Carlton Cole, Joe Cole and Vaz Te on their bench at the Hawthorns.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. You just get the feeling that the next goal - if there indeed is one - will be crucial in terms of the final result. Let's hope for more of the same in this second half as West Ham get the action underway in the Midlands.

48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not too much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. However, you suspect that both managers might look to their bench if the score remains 1-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Bright start to the half as the play immediately flows form end-to-end at the Hawthorns.

50 minWest Ham continue to threaten in wide areas as Jarvis drives down the left before delivering towards the far post, but Olsson is on hand to clear once more. The pressure continues to arrive from the Hammers as Reid fires one long towards Nolan, but Dorrans fouls the midfielder just outside the Baggies box.

52 minNervous moment for Foster as the West Brom goalkeeper comes to collect a free kick from Noble, but drops the ball. Luckily for the England international, he is able to grab at the second time of asking. Down the other end, Collins is forced to clear a low cross from Berahino. It is like a basketball match at the moment!

55 minHalf-chance for the home side as Sessegnon drives into the West Ham box before dancing past two players and attempting to find the top corner, but his effort smashes into the side netting. You just get the feeling that a second goal is on its way here. Neither side looks too confident in defensive areas this afternoon.

57 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Downing drives down the right before finding the head of Carroll inside the West Brom box, but his header is wide of the post. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining this afternoon and still the home side lead as Jones forces Adrian into a smart save at his near post.

59 minNot too much to report in terms of clear chances in the last couple of minutes, but both sides continue to commit numbers in the final third. Both Jarvis and Noble seem to be struggling with injuries for West Ham, but it seems that the pair will continue. You just get the feeling that the scoring is not over here.

62 minHalf-chance for the home side as Amalfitano delivers a wicked cross towards the head of Berahino, but Collins just does enough to clear at the vital moment. We are getting to the stage of the match where both managers will be considering changes. The intensity has just dropped, which should suit West Ham at this stage.

64 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for the home side as Sessegnon settles with possession inside a crowded box before finding Berahino, but his effort is straight at Adrian. What a miss from the striker!

65 minWest Brom have been guilty of throwing away points at home in recent weeks. Will West Ham make them pay for missed chances once more? The away side once more threaten from a Jarvis cross, but Olsson is across to deny Carroll, before Mulumbu crosses into Adrian down the other end. The high intensity has returned.

67 minCHANCE! Another chance for Berahino as the West Brom striker collects a strike from Mulumbu inside the West Ham box, but once more his effort is straight at Adrian from close range. It is all one-way traffic at the moment, but West Brom just cannot score that all-important second on their own patch.

68 minSUB! West Ham make their second change of the match as Joe Cole replaces Downing.

71 minPlenty happening in terms of challenges in the middle of the park, but referee Mike Dean has still not issued a single yellow card, which is incredible for a game of Premier League football. Dawson has an effort for West Brom after meeting a loose ball outside the box, but his strike is wide and West Ham have a goal kick.

73 minCROSSBAR! Wonderful chance for West Ham to score as Carroll meets a corner from Jarvis, but his header smashes off the top of the crossbar. He has looked the most likely for the Hammers.

75 minWest Ham want a penalty as Dawson appears to handle inside the box, but the referee is not interested, much to the frustration of the away side. Not too much from West Brom in terms of an attacking threat as they continue to drop deeper and deeper, which has been their undoing in recent matches on their own patch.

76 minCHANCE! Opportunity for the home side this time as Sessegnon strikes one from just outside the box, but Adrian is down to make a really smart save. Still just one goal separates the two teams.

79 minWest Ham have another chance to threaten from a set piece as Noble delivers a deep cross onto the head of Reid, who attempts to find Carroll, but Olsson is on hand to clear the danger. Moments later, Brunt clears a deep cross from Cole as the pressure from the Hammers continues.

80 minSUB! Third and final change for the away side as Carlton Cole replaces Jarvis.

82 minSUB! West Brom make their second change as Anichebe enters the field in place of Sessegnon.

83 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments as the match enters its latter stages. However, you just get the feeling that there is a late sting in the tail here. At the moment, high balls into the box are being defended comfortably. Little over seven minutes of normal time remaining.

85 minOne-way traffic in the last couple of moments as West Ham continue to force the issue. Carlton Cole's presence inside the box allows Nolan a strike on goal, but Olsson makes the block. Carroll is the target from a Joe Cole cross moments later, but the England international is penalised for jumping into Dawson.

87 minWest Brom continue to concede free kicks as Olsson jumps into the back of Carlton Cole, who has made a difference. The resulting set piece is delivered by Noble, but Dawson is on hand to clear the danger. Little over three minutes of normal time remaining and West Ham have a throw deep in the Baggies half.

89 minIt is a case of 'anywhere will do' for the home side at the moment as the pressure continues to arrive from West Ham. The ball arrives long towards Carroll once more, but Dawson, who has been terrific, clears. It remains to be seen how many minutes are issued. Little over one minute of normal time remaining.

90 min+2SUB! West Brom make their third and final change as Berahino is replaced by Yacob. Meanwhile, the fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes this afternoon.

90 min+3BOOKING! Collins enters the book for West Ham following a late challenge on Anichebe.

90 min+4FULL-TIME: West Brom 1-0 West Ham

4.53pmWest Brom hold on to secure a vital three points and move five points ahead of the bottom three in the process. However, it is now four straight league defeats for West Ham. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around for all the reaction. Until next time!

West Bromwich Albion's Burundian striker Saido Berahino cerebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match against West Ham United on December 28, 2013
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