Match Analysis: West Ham United 2-0 Swansea City

Match Analysis: West Ham United 2-0 Swansea City
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Sports Mole looks back over West Ham United's 2-0 victory at the expense of Swansea City at Upton Park.

Two first-half goals from Kevin Nolan allowed West Ham United to record a 2-0 victory over Swansea City at Upton Park this afternoon.

The Hammers were reduced to 10 men after the restart when Andy Carroll was handed his marching orders for a challenge on Chico Flores, but it didn't derail their charge to the three points.

Below, Sports Mole has looked back over the 90 minutes to determine if the result was a fair one.

Match statistics

West Ham
Shots: 11
On target: 4
Possession: 35%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 7

Swansea
Shots: 20
On target: 0
Possession: 65%
Corners: 11
Fouls: 7

Was the result fair?

For large parts, it wasn't a contest for the purists. Ultimately, what West Ham did better than their opponents was converting their chances when they were carved out. The Swans didn't create enough in the way of clear-cut openings to argue that they were deserving of a share of the spoils.

West Ham's performance

Sam Allardyce's men played to their strengths - no more, no less. Whenever they could, the ball was hoisted up to Carroll, who then either looked to score or play in Nolan. It's by no means pretty, but when you are in the relegation zone, you do whatever it takes to get the three points. What will have annoyed Allardyce greatly is the sending-off of Carroll, who having linked well with Nolan, will now be banned for three matches. On the plus side, for the second match in succession, the Hammers defended very well.

Swansea's performance

When you see that a side has 65% of the possession and 20 shots, just as Swansea did, you could be forgiven for thinking that they surely ran away with the game. Not so, in this case. The Swans were poor from the first whistle, with their passing in particular lacking any real urgency. What will have summed up the afternoon from Michael Laudrup's point of view is the fact that none of his team's 20 efforts was on target.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Kevin Nolan: He's had his critics this season, but Nolan showed that he is still capable of scoring goals from midfield today. His first was a really good strike from the edge of the area, while his second was a case of being in the right place at the right time - something that he has had a real knack of doing in seasons gone by.

Biggest gaffe

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that, given his height, Carroll is useful in the air. Nobody told the Swansea defence, though, as they struggled to deal with him all afternoon. The worst offender was Ashley Williams, who allowed the striker to run free to meet a corner, which he headed across the face of goal for Nolan to convert his second goal of the match.

Referee performance

Some will argue that Carroll accidentally caught Flores on the head with his swinging arm, but in Howard Webb's defence, it wasn't the smartest act from the West Ham frontman. You can certainly understand why England's top referee opted to brandish the red card. That aside, it was a largely quiet afternoon's work for Webb, who did his best to allow the game to flow.

What next?

West Ham: Next weekend the Hammers are on the road when they travel to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa.

Swansea: As for the Swans, they return to home comforts, although it is bound to be a fiery encounter against rivals Cardiff City on Saturday evening.

Andy Carroll of West Ham United is sent off by referee Howard Webb after a clash with Chico Flores of Swansea City (R) during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City at Boleyn Ground on February 1, 2014
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