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Player Ratings: West Ham United 1-0 Sunderland

Sports Mole looks at who impressed during West Ham's late 1-0 victory over Dick Advocaat's Sunderland at Upton Park.

Dick Advocaat's first game as Sunderland boss ended in defeat this evening as West Ham United ran out 1-0 winners at Upton Park.

The only goal of the game did not come until the 88th minute, when Diafra Sakho drilled an effort into the bottom corner having been found by Mark Noble.

Here, Sports Mole rates all of the players involved for their respective performances in East London.


Diafra Sakho of West Ham celebrates with team-mates after scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Sunderland at Boleyn Ground on March 21, 2015© Getty Images

WEST HAM

Goal

Adrian: Had little to do and was alert to clean up any danger when he needed to. (6/10)

Defence

Carl Jenkinson: Back in the side following his enforced absence last week and put in a solid display down the flank without making too big a difference. (6/10)

Cheikhou Kouyate: Filled in at centre-back again and did a good job of keeping the likes of Wickham and Fletcher quiet. Did make one mistake that resulted in a chance for Defoe, but was let off the hook by the Sunderland striker. (6/10)

James Collins: Struggled to deal with the pace of Defoe at times, but always seemed to be in the right place when crosses came into the box, making a number of clearances in the second half especially. (7/10)

Aaron Cresswell: Always eager to get forward and provided the hosts with a good outlet on the left flank. His delivery was mixed, though, and on another day he may have made a bigger impact with more consistency in his crossing. (6/10)

Midfield

Alex Song: Provided one of the few moments of real quality with a fine volley that tested Pantilimon in the first half. Was a strong presence in the middle of the park, although neither side were really able to dominate that area. (6/10)

Mark Noble: Provided the assist with a nice flick into the path of Sakho, who duly applied the finish. Energetic as ever in the middle of the park. (7/10)

Stewart Downing: Struggled to have much of an impact on proceedings in the final third. Did show a couple of bright glimpses, but both sides lacked quality going forward today, (5/10)

Kevin Nolan: Was at the heart of one or two penalty shouts for his side, but that was pretty much the extent of his influence. (5/10)

Matt Jarvis: Played a couple of decent crosses into the box during the first half, but did not have enough impact to persuade Allardyce from taking him off at the break. (5/10)

Attack

Diafra Sakho: Even in a match like this, his tireless chasing can work wonders. Got the winning goal with a crisp finish late on, having also come close with two earlier headers. (7/10)

Substitutes

Carlton Cole: Replaced Jarvis at the interval and gave Sakho a bit more support up top without really doing much himself. (6/10)

Nene: Came on with 10 minutes to go and looked eager to get involved. Did well to keep the ball alive in the build-up to the goal. (6/10)

Joey O'Brien: Introduced in the dying stages as a time-wasting and defensive sub for Sakho. (6/10)


SUNDERLAND

Goal

Costel Pantilimon: His height helped him deal with many of West Ham's crosses into the box, although he did not always look comfortable with them. Could do nothing about the winner. (6/10)

Defence

Anthony Reveillere: No frills, solid performance from the full-back. Gave Jarvis little joy during the West Ham man's time on the field. (6/10)

John O'Shea: Marshalled the defence well for the most part, ensuring that they were organised enough to deal with the multitude of high balls that came into their area. (6/10)

Wes Brown: Lasted a little over 10 minutes before limping off with an injury. (6/10)

Patrick van Aanholt: Perhaps could have done better for the goal as it came down his side, but a solid display overall. (6/10)

Midfield

Jordi Gomez: Launched a few long balls over the defence that interested Defoe, but otherwise had a very quiet match in midfield. (5/10)

Jack Rodwell: Went about his business under the radar in the middle of the park. Did not exactly influence the game, but did little wrong either. (6/10)

Sebastian Larsson: His best moments came deep in his own half rather in the opposition's, where he can really make a difference. (5/10)

Attack

Steven Fletcher: Kept quiet by Kouyate for much of the match as he tried to provide some support for Defoe. (5/10)

Jermain Defoe: His pace looked like Sunderland's most likely route of a goal as he played on the last shoulder, but he spurned the one clear chance that came his way. (5/10)

Connor Wickham: Given a free role to get up in support of Fletcher and Defoe, but also filled in in midfield when needed. Put a decent shift in and was one of his side's better players. (6/10)

Substitutes

Santiago Vergini: Came on for the injured Brown early on and looked shaky at times, but ultimately put in a fairly solid display. (6/10)

Adam Johnson: Made his first appearance since his arrest and got plenty of abuse from the crowd. Actually looked quite bright on the ball, but could not make the difference. (6/10)

Danny Graham: Came on for Defoe seconds before the goal and could not come up with a response. (6/10)


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Diafra Sakho of West Ham celebrates with team-mates after scoring the winning goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Sunderland at Boleyn Ground on March 21, 2015
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