Andy Carroll struck a stoppage-time winner as West Ham came from behind for the first time this season to beat relegation rivals West Brom 2-1 at the London Stadium.
Carroll brought a nine-month goal drought to an end in emphatic fashion, cancelling out James McClean’s deflected opener (30) on 59 minutes before firing the winner deep into time added on.
It was a bitter pill for Alan Pardew to swallow on his return his former employers as the Baggies’ winless run in the Premier League stretches to an unenviable 20 games.
The result lifts the Hammers up to 16th in the table, five points clear of West Brom in 19th, who remain firmly in the relegation mire.
With West Ham without a win in three, and West Brom winless in 19, there was an understandable degree of caution from both sides for the opening quarter of this bottom-of-the-table clash.
Salomon Rondon’s chipped effort nestled on the roof of the net on 14 minutes and that drew a response from the Hammers as Manuel Lanzini’s rasping drive forced Ben Foster into action seven minutes later.
The Baggies had a helping hand against Arsenal as a contentious penalty saw them snatch a point, and fortune was on their side once more as McClean’s strike, after some pitiful defending from Winston Reid, deflected off Pedro Obiang and over the hapless Adrian.
West Brom pushed for a second but going behind galvanised the disjointed Hammers as Lanzini’s low 39th-minute effort drew another fine stop from Foster, who bravely thwarted Kouyate from converting Carroll’s knock-down four minutes later.
Adrian stopped a Jonny Evans toe-poke on the line before the break from which West Ham returned revitalised, Carroll turning Marko Arnautovic’s whipped cross over within a minute of the restart.
But Carroll was not to be denied as he hauled the Hammers level with a towering header from Aaron Cresswell’s cross shortly before the hour – his first goal since April 1.
And, after Jake Livermore was involved in an altercation with West Ham supporters following his 64th-minute substitution, Carroll capped his return to form by firing Arnautovic’s cross home from a narrow angle at the death.
Opta statsWest Brom are now winless in 20 Premier League games – only three clubs have ever had a longer winless run in the competition (Derby 32, Sunderland 26 and Norwich 21).Andy Carroll now has eight goals in his last eight Premier League starts in the month of January.Only Joey Barton (5) has assisted more Premier League goals for Andy Carroll than Aaron Cresswell (4).James McClean has scored three goals against West Ham in the Premier League (7 apps), he hasn’t scored more than one against any other side in the competition.McClean’s opener for West Brom was his first Premier League goal in 472 days – that goal also came against the Hammers.Marko Arnautovic has now been directly involved in six goals in his last six league games (5 goals, 1 assist) – he had been involved in none in his previous 11 before this run.The managers
David Moyes: “You can see how important a win that was. They were top goals from Andy. I don’t know if there are many centre halves that could have dealt with his leap for the first goal, and I must say the ball in is terrific. You have to give him great credit for the finish forthe second.”
Alan Pardew: “That’s a tough one to take, the two-day turnaround cost us in the end. We just ran out of legs, we couldn’t keep going. To concede in that manner is heart-breaking for the players. It was difficult for us, they had more energy than us and it showed.”
Man of the Match – Andy Carroll
West Ham look to have escaped with a point after an abject display in front of their own supporters but, having already equalised, Carroll provided the perfect finishing touch.
The Hammers frontman buried a trademark header to end the longest goal drought of his career and, like London buses, his second soon followed as he fired home from a tight angle to snatch the victory.
Matt Murray: “Wow, what a game. I thought with so much riding on it down the bottom that West Brom away from home might play on the counter-attack and make it an edgy affair, but right from the start both teams were going for it. West Ham, through Andy Carroll, were calm and clinical at the end then they deserved it.”
West Ham make the trip to Wembley on Thursday to take on London rivals Tottenham – live on Sky Sports Premier League – before travelling to Shrewsbury in the FA Cup on Sunday. In between those games, West Brom head to Devon for their FA Cup third-round clash with Exeter City.