Andy Carroll stole all three points for West Ham in a hard-fought 2-1 win over West Brom on Tuesday night, with a winner in the dying moments of added time.
James McClean's effort and Carroll's first goal either side of half time had looked to secure a point for each side, before Carroll popped up to
The first half began with the home side dominating possession, but as the minutes ticked by, West Brom started to collect more and more of the ball.
Signs of things to come poked through the cracks of West Ham’s ball-hogging, with a turn and attempted chip from Salomon Rondon bouncing off the roof of the net.
West Ham had a great chance to take the lead as Pablo Zabaleta’s cross was headed away by Ahmed Hegazi, only to be hit first time by Manuel Lanzini. His powerfully hit shot though was only directed straight at Ben Foster.
Both teams showed a distinct lack of confidence in their play, with Claudio Yacob’s loss of possession allowing Carroll to try a curling effort, though that ultimately ended up wide of the mark.
But a huge goal for West Brom that came on the half hour mark, with Winston Reid’s reluctance to make a challenge leaving James McClean open to make a run across the box. His resulting shot attempt hit Pedro Obiang’s leg, before looping over Adrian and into the net.
The goal seemed to ignite the efforts of both sides as a second goal looked increasingly likely before the break.
West Ham had a great equalising chance, as Obiang’s wayward cross came to Lanzini again. His exquisite first touch gave him time to set off a low drive that was well met by Foster once again.
West Ham came out in the second half all guns blazing. Marko Arnautovic took the ball barely a minute after the restart and swung the ball into the box, but the outstretched leg of Andy Carroll sent it over the bar.
The home side’s impatience started to show, with petty fouls unnecessarily given away when a little bit of composure was all that was needed.
The long wait for a goal ended as a great Aaron Cresswell cross was met with a towering jumping header from Carroll, who equalised just before the hour mark. The goal also ended Carroll’s personal drought, as the England international had failed to score in nine months before the game.
West Brom’s defending held off several West Ham attacks, with Craig Dawson and Ben Foster making blocks and saves to deny multiple chances for West Ham to take the lead.
Meanwhile off the pitch, Jake Livermore, who had been substituted for Hal Robson-Kanu, had to be ushered down the tunnel with about 25 minutes remaining after an explosive incident with several home fans sat behind the dugout, although it is yet to be confirmed by either side what was said.
One fan tweeted more about the incident soon after Livermore was whisked away:
West Brom had a huge opportunity go begging, with substitute Oliver Burke taking a great through ball that went behind the home defence. A chasing Angelo Ogbonna tackle managed to cut out the danger.
The final minutes produced a thrilling end to end dash for a goal, with a brilliant pickpocket from Declan Rice as nearly being helped in by Javier Hernandez, but a block from Craig Dawson denied him.
Carroll’s second though was clipped in as a cross from Hernandez looped all the way around to the far post for the striker to power the ball in from an acute angle with his weaker right foot.
The win lifts West Ham up to 16th, whilst West Brom are still only above rock-bottom Swansea on goal difference.