Tuesday, 21st September 2010
Vitor Obinna's second half strike sent the Hammers through to the fourth round of the competition for only the second time this century after Frederic Piquionne gave United an early lead that was cancelled out by Asamoah Gyan ahead of the break.
The Stadium of Light is turning out to be something of a happy hunting ground for West Ham. Memories of the 1-0 FA Cup win back at the turn of the century are still fresh, whilst United were unlucky to only record a 2-2 draw here in the Premier League last season.
Tonight Avram Grant's side went one better - and in doing so, recorded their first away win since the 2-0 victory at Wolves on the opening day of last season.
Despite creating a plethora of chances in the opening half-hour West Ham - who welcomed back both Tal Ben Haim and manager Avram Grant from their weekend break - managed to profit on just the one occasion, when Frederic Piquionne - standing in for the benched Carlton Cole - notched his first goal since moving from Portsmouth in the summer.
The 31-year-old striker fired home ten minutes before the break following some good work by fellow newcomer Victor Obinna. The on-loan winger's clever turn and pass left Piquionne with just 'keeper Mignolet to beat: rounded by the wily Piquionne he watched helpless as the ball was passed into an empty net.
Sadly United's lead was to last for just six minutes - and once again, it was another soft goal conceded from a set play. A corner drilled towards the near post found a criminally unmarked Asamoah Gyan who was left with the simplest of chances to make it 1-1.
That's how it stayed until the hour mark when Victor Obinna, who impressed yet again with another strong performance slammed home what proved to be the winning goal from Scott Parker's free kick. The young Nigerian, who only yesterday mooted the idea of remaining at the Boleyn following his year-long loan spell has been excellent despite being in England for only a matter of weeks. Long may it continue.
Sunderland, as expected, enjoyed the brunt of posession as the game wore on but the Hammers - assisted by some sterling defensive work throughout the team and one or two important stops from stand-in 'keeper Marek Stech - stood resolute to deservedly earn their first win on their travels for more than a year.
Avram Grant - and one or two supporters - will be hoping the team can take this form into Saturday's London derby with Tottenham, who were sent packing out of the competition by rivals Arsenal tonight.
* Player comments courtesy of Norbert_Up_Norf
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Pretty solid; a very good second half save. Needs to work on his distribution though - something other than a laser-straight punt into their half would be nice.
Very good; very strong and effective at getting the right side of their wide players. Tenacious in chasing down balls and made up for the few mistakes he made.
Tal Ben Haim
Ok defensively but very static.
Ok but got dragged around by their forwards a bit too much on occasions. Would struggle against a better team.
Manuel Da Costa
Very good - seems to enjoy linking up with Barrera and suits a more attacking role with Kovac tucked behind.
A decent game. His distribution was better than I've seen from him before.
Luis Boa Morte
A waste of time - overweight, painfully slow and caught in possession too often.
Good, but I'd like to see him take on his man; he tried to pass his way out of tight situations too often.
Impressive. Full of confidence and not afraid to take his man on, but found himself ahead of play on a few occasions - the midfield was slow to support him (largely down to Boa Morte being as dynamic as a house brick).
Slow and has a tendency to skulk about looking disinterested - but you can't argue with the goal. Brilliantly taken.
(Replaced Obinna, 71 mins) Comments to follow.
(Replaced Piquionne, 78 mins) Comments to follow.
(Replaced Barrera, 90 mins) Comments to follow.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Did not play.
Referee: Howard Webb.
Man of the Match: Julien Faubert.
West Ham United
Marek Stech, Julien Faubert, Tal Ben Haim, James Tomkins, Manuel Da Costa, Scott Parker, Radoslav Kovac, Luis Boa Morte, Pablo Barrera, Victor Obinna, Frederic Piquionne.
Goals: Frederic Piquionne 35 Victor Obinna 59 .
Sent off: None.
Mignolet, Ferdinand, Richardson, Bardsley, Onuoha, Riveros, Al Muhammadi, Henderson, Bent, Gyan, Welbeck.
Substitutes: Da Silva (Ferdinand 40), Malbranque (Gyan 61), Zenden (Henderson 71).
Subs not used: Reid, Carson, Angeleri, Colback.
Goals: Gyan (41).
Sent Off: None.