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Premier League
Saturday, 21st January 2017

Middlesbrough 0
West Ham United 0

by Staff Writer

Three goals of the highest quality saw West Ham secure their first win of 2017 - with Dimitri Payet nowhere to be seen.

The French international may have been instrumental to United last season but even before he went on strike after his demands to leave the club were denied, he had been a shadow of the player that lit up the final season at the Boleyn Ground.

And whilst fans may have been fearing the worst following the loss of the team's main attacking force - and may still have been doing so at half time following a dreary and cautious opening 45 - few were talking about Payet come the final whistle.

And that was due to an 18-minute spell towards the end in which West Ham finally came alive, scoring three goals and thus securing their biggest home win of the current Premier League season.

Michail Antonio, having been freed to play in a more advanced role following a second half reshuffle was involved in all three goals. The target of much transfer speculation this week, his involvement here will have done little to deter any potential suitors.




It was Antonio's 68th-minute centre, having received the ball wide on the left via a clever pass from Mark Noble and then rounded 'keeper Wayne Hennessey, that left (a potentially offside) Sofiane Feghouli with a tap-in to open the scoring.

And the game was all but put beyond Palace's reach on 79 minutes when Andy Carroll scored one of the goals of the season with a simply breathtaking overhead kick - the sort that results in sports editors and pundits demanding his instant recall to the national fold.




The provider for Carroll was, once again, Antonio - and it was he who provided a perfectly-weighted pass for Manuel Lanzini to latch on to before lifting the ball over the head of an advancing Hennessey to make it 3-0 with just four minutes of normal time remaining.

And whilst he received a yellow card as a result, the Argentine's joyful celebrations - in which he leapt into the arms of his adoring fans - were a small but significant moment of positivity following months of misery at Stratford.

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Player Ratings

Darren Randolph
Looked solid with one fine save and quite a few more routine ones.


Cheikhou Kouyate
Our lack of defensive capability on the right saw him covering two or three positions at once. Not bad under the circumstances.


Aaron Cresswell
Still some way from his best and that back pass was a shocker.


Winston Reid
Given a hard time by Mbokana. It probably ended up all square.


Angelo Ogbonna
When Mbokana wasnít tormenting Reid he moved on to Ogbonna with similar results.


Pedro Obiang
Slightly unfortunate to be hooked at half-time but something had to change.


Michail Antonio
As the game progressed he became more and more of a threat. Went down a bit too easy for the penalty for my liking though. Not something Iím keen on.


Mark Noble
Stuttered a bit. A few good minutes here a dodgy moment there. Judged that header on to the post to perfection. Didnít he?


Andy Carroll
More of an influence defensively than as a striker, which, in case you had forgotten, is what he is there for.


Manuel Lanzini
Not at all unfortunate to be hooked at half time because something had to change.


Dimitri Payet
Anonymous for an hour. Better in the last 30.


Substitutes


Edimilson Fernandes
A decent half.


Andre Ayew
Still not sure where he is supposed to really be playing but was much more influential than Lanzini and was unlucky not to score.


Havard Nordtveit
Brought on to run down the clock.


Adrian San Miguel Del Castillo



Reece Burke



Lewis Page



Josh Cullen




Match Facts

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 50000.

Man of the Match: Michail Antonio.

West Ham United

Goals: Cheikhou Kouyate 8 Cheikhou Kouyate 22 Sofiane Feghouli 81              

Booked: Michail Antonio  Sofiane Feghouli  Enner Valencia       .

Sent Off: None sent off.     .

Middlesbrough

.

Substitutes: .

Subs not used: .

Goals: n/a.

Booked: .

Sent Off: None sent off..

 
Staff Writer's Man of the Match: Michail Antonio


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