Sunderland hadn’t scored in the league for 675 minutes going into this game (they last netted in the 4-0 win over Palace back in February) and Wahbi Khazri hadn’t started for the Black Cats since October.
It took the Wearsiders 26 minutes more to break their duck and it was Tunisian winger Khazri who broke the duck, scoring DIRECTLY from a corner.
Bilic made two changes from the side that had beaten Swansea- Edimilson Fernandes for the suspended Mark Noble and Andy Carroll for the injured Michail Antonio.
The Hammers started well, with Manuel Lanzini’s early free kick forcing PFA Young Player of the Year nominee Jordan Pickford into a a smart save. However three minutes later, there was nothing Pickford could do to stop West Ham’s opener- Sam Byram’s cross from the right fell to Andy Carroll, and while the lanky striker made a hash of his attempt at goal, it ended up at the feet of the unmarked Andre Ayew, who fired home from close range.
Sunderland fans were incensed at Andre Marriner- Victor Anichebe apparently appeared to have been fouled just moments before but Marriner remained unmoved and it was from the resulting play that Ayew scored.
Anichebe had a measure of revenge on 26 minutes. He stood in front of Randolph for Khazri’s corner, effectively preventing the keeper from reaching the ball. Neither Edimilson Fernandes nor James Collins thought it prudent to head the ball and with no defender at the far post, Khazri’s corner directly went in, thus breaking a seven game goal scoring drought for David Moyes’ side.
Ayew had a glorious chance in the 36th minute, but his shot went over the top. Snodgrass was right behind him and the Scotlanbd international expressed his frustration at the ball not being left for him to take a shot. At the other end, Khazri forced Randolph into a save just before half time.
The second half started well for the Hammers, with Denayer’s foul giving them a free kick. The kick went out for a corner, and from the resulting set piece, Snodgrass’ perfectly delivered ball was headed in by the unmarked James Collins.
Anichebe was fouled off the ball by Byram midway through the second half, earning him a booking.
Khazri and Ndong both wasted opportunities and with time running out, Moyes first sent out Adnan Januzaj (who missed Sunderland’s previous game against United) and then Fabio Borini for the injured Billy Jones and Lamine Kone for Manquillo.
Randolph made a hash of a cross into the West Ham box, and the ball bobbed into Borini, who drilled it home with his first touch on the field.
Minutes later Byram collected his second booking (and therefore misses the Everton game). West Ham held on for a draw, but that’s now TWENTY TWO points that they have dropped from winning positions this season- the most for any team in the league. Adding those 22 would see them at 59, just one behind fifth place Manchester United.