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. [Read more…]