Post Match Report & Thoughts- West Ham v Swansea | Win that papers over the cracks?

Going into this game, West Ham had never failed to score at home against Swansea, finding the back of the net 74 times in 31 previous games against the Swans.

Going into this game, Swansea were yet to concede an away goal in the Premier League this season.

One of those two records was to be broken at the London Stadium, and for eighty nine minutes, it looked like the former, before substitutes Arthur Masuaku and Diafra Sakho combined for a goal that saw Swansea concede a late winner for the second Saturday in a row.

West Ham coach Slaven Bilic opted to change his formation, going with four at the back instead of 3. Out went Angelo Ogbonna and Marko Arnautovic (illness), and in came Andy Carroll, who has a great scoring record against Swansea, and Andre Ayew, with playmaker Manuel Lanzini a welcome sight on the bench.

West ham Ham starting lineup vs Swansea 2017

Swansea boss Paul Clement chose to shake up things as well, also opting for four at the back and recalling former West Ham youth player Leon Britton at the base of a midfield diamond.

Swansea starting XI v West Ham

The Hammers had the first major chance of the game, with Fabianski alert to deny Antonio’s volley-into-the-ground attempt in the fourth minute. Swansea however enjoyed most of the possession in the first half and fans at the London Stadium grew increasingly frustrated as their team failed to hold on to the ball for an extended period of time and couldn’t conjure up any attack of note. David Gold was seen shaking his head in the stands and Antonio and Ayew switched flanks as the Hammers searched desperately for an opening. It seemed to come in the 37th minute when Antonio’s great cross found Carroll, and the ball eventually fell to Ayew, but the Ghana international’s tame header failed to trouble Fabianski.

For all their possession (effectively over 60%), Swansea only registered one major first half chance, and that was from the boot of Wilfried Bony, whose effort was parried away by Hart. The other talking point was Renato Sanches’ horrible challenge on Aaron Cresswell in the 29th minute, with the Portuguese star perhaps lucky to only pick up a yellow.

Bony picked up a hamstring injury and was replaced by Leroy Fer at half time. Jordan Ayew moved forward to replace Bony, with Fer taking Ayew’s spot at the tip of the diamond.

Early in the second half, the home fans were given an early scare when Noble’s shanked clearance gave Swansea an opportunity, but Joe Hart was on hand to clean up the mess. At the other end, Antonio’s great cross almost found Carroll, with the latter agonisingly around half a yard away from sliding the ball in.

Noble made way for Lanzini on the hour mark and the Argentine immediately seemed to inject new energy into the Hammers attack. However both teams seemed to struggle in the final third and Bilic, desperately needing points, sent on Masuaku and Sakho in a double substitution.

Andy Carroll, named the Sponsors’ Man of the Match, came close in the 86th minute, with a shot that rattled back off the bar with Fabianski well beaten.

With Swansea minutes away from another clean sheet away from home, Paul Clement opted to replace left back Olsson with Sam Clucas, and it perhaps cost the visitors a point, with the midfielder’s positioning all over the place as Masuaku’s low cross was fired in at the far post by Sakho- his first league goal in 2017/18, and first league one for the club since November 2016.

Sakho Goal vs Swansea

While the game was dire, it was three vital points for Slaven Bilic, and three that lifted West Ham out of the relegation zone.

Our Man of the Match– Everyone was pretty much mediocre, but we’ll give it to Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine certainly gives it his all.

West Ham starting lineup: Hart, Zabaleta, Reid, Fonte, Cresswell, Antonio, Kouyate, Noble, Ayew, Carroll, Hernandez

Subs used: Lanzini (for Noble), Sakho (for Hernandez), Masuaku (for Ayew)

Unused subs: Adrian, Ogbonna, Byram, Rice

Goals scored: Sakho (90)

Cards: Kouyate, Carroll, Sakho

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