The Canaries made the trip down to East London looking for their first win at The Boleyn Ground since 1987, and although irrelevant records such as this mean very little, it always seems to be against West Ham that these records are broken. However, with West Ham picking up back to back wins, for the first time since returning to the Premier League, the boys in claret and blue were looking to go one better and make it three wins on the bounce.
Norwich may feel hard done by leaving Upton Park with nothing, but if it weren’t for our Spanish sensation Adrián between the posts then the result could have been very different.
The game began with Norwich looking the brighter of the two teams. This wasn’t through a lack of effort or passion from the West Ham players, but rather it seemed that there were a few too many stray passes or poorly timed tackles resulting in Norwich retaining the ball. They had a few good chances before the half an hour mark and with a couple of excellent saves from Adrián along with a fine sliding challenge from Tomkins, the scoreboard remained 0-0. Any sign of a West Ham breakthrough was coming from Jarvis and Downing, who were both swinging crosses in, if only Andy Carroll had been on the end of them.
The second half brought a change for the home side, with the ineffective Carlton Cole being replaced by new signing Marco Borriello. The Italian forward worked hard during the second half; however Allardyce faced a similar problem to Modibo Maiga, in that Borriello needs the ball played into his feet, not in the air.
Norwich continued to press and the game was hanging in the balance; however the introduction of Mo Diame had a big influence on the end result. He opened up the Norwich defence with 15 minutes remaining, but couldn’t find the net after a fine save from John Ruddy. However a matter of minutes later, the Senegalese midfielder put the ball into the box for James Collins to head past the Norwich keeper. Injury time saw Diame break away down the Norwich end and his deflected shot dribbled past the helpless John Ruddy to make it 20.
All in all, the result may have been a little harsh on Norwich but it is always a welcoming sight to see West Ham not necessarily playing their best but still managing to take all three points. And with The Hammers rising to 10th place in the league, it is important that complacency doesn’t start to creep in and we continue to push on.