Monday 1 April 2013

West Ham 3-1 West Brom: Baggies reduced to rugby tactics

Just as another ruthlessly efficient home performance by the Bubbles boys was drawing to a close, up pops Yousouf Mulumbu with a remarkable piece of creative thinking. Realising that his team had been hopelessly outplayed by a dominant Hammers side, and trailing 3-1, he realized that the only way to get something from the game would be to seize 3 oints rugby-style for a drop kick over the Hammers bar. Unfortunately for the Congolese starlet, the wily Gary O’Neil was well positioned to block the audacious effort.

However, it could all have been very different only for Jussi Jaaskelainen’s sensational reflex save from Romelu Lukaku’s sizzling free kick. Somehow he managed to push the ball on to the post from where it rebounded and bounced around like a high scoring pinball but thankfully stayed out of the net.

Soon after, Andy Carroll overpowered the Baggies defence to nod in the opener from a well flighted Gary O’Neil free kick and the Hammers were up and off. The chances began to flow freely but were wasted until finally O’Neil took it upon himself to unleash a sweetly flighted chip into the Baggies net after good work from the bustling Ricardo Vaz Te.

The Baggies responded well at the beginning of the second half but could not out wit the in form Jasskelainen and with ten minutes left Carroll struck again with a delightful volley off a high ball that came over his shoulder. Delish!

As injury time arrived, referee Andre Marriner awarded West Brom a decidedly soft penalty to add some respectability to the scoreline, but in truth the Hammers were well deserved victors and are almost guaranteed Premiership footie again next year…..mission almost accomplished! However, as our close friends and allies from up North can attest to, it's still possible to get relegated from a seemingly safe position if you lose your focus. 

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