Knockout blows seal points for West Ham
Win eases the pressure and takes Sam Allardyce’s side up to 10th
Mohamed Diame of West Ham United scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match against Norwich City at the Boleyn Ground. Photograph: by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
West Ham 2 Norwich 0
Former world heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis revealed he had given West Ham a pre-match prep talk ahead of their clash with fellow Premier League strugglers Norwich – and it was James Collins and Mohamed Diame who delivered the late knockout blows that settled this contest.
Norwich would have won the tentative battle on points after creating most of the better openings in the game but Collins arrived just in time to head home an 84th-minute chance – with Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy culpable of coming to collect the delivery and getting caught out.
With the visitors chasing a late equaliser they were then exposed at the back, allowing second-half substitute Diame to wrap up the win late in stoppage time.
West Ham supporter Lewis was paraded to the supporters before the game, with both sides then sparring for the majority of the 90 minutes as not losing the game became paramount to their respective survival bids.
It was Norwich, and striker Gary Hooper, who passed up a number of gilt-edged chances to secure the three points, with Hammers goalkeeper Adrian again in top form.
Sam Allardyce’s side were lacking the spearhead of Andy Carroll and only Diame truly tested Ruddy before the England goalkeeper went missing for Collins’s late show.
The win eases the pressure and takes Sam Allardyce’s side up to 10th as they won three consecutive games in the top flight for the first time since the 2006/’07 season.
WEST HAM UTD: Adrian, Demel, Collins, Tomkins, McCartney, Noble, Taylor (Nocerino 77),Jarvis (Diame 61), Nolan, Downing, Carlton Cole (Borriello 46). Subs not used: Armero, Reid, Collison, Jaaskelainen. Booked: Nocerino.
NORWICH CITY: Ruddy, Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson, Tettey (van Wolfswinkel 86), Johnson, Snodgrass, Fer, Redmond (Pilkington 81), Hooper (Elmander 76). Subs not used: Whittaker, Bunn, Hoolahan, Garrido. Booked: Olsson, Johnson, Pilkington.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).