Recent Videos

  • Westham United 2-0 Birmingham City: Diamanti brilliant free-kick

    David Gold and David Sullivan were in attendance to see their new side beat the team they used to own for 16 years. A brilliant free kick on the stroke of half-time from Alessandro Diamanti put West Ham ahead and Carlton Cole headed in the winner 23 minutes from time.

    Zola, who had been critical ahead of such an important match of Sullivan's warning of wage cuts in the coming months will have been delighted with the desire his side showed from the off.

    West Ham started brightly and should perhaps have gone in front early on when Scott Parker burst through a packed penalty box. However, his rushed shot was put wide with Joe Hart stranded.

    Birmingham were pinned back in their own half for much of the opening 20 minutes, however they were not without chances of their own once they had settled and Cameron Jerome was presented the best opportunity of the first half.

    Liam Ridgewell, Craig Gardner and Lee Bowyer were all involved in a nice passing move which resulted in a ball being played through to Jerome who should have done better when he dragged his shot wide from 12 yards.

    The West Ham back line was again in a panic when a mishit shot from Kevin Phillips put Jerome in behind the defence. However, the striker was forced wide with Rob Green in close attendance and could only clip the ball back across the box. West Ham failed to clear their lines and Steven Carr managed to force his way to the byline and drive in a cross which Green parried.

    This time however, West Ham cleared and a direct ball to Cole allowed the striker to tee up Diamanti whose driven effort was tipped over by Hart at full stretch.

    Diamanti was not to be denied though. Parker's driving run and shot in the opening minutes must have been in Scott Dann's mind as the impressive West Ham midfielder rushed past him on 45 minutes.

    This time the Birmingham defender brought him down, earning himself a yellow card and giving West Ham a free-kick 20 yards out. Diamanti stepped up and lifted the ball over the wall and into the top right-hand corner of the net with Hart well beaten.

    The second half continued much the same as the first, with West Ham pressing for an equaliser and Birmingham feeding off scraps.

    With the Blues in need of a creative spark James McFadden was introduced on 66 minutes. However, his substitution almost immediately played a part in West Ham's second goal as McFadden failed to track Valon Behrami's overlapping run and the West Ham right back's driven cross was forced home by Cole.

    Birmingham claimed for a penalty late in the second half as Upson accidentally handled the ball as he slid in to challenge Phillips, however it would have been harsh on West Ham as Upson had no idea where the ball was at the time.

    The Hammers' first victory in 2010 will hardly spell the end of relegation fears, however their impressive performance should be a timely morale boost for a side who had looked short of ideas against Burnley at the weekend while also helping Zola's case if the rumours about him being one defeat away from the sack were indeed true.
    Jamie Nazareth / Eurosport



Leave a Reply