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  • Westham United 1-3 Wolverhampton Wanderers: Franco beautiful chip

    Wolverhampton Wanderers pulled seven points clear of the Premier League drop zone after a 3-1 win at West Ham, who barely raised a whimper in a relegation six-pointer, at Upton Park On Tuesday, 23/03/2010.

    Goals from Kevin Doyle, Ronald Zubar and Kevin Foley gave Mick McCarthy's men as straightforward a win as they have had all season, with West Ham as poor as Wolves were competent.

    Doyle, Jarvis and midfielder David Jones were in fine form for the Midlanders, whose defence was tightly-organised and well-protected by the impressive Michael Mancienne.

    For the Hammers only Scott Parker took on any responsibility, with Guillermo Franco impressive when he came on as a late sub to test Marcus Hahnemann and score an injury-time consolation.

    West Ham's main problem lay in a back four that was nothing short of shambolic.

    Matthew Upson and James Tomkins barely completed a clearance between them, bullied by the shorter yet aerially superior Doyle, and it was a shocking error from Tomkins that gave the visitors a 28th-minute lead.

    A straightforward long ball should have been meat and drink for the 20-year-old but he let it run across him before hugely under-hitting an attempted back-pass. Doyle needed no invitation and raced on to the loose ball, holding off Tomkins's challenge and rifling a low drive across Robert Green and in off the near post.

    Foley had already hit the underside of the bar with a splendid effort after Doyle beat Upson to a flick-on and, after the opener, Radoslav Kovac was fortunate not to give away a penalty when he kicked David Jones's calf in the box.

    Wolves were turning it on, Green forced to palm Jones's low strike behind after a lovely passing move that showed guile and patience to their muscle.

    West Ham did have one chance at the end of the first half, but luck was not on their side when Parker surged forward to play a low curler off the inside of the post, following his run wide to meet the rebound but foiled by an excellent stop from Hahnemann.

    Zola rang the changes at half-time, with Junior Stanislas brought on for the increasingly pointless Kovac and - seemingly suffering from his earlier howler - Tomkins replaced by Jonathan Spector.

    It did not help as two goals in three minutes around the hour mark put the match out of sight for the hosts.

    The first was a wonderful individual effort from French full-back Zubar, who rifled Jones's pass inside the far post from a tight angle, with the shot flying at such pace Green was barely able to get down in time to see it whistle in.

    The second was a great team goal, with Jarvis placing a low shot inside the right-hand post after a sweet touch to play Jones's through-ball between Upson and Spector.

    With half an hour remaining, West Ham fans started leaving in their droves and, save for a late consolation for Franco - who also forced a smart stop from Hahnemann just after coming on - they missed little.

    West Ham gave up the ghost as weakly as they did against a 10-man Arsenal at the weekend, leaving them three points above third-bottom Burnley, but with 19th-placed Hull City having a game in hand on the same total.

    Wolves, meanwhile, rise to 15th, seven points clear with seven matches remaining.
    Reda Maher / Eurosport


    Team Line-up:

    West Ham: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Behrami, Kovac, Parker, Diamanti, Cole, McCarthy

    Wolves: Hahnemann, Foley, Berra, Craddock, Zubar, Elokobi, Mancienne, Henry, Jarvis, D Jones, Doyle


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