West Ham storm to superb win as Carroll grabs deadly double
PUBLISHED: 17:10 21 January 2017 | UPDATED: 17:10 21 January 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers moved into the top half of the Premier League with a fine win at The Riverside over Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough 1 West Ham United 3
Two-goal Andy Carroll proved to be the shining light as he led West Ham United to victory in murky, misty Middlesbrough.
The red-hot Hammers striker put Slaven Bilić’s side ahead with a high-power header on eight minutes and, although Cristhian Stuani levelled as the half-hour mark approached, Carroll slid home his third goal in two games just before the break to take his tally to five for the season.
And in stoppage time, his replacement Jonathan Calleri made sure of second successive victory with a third West Ham goal that found the net with the help of a deflection off Adam Clayton.
Following last week’s welcome win over Crystal Palace, Bilić had made just one change as Sam Byram replaced substitute James Collins in a Hammers side kicking off in 12th spot, five points above Boro.
Predictably, there was still no sign of the dissenting Dimitri Payet, whose cross-Channel move to Marseille presently looks to have floundered in the Straits of Dover, while having marched out on the Saints, new £8million signing José Fonte had signed too late from Southampton to feature.
Buoyed by their biggest-ever victory at the London Stadium seven days earlier, West Ham roared on by a sold-out band of 2,014 supporters started in lively mood with Aaron Cresswell’s low, left-wing cross only needing a firm touch from the in-rushing Antonio, who was left looking high into the North-East mist as the ball flashed wide.
The absconding Adama Traore was then tripped by Manuel Lanzini as he tried to break clear but it was not long until Boro’ found themselves on the back foot, once more, as Antonio burst to the by-line where he found his run to goal blocked.
And when Lanzini floated over the consequent corner, Carroll rose unchallenged to send an eight-yard header ripping into the net as the flat-footed home defence pointed fingers in disbelief that they had, to a man, failed to pick up the striker’s eighth-minute run.
Aitor Karanka had made just two changes from last week’s goalless draw at Watford as Traore and Clayton returning in place of substitutes Fabio and Grant Leadbitter and, although Boro had signed Patrick Bamford from Chelsea in midweek there was no place in the starting line-up for the new boy, who also found himself on the bench sitting alongside ex-Hammer Stewart Downing.
Trailing to that early Carroll opener, the Teesiders had a great chance to draw level, when Traore’s trickery down the right-flank climaxed with the ball falling to Alvaro Negredo six yards out but Angelo Ogbonna bravely blocked the Spaniard in the act of shooting.
On 26 minutes, though, Boro did indeed level when Traore again caused problems down the right flank before playing in the overlapping Calum Chambers, whose low cross to the far post was side-footed home by the unmarked Stuani, who followed up his goal in the 1-1 at the London Stadium back in October with another strike against Bilić’s boys.
Shortly afterwards, George Friend’s brilliant last-gasp tackle denied Carroll as he shaped to fire past Valdes, while at the other end, that man Traore sent two teasers across the face of goal but none of the Spanish speed machine’s team-mates could find the vital stud required to give the hosts an interval lead.
Making the most of those let-offs, it was West Ham who grabbed a half-time lead of their own on 43 minutes, when Cresswell patiently cut back to Antonio, who sent a low 25-yard steaming across the frosty Riverside turf onto the base of Valdes’ right-hand upright and, with the beaten former Barça ‘keeper lying prone in the goalmouth, Carroll reacted quickest to slide the rebound into an unguarded net.
Having departed with that one-goal advantage, the Hammers could have been home and hosed within moments of the restart as Antonio headed over from eight yards, before the galloping Lanzini found himself with only the Spanish eyes of Valdes in his sights but the ‘keeper won the battle of wits with a comfortable save.
Mark Noble had collided heavily with Bernardo in the build-up to that Argentinian breakaway and he was subsequently replaced by Edimilson Fernandes seconds after Darren Randolph had finger-tipped Marten de Roon’s header around the left upright.
Chambers fired high and wide from range as the hour-mark neared, before the Hammers had the escape of all escapes, when Traore’s trickery released Negredo, whose low cross into the six-yard box was turned onto his own crossbar by Cresswell before Winston Reid chested back to Randolph.
Midway through the half, Jonathan Calleri replaced Carroll, who left to rapturous applause from the travelling faithful, while Bamford stepped from the bench in place of Stuani for the final ten minutes as Boro looked to their £6million man to rescue a point for them.
Bookings for Ben Gibson and Bernardo summed up the home frustration, while Calleri also prodded wide as West Ham looked to ease the pressure in the closing minutes.
But with Boro now running out of ideas and over-committing themselves forward, West Ham sealed victory in the fourth minute of additional time when Antonio carved the home defence in two and, although Lanzini failed to convert Fernandes low cross into the six-yard box, he still had the presence of mind to cut back to compatriot Calleri, who found the net for the first time in English football thanks to a deflection off Clayton.
BORO: Valdes, Bernardo, Chambers, Gibson, de Roon, Traore, Clayton, Forshaw (Gestede 83), Friend, Negredo, Stuani (Bamford 80). Unused subs: Guzan, Fabio, Leadbitter, Fischer, Downing.
HAMMERS: Randolph, Byram, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Reid, Obiang, Noble, (Fernandes 54) Feghouli (Collins 83), Lanzini, Antonio, Carroll (Calleri 67). Unused subs: Adrián, Fletcher, Oxford, Quina.
Referee: Martin Atkinson
Bookings: Lanzini (6), Gibson (80), Bernardo (81)
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