Hammers steamroll Latics
Hammers claim crucial victory over fellow strugglers
Last Updated: 27/11/10 6:03pm
Behrami: Opening goal
West Ham secured only their second home win of the season with a 3-1 victory against Wigan to relieve the pressure on under-fire manager Avram Grant.
Goals from Valon Behrami, Victor Obinna and Scott Parker ensured the points but only after Robert Green had saved Mauro Boselli's spot-kick.
And, despite a late Tom Cleverley consolation goal for the visitors, the Hammers have moved to within three points of safety.
Behrami gave West Ham the half-time lead with a goal after 34 minutes.
Lars Jacobsen's angled cross was headed down by the impressive Frederic Piquionne and despite a touch by defender Steve Gohouri, Swiss midfielder Behrami, on his return to first-team action after injury, bundled the ball past the advancing Ali Al Habsi.
Eleven minutes into the second half Obinna scored his first Premier League goal in West Ham colours.
Just after the hour mark, Wigan were rewarded for their persistence when Danny Gabbidon brought down Cleverley for a penalty, however, substitute Boselli saw his spot-kick superbly saved by Green, diving to his left.
And Parker secured the points 15 minutes from time by slotting home Obinna's delicious cross from the byline.
Cleverley scored a late consolation for Wigan, whipping the ball into the far corner from the edge of the box, but the Hammers had done enough to claim a vital win.
The Irons, however, still remain bottom after Wolves' late winner against Sunderland.
The match had been billed by the West Ham board as the "save our season game", although Grant maintained that was more aimed at supporters to get behind the team than a shot across his bows.
Grant had relegated Carlton Cole to the bench after the England striker had labelled last week's 3-0 defeat at Liverpool as "diabolical", while Wigan were without suspended duo Hugo Rodallega and Antolin Alcaraz following their red cards against Manchester United.
It was a positive start by the Hammers, as Piquionne looked lively at the head of the attack.
However, Wigan came into the game and midfielder Mohamed Diame dashed to the far touchline. He pulled the ball, which looked to have gone out of play, back for on-loan United youngster Cleverley to test Green with a low effort from 20 yards.
The home side were under pressure again when a low cross from Ronnie Stam had to be hacked clear in the six-yard box by James Tomkins.
There was more than a sense of frustration beginning to grow inside Upton Park as the half-hour mark passed and the Irons again were unable to make any real progress in the final third.
The Boleyn Ground, however, erupted in relief on 34 minutes when Behrami bundled in a knockdown from Piquionne after Jacobsen's high ball into the Wigan box.
Junior Stanislas, back in the side after a groin injury, sent a snap-shot goalwards from 20 yards and Al Habsi had to be alert to tip the ball over.
From the corner, the Wigan keeper then produced a brilliant reaction save to parry away Piquionne's bullet header.
West Ham should have been 2-0 up at the start of the second half when Piquionne found himself unmarked on the penalty spot but dragged the ball wide.
After both Pablo Barrera and Obinna dragged shots wide, the Hammers had a two-goal cushion on 56 minutes.
Piquionne carried the ball into the left side of the Wigan penalty area before cutting it back to Obinna. The on-loan Inter Milan forward promptly drilled a low strike into the bottom corner for his first Premier League goal.
Wigan responded by making a double change as Franco Di Santo and Jordi Gomez were replaced by Boselli and Victor Moses after 61 minutes.
The visitors then were awarded a penalty when Gabbidon tripped Cleverley. Boselli stepped up to take the spot-kick with what was his first touch - but Green guessed right to make a fine save.
West Ham broke and felt they should have been given a penalty when Gohouri looked to have tripped Piquionne, but this time referee Mark Halsey waved play on.
Despite their lead, West Ham continued to look less than comfortable.
However, the points were secured with 15 minutes left when Obinna broke down the left and Parker arrived in the six-yard box to crash the ball past Al Habsi.
Piquionne was replaced by Cole for the closing stages, while Parker was given a standing ovation when he went off with seven minutes left.
Cleverley netted a consolation with a dipping drive on 85 minutes.In stoppage-time, Behrami fell to the ground after slipping and looked to have injured his groin and Wigan had a close-range effort from Gohouri ruled out for offside as finally it was West Ham's day.
|West Ham United||Team Statistics||Wigan Athletic|
|1||1st Half Goals||0|
|5||Shots on Target||4|
|6||Shots off Target||1|
Barclays Premier League
|12||West Ham United||38||47|
|13||West Bromwich Albion||38||44|
|20||Queens Park Rangers||38||30|