Hammers see off Black Cats
Londoners beat Sunderland in their own backyard
By Elliot Ball. Last Updated: 21/09/10 10:11pm
West Ham dive into round four
West Ham have continued their resurgence as they knocked Sunderland out of the Carling Cup.
Avram Grant's side got on the board in the draw at Stoke City at the weekend and the Hammers enjoyed another away success as they moved into the fourth round of the League Cup with a 2-1 victory at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland record signing Asamoah Gyan marked his first start with a goal as he cancelled out Frederic Piquionne's first goal in Hammers colours.
But the Ghanaian international was upstaged by Victor Obinna after the on-loan Nigerian blasted home a second-half winner.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce paired new record signing Gyan and predecessor Darren Bent together from the start for the first time in the hunt for Carling Cup glory in just two changes to the side which drew 1-1 with Arsenal.
Opposite number Grant, however, made seven changes to the team which secured a first Premier League point of the season at Stoke on Saturday as only skipper Scott Parker, Manuel Da Costa, Piquionne and Obinna were retained.
In an enterprising start by the Hammers, Obinna sliced horribly wide from distance with four minutes gone, and full-back Kieran Richardson briefly gave Barrera hope with an under-hit backpass three minutes later.
Piquionne failed to trouble goalkeeper Simon Mignolet after dispossessing Jordan Henderson and shooting from distance, and Obinna was similarly inaccurate seconds later as the Londoners enjoyed much the better start.
Sunderland finally made an impact with 14 minutes gone when Bent surged past Parker and found Gyan, but the Hammers skipper was in the right place at the right time to block his shot.
The Black Cats front-men linked up again seconds later when Ahmed Elmohamady sent Bent away down the right, but his driven cross was too strong for the unmarked Gyan in the middle.
Danny Welbeck brought the game's first real save from Stech with a well-struck 19th-minute effort, and Richardson fired across goal from a tight angle two minutes later.
Nedum Onuoha then went close with a header which flew just over the bar after he met Henderson's 24th minute corner.
The home side were finally starting to establish momentum with Elmohamady prospering down the right and Bent causing problems by dropping deep to pick up possession and then running at the Hammers' defence.
They pressed again with 29 minutes gone when the ball dropped nicely for Cristian Riveros 25 yards out, although his dipping effort sailed high and wide.
The breakthrough almost came at the other end within seconds when Obinna found space and curled in a right-footed shot which Mignolet had to palm away.
Piquionne pounced on the rebound, but the Belgian had recovered in time to make a vital save.
Stech easily kept out Gyan's long-range shot 11 minutes before the break, and it was his side which took the lead a minute later.
Obinna's pass put Piquionne in on goal and he rounded Mignolet with ease to silence the home crowd.
It would have been 2-0 within two minutes had Mignolet not got down well to turn away Parker's stabbed shot after he and Barrera had carved a path through the home defence, and the keeper was relieved to claim the Mexican's snapshot seconds later with his side under the cosh.
However, Sunderland were back in it with 41 minutes gone when Gyan met Henderson's corner with a glancing header to score his second goal for the club.
The Hammers went close to restoring their lead within seconds of the restart, although having been beaten by Cesc Fabregas' outrageous fluke at the weekend, Mignolet was due some luck.
He was completely wrong-footed when Barrera's shot took a wicked deflection off Riveros, but fortunately for the home side, the ball dropped just wide of the post.
But Sunderland had started the second half at a much higher tempo than they had the first, and they threatened four minutes later after full-back Bardsley had broken down the right.
He forced his way into the box and pulled the ball back for Gyan, but the former Rennes frontman skied his first-time strike over the crossbar.
However, the visitors were not done and Barrera might have done better with 55 minutes gone when his delicate chip sent Mignolet back-pedalling anxiously towards his goal, although the ball eventually dropped well over.
But the Belgian was beaten for a second time four minutes later after Parker and Barrera combined once again to slice the home defence wide open.
The pair twice exchanged passes before the South American squared for Obinna, whose low right-foot finish was unerring.
Bruce immediately replaced the tiring Gyan with Malbranque as he looked for fresh inspiration with time running down.
Bent was too high with a 63rd minute snapshot from the edge of the area with his side labouring in the quest for a second equaliser.
Bruce replaced Henderson with Bolo Zenden with 19 minutes remaining and Grant followed suit by sending on former Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer to a predictable welcome in place of Obinna.
But it was the visitors who continued to create the better openings, although Piquionne was unable to direct a looping long-range 74th minute header on target.
Piquionne made way to warm applause from the small band of travelling supporters for Carlton Cole 11 minutes from time.Stech did well to parry Malbranque's strike three minutes later to see his side home, although substitute Cole might have made sure deep into injury time but for Mignolet's heroics once again.
|Team Name||Sunderland||West Ham United|
|Shots On Target||5||7|
|Shots Off Target||7||9|
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