Premier League: That’s what we paid for, insists Sam

Ross McLean
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Enner Valencia opened his West Ham account with a spectacular strike against Hull City last night

WEST HAM manager Sam Allardyce believes striker Enner Valencia has proven why the club shelled out £12m for his services after the Ecuador frontman netted a sublime strike as the Hammers twice came from behind to draw with Hull last night.

Valencia’s exquisite drive cancelled out an opening goal from Hull’s club record buy Abel Hernandez as West Ham old boy Mo Diame looked set to haunt his former employers before a Curtis Davies own goal ensured the scores ended level.

And while keen to respect a point which maintains West Ham’s unbeaten start to the season on the road, Allardyce immediately set his sights on addressing the club’s poor home form and springing a surprise against Liverpool on Saturday.

“What a goal by Enner Valencia,” said Allardyce. “I think everyone has seen why we’ve bought him now with that goal, it was a terrific strike with brilliant power and accuracy. It must make him feel really good and make him feel he has arrived now.

“We have got to get the home form right, we have come away from home and won one and drawn one but lost two at home and that’s not acceptable. It’s a big task against Liverpool but we’ve upset the applecart before in my time many times.”

Hull opened the scoring on 39 minutes as Hernandez climbed above James Tomkins to direct a firm header beyond Hammers stopper Adrian from a whipped right-wing cross from Ahmed Elmohamady.

Moments before the break Hernandez was inches away from doubling the Hull lead, rattling the underside of the crossbar with a left-footed effort from the edge of the box.

West Ham were level five minutes after the restart as Valencia crashed a powerful right-footed shot from 25 yards beyond McGregor and into the roof of the Hull net after drifting inside from the left.

Former Hammer Diame punished his ex-teammates in the 64th minute by curling home right-footed after pouncing on a poor defensive throw-in and dispossessing Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.

The lead lasted just three minutes as Diafra Sakho’s low drilled effort from Stewart Downing’s clever reverse ball crept over the line off retreating centre-half Davies.

Valencia came close to a West Ham winner deep into stoppage time only for his downward header from a Downing cross to flick the top of the crossbar after clipping former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson.