AT UPTON PARK
WEST HAM UNITED 3 HULL CITY 0
WEST Ham boss Sam Allardyce launched a passionate defence of his side’s direct style after a second-half masterclass dispatched relegation-haunted Hull City yesterday.
Goals from Andy Carroll, Morgan Amalfitano and Stewart Downing saw the Hammers recover from a lacklustre opening period to record their first Premier League win in five and move seventh in the table.
It was also a first clean sheet in seven matches across all competitions although Hull, who lie 18th, were by far the more composed in the first-half, a showing which brought boos from the Upton Park faithful.
“Changing the shape in the second half was the big thing and playing forward and quicker,” said Allardyce.
“All this tippy-tappy stuff everyone keeps going on about, and how it is the right way to play football, is all a load of bollocks sometimes. Getting the ball into the opposition’s box as quickly as you can with quality and getting it forward and in behind the opposition is definitely sometimes the best way forward. That’s what we did in the second half and why we won.”
A jaded-looking West Ham only found some rhythm as half-time approached, when Enner Valencia’s header was juggled onto his own bar by Hull goalkeeper Allan McGregor.
The hosts started the second half with greater penetration as skipper Kevin Nolan rifled over a Downing cut-back before Carroll continued his goalscoring renaissance. The hitman out-muscled Hull skipper Curtis Davies to force the ball home from within the six-yard box after McGregor fumbled a Valencia drive – his fifth goal in 12 league appearances.
Striker Valencia lashed a shot into the side-netting before slipping in Amalfitano to dink over McGregor and double West Ham’s lead on 69 minutes. Maximum points were sealed moments later when on-loan midfielder Alex Song’s pass dissected the Hull defence for Downing to race clear and slot past McGregor.