SUNDERLAND 1 WEST HAM UNITED 2
WEST Ham manager Sam Allardyce declared his team safe from relegation last night, following a 2-1 victory that heaped the misery on struggling Sunderland.
Goals from Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame ended a run of three straight defeats, with Sunderland, who netted through Adam Johnson, left languishing in 19th place and four points adrift of safety.
The Hammers are now 11 points clear of the relegation zone with six matches left to play and Allardyce believes his team have done enough to cement their Premier League status.
“We’re not mathematically safe and everyone will say let’s wait until we are to say ‘yes’, but it will be difficult for the bottom three to catch us now,” said Allardyce.
“The important thing about this result was it was against one of the bottom three.
“We’ve just finished an eight-game run and taken 15 points from it. That’s fantastic at this stage of the season to get us out of trouble.”
Carroll took just nine minutes to score his second Premier League goal of the season, rising above defender John O’Shea to meet Mark Noble’s corner with a stooping header that flew past goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Five minutes into the second half the Hammers doubled their lead when Carroll chested down Winston Reid’s lofted free-kick, into the path of midfielder Diame whose deflected effort trickled in.
Johnson arrived from the bench to give Sunderland a lifeline on 65 minutes, blasting in from the edge of the box, but West Ham held firm.