Hammers Draw Another Blank Against Swans
By Tom Dowsett
Monday 21 Dec 2015 14:56:00
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West Ham United remain eighth in the Barclays Premier League table after yet another goalless draw, this time against Swansea City The Liberty Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic was without Andy Carroll for this game, as he was suffering with a thigh injury, so Nikica Jelavic was finally able to make his full debut since joining the club in the summer.

The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and could have gone ahead as early as the fifth minute but Baftimbi Gomis tried an ambitious effort. Thankfully though for the visitors, it was miles wide of Adrian's goal.

Alan Curtis' side were really piling the pressure on in the early stages and had another great chance on ten minutes, as Andre Ayew did well to get his head on a cross but could only direct his effort onto the roof of the net.

The Hammers fashioned their first chance on 16 minutes, when Mauro Zarate tried his luck from long-range but Swans goalkeeper Lukaz Fabianski saved easily.

Zarate was the victim of a late challenge just three minutes later, but thankfully he was able to continue.

Adrian was called into action on 25 minutes, as the Spaniard prevented Ki Sung-Yeung from opening the scoring when he saved the striker's low shot with his feet.

After the Irons had survived that spell of pressure, they had a chance of their own just a minute later, as Jelavic set up Mark Noble but the skipper's first time effort went wide.

The visitors could have gone ahead just three minutes later, when Zarate delivered a corner and James Collins got his head to the ball but couldn't direct the effort on target.

West Ham had another great chance on 32 minutes when Alex Song found Zarate, who blasted an effort goalwards which Fabianski had to tip over.

The home side went close to opening the scoring on 40 minutes, when Ayew collected Ki Sung-Yeung's pass but shot straight into the side netting.

The East Londoners had a golden chance to go in front before the break, as Michail Antonio found Noble, who then played in Cheikou Kouyate, who sent in a cross but it was well dealt with by the hosts

After one minute of stoppage time had been played, referee Lee Mason blew for half-time with the game yet to find a breakthrough.

The Hammers thought they should have been awarded a penalty on 49 minutes, when Ashley Williams was adjudged to have handled in the area but nothing was given.

The visitors had to deal with some relentless Swansea pressure before Bilic made his first change on 59 minutes, as Enner Valencia came on in place of Zarate.

Two minutes after the change had been made Adrian had to make a superb save from Jack Cork to keep the scores level.

Swansea wanted a penalty on 63 minutes, when Ki Sung-Yeung's shot hit Collins but again, Mason gave nothing.

On 73 minutes, both teams made a change. Bilic brought on Pedro Obiang for Song, while Curtis introduced Jonjo Shelvey in place of Cork.

The Hammers were finishing strongly but just couldn't find a way through. Valencia was next to try his luck but Fabianski tipped over. Then seconds later, the Swansea defence did well to block Angelo Ogbonna's attempt.

Swansea went close on 79 minutes. Firstly, Adrian had to block an effort from Gomis, before Gylfi Sigurðsson's follow-up was deflected wide.

Five minutes of normal time to play, West Ham went close on two occasions. Firstly, when Jelavic raced into the box but when he tried to shoot, his effort was blocked and the chance was wasted and seconds later, James Tomkins thought he would have a go but saw his effort deflect wide and away for a corner.

Before the set-piece was taken, Carl Jenkinson entered the fray in place of Antonio. After the change had been made, the corner was headed wide of the post by Collins.

Two minutes after coming on, Jenkinson was booked for an altercation with Swansea's Neil Taylor.

Four minutes were added to the game with the visitors having a few more efforts but again, they were unable to make any of them count and they had to settle for another draw.

The Hammers will hope to start the busy Christmas period off with three points, as they head to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

 

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