Hammers Get The Better Of Swans Again
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 09 Apr 2017 12:46:00
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It's taken some time, but West Ham United finally claimed their first home win since 14 January and ended a run of five straight defeats in the process by doing the double over Swansea City, thanks to a 1-0 victory in Stratford on Saturday afternoon.

Captain Mark Noble made his 400th appearance for the club in a team that only showed one change from the side that were beaten by Arsenal on Wednesday night, as Robert Snodgrass took the place of Andy Carroll, who dropped to the bench.

As the home side looked to clinch all three points for the first time since 4 February, they started well and had a great chance to go ahead after just 15 minutes but unfortunately, Manuel Lanzini saw his freekick go inches wide.

The Hammers went close again just five minutes later, when Snodgrass thought he had scored his first goal since moving to East London back in January, but Swans' goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made a terrific stop on the line.

Swansea had dropped into the relegation zone in midweek and they were given no room to play their game as West Ham continued to come forward.

Lanzini missed with another freekick, while André Ayew tested his former teammate with a curling effort of his own but once again, the visiting keeper made a great save.

It then became the Ayew show, as André's brother Jordan somehow missed from close range, while minutes later Gylfi Sigurðsson wasn't able to reach his cross.

On 40 minutes, Michail Antonio suffered a re-occurrence of his hamstring problem and was replaced by Jonathan Calleri.

One minute before half-time, after he ran halfway up the pitch, Cheikhou Kouyaté unleashed an unstoppable shot out of nothing to send the majority inside the stadium wild.

After two minutes of time had been added, referee Kevin Friend brought the first-half to an end and the Irons couldn't have been happier, as they headed for the dressing rooms.

The Hammers were still on top at the start of the second-half. 

They nearly added to their tally when Ayew combined with Sam Byram and the defender was close to scoring his first goal for the club, but he just couldn't turn the former Swansea striker's cross home.

Darren Randolph who had earlier made a smart save from a Swansea freekick was a virtual spectator for most of the match
although Paul Clement's side started to put pressure on their opponents, they failed to test the Irishman on each occasion.

Slaven Bilic was pleased with the effort of his team, but wanted to try and make the game safe. On 70 minutes, he made his second change when Sofiane Feghouli was introduced in place of Snodgrass.

The Irons had a great chance to finish the job off when Feghouli sent Calleri clear with only the keeper to beat, but instead his attempted chip went over the bar.

West Ham had further chances to make sure of the win as Lanzini again saw his freekick go wide, before Ayew forced another great save from Fabianski.

The visitors had one last chance to grab an equaliser, but half-time substitute Luciano Narsingh was wasteful with his right wing cross.

With four minutes of normal time to play, the hosts made their final change, as Ayew left the pitch and Edimilson Fernandes took his place.

Swansea thought they had been awarded a corner in the closing stages, but a great piece of defending from Byram saw the ball go out of play for a goal kick.

Five minutes of stoppage time were signalled, but this was no trouble for the East Londoners, as they were able to hold on sparking jubilation amongst the home faithful.

Bilic's men will hope they can build on this result next weekend when they head to the Stadium of Light to take on rock bottom Sunderland.

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