Last Gasp Winner Leaves Swans In A Flap
By Tom Dowsett
Sunday 01 Oct 2017 13:54:00
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West Ham United go into the international break on a high, as they grabbed their second win of the 2017/18 season when a last-minute goal saw them beat Swansea City in East London on Saturday afternoon.

Slaven Bilic named a strong side for the match, Michail Antonio made a quicker than expected recovery from the groin injury sustained against Tottenham Hotspur last time out. Meanwhile Andy Carroll was restored to the starting line-up and André Ayew played against his brother Jordan in place of Angelo Ogbonna.

Marko Arnautovic missed the game with flu, while Javier Hernández was fit despite an ankle injury in training over the past week.

Manuel Lanzini made the squad after recovering from a knee injury but was only deemed fit enough for the bench.

The Hammers wanted to make up for their narrow defeat to Spurs last weekend and certainly started the stronger here and could have gone ahead within four minutes. 

Ayew crossed for Antonio who produced a great volley but Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski made an equally superb diving save to his right and kept the effort out.

The combination of the two strikers worked well early on, evidence of this was shown ten minutes later when Hernández set up his partner but unfortunately, his shot took a heavy deflection and was easy for Fabianski.

From then on, the visitors took control and created a good opportunity for themselves.

Joe Hart had obviously been watching his opposite number when he saved from Antonio earlier in the match because the England stopper produced an equally brilliant one to deny Wilfried Bony when he tested him, following their first counter-attack.

The visitors were in again minutes later, as Renato Sanches found space and raced towards goal. Instead of taking the shot on himself, he unselfishly passed to Tom Carroll but before he could try his luck, he was superbly closed down by Pablo Zabaleta.

For the rest of the half, West Ham just weren't at the races, as Swansea were defending well and in the way of everything they were trying.

At half-time, it wasn't hard to imagine the response from the home faithful. They weren't at all happy and the hosts were booed as they made their way down the tunnel, Surely it couldn't get any worse from the home fans point of view, could it? 

Well, the Irons re-emerged from the dressing rooms on the front foot and had a great chance to grab the early advantage but Carroll couldn't connect with a deep cross and sent his effort narrowly wide.

Just after the hour, Bilic brought on Lanzini to replace the skipper in an effort to bring more intensity to the midfield.

Paul Clement's men were unlucky not to have opened the scoring on 75 minutes, as Martin Olsson went close with a curling effort but the home fans were relieved to see it just miss the far post.

Three minutes had passed and boos could again be heard as Bilic made a very unpopular substitution. He replaced Hernández with Diafra Sakho, while also taking off Ayew and sending on Arthur Masuaku.

The East Londoners were desperate to pull away from the relegation zone and had the chance to seal victory with four minutes of normal time to play.

Masuaku's cross found Carroll and the striker sent his effort goalwards but it took an unfortunate deflection and smacked the crossbar.

If last season's corresponding fixture was tense, then this one had an even more dramatic ending. Bilic's double change turned out to be a masterstroke just as the clock ticked onto 90 minutes.

Masuaku has certainly shown what he can do in recent weeks and he was at his best again here, as his cross set up Sakho to fire past Fabianski.

Boos quickly turned to cheers when referee Roger East blew the final whistle, as it meant that the Hammers moved up to 15th in the table.

When domestic action returns in a fortnight, West Ham make the trip to Turf Moor and face Burnley.

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