West Ham 3-0 Hull City: Second-half barrage earns Hammers first win since holidays (video)
West Ham looked sluggish in the first half, and the visitors will feel disappointed to not have capitalized, but the Hammers collected themselves at the halftime break and Andy Carroll fired them to a convincing victory at Upton Park.
Hull City were bright in the opening 45 minutes, but an early Ahmed Elmohamady miss followed by a pair of changes in defense forced by injury caused it all to come crumbling down for Steve Bruce.
Elmohamady struck just wide left after a skillful pullback from Sone Aluko found the Egyptian winger all alone in the box, and he will feel he should have opened the scoring inside 10 minutes, but flashed wide instead.
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West Ham then built themselves into the game and produced a host of half-chances in the next few minutes, but eventually it bogged down into a midfield battle. Each side’s forays forward were mostly cut-out by alert defending, although Aluko gave the West Ham back line fits each time he saw the ball.
The home side saw its best chance as Enner Valencia got a head to a cross into the crowded box, and Allan McGregor could only tip it off the bar. The Hull goalkeeper then strongly collected the follow-up chance from Stewart Downing.
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The first half closed out the without a goal, disappointingly for the visitors, who will feel deserving of one for the opening 45 minutes. Steve Bruce’s awful injury troubles continued, with defenders James Chester and manager’s son Alex Bruce both forced off at halftime. The mounting number of injuries caused the elder Bruce to try young Harry Maguire at striker up front, but today the 21-year-old went back to defend.
West Ham nearly pounced early on, with Kevin Nolan’s eyes bulging on a rebound but he fired over just moments after the break. They would capitalize ticks later as McGregor couldn’t collect a swerving shot by Valencia from outside the box, and Carroll followed up the fumble by slamming it home for the lead.
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Substitute Morgan Amalfatano killed off the game just three minutes after coming on and West Ham earned its first three points since five days before Christmas. Alex Song won the ball in the midfield, and he worked it to Valencia who sprung Amalfatano on the right edge who beat the defense with a run and slotted home. Stewart Downing added a third for good measure three minutes later.
The win jumps West Ham a place in the table, into sixth and level with Arsenal on points. Hull City remains bogged down in 18th, missing a chance to jump out of the relegation zone.
West Ham: Adrian, Jenkinson, Collins (Reid 50'), Tomkins (O’Brien 76'), Cresswell, Song, Noble, Nolan (Amalfatano 66'), Downing, Carroll, Valencia.
Goals: Carroll 49', Amalfatano 69', Downing 72'
Hull City: McGregor, Chester (Figueroa 45'), Bruce (Maguire 46'), Davies (Sagbo 72'), Dawson, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Quinn, Aluko.