West Ham United 2 - Cardiff City 0: Cole and Nolan strike to sink Bluebirds (Video)
West Ham United managed a comfortable 2-0 win against newly promoted Cardiff City at Upton Park.
The Hammers won the game following a first half strike from Joe Cole and a stunning finish from captain Kevin Nolan in the second half.
Cardiff struggled all afternoon and the 2-0 victory momentarily put West Ham United second in the Premier League.
West Ham eased to the three points in front of their own fans, as Cardiff barely threatened going forward. It took just 12 minutes for Cardiff City’s Premier League fairytale to end abruptly.
The former England international picked up the ball on the edge of the Cardiff box, after a tremendous lung-bursting run from Matt Jarvis down the left.
Cole then swiveled and swept his shot into the far corner of the net, sending Upton Park into raptures on the opening day. The 31-year-old attacking midfielder will certainly grow in confidence after a sublime strike and the Hammers never looked back after that.
Cardiff toiled to get back into the game but Malkay Mackay’s men just couldn’t break down the Hammers.
Stewart Downing came on for the final 20 minutes at Upton Park, with the newly signed winger getting a run out on his debut. His arrival sparked West Ham into life and a lovely flowing move was finished off by Nolan who expertly steered the ball home into the top corner in the 75th minute.
Cardiff’s best chance fell to Rudy Gestede late on, but the striker panicked in the six yard box and put a great chance over.
On the look of this performance it could be a long, hard season for Cardiff City. While West Ham could well push on from their top ten finish last time out.
A great day for the Hammers. Not so much for the Bluebirds.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame (Diarra 82), Nolan, Jarvis (Downing, 71), Cole (Vaz Te 90), Maiga. Subs not used: Adrian, Tomkins, Rat, Morrison,
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, Caulker, Turner, John, Medel, Gunnarsson, Whittingham, Kim (Maynard 75), Bellamy (Gestede 75), Campbell (Mutch 90). Subs not used: Lewis, Hudson, Cowie, Smith.