—END OF LOAD TAG—>
West Ham United
|Manuel Da Costa|
|Junior Stanislas (Luis Guillermo Franco, 74)|
|Araujo Dall'lgna Ilan (Fabio Daprela, 90)|
|Paulo Da Silva (Mwaruwari Benjani, 88)|
|Steed Malbranque (Boudewijn Zenden, 72)|
|David Meyler (Kenwyne Jones, 63)|
FULL TIME: WEST HAM 1 - 0 SUNDERLAND: Ilan's second-half strike has secured three huge points for West Ham at the foot of the Premiership table.
Franco brings the ball under control in the box and he fires a shot past Gordon. The Mexican runs off to celebrate but the referee rules out the goal for a handball in the build-up.
Fabio Daprela replaces goalscorer Ilan for the final moments of this game.
The fourth official indicates four minutes of added time.
Cole peels away from Ferdinand but his first touch takes him away from goal and his final effort hits the side netting.
A last throw of the dice from Steve Bruce as Benjani comes on in place of Da Silva.
Campbell swings a cross into the mixer but Faubert does well to put Jones off the header.
Zenden gets a sight of goal from outside the box but fails to trouble Green as his effort is fired straight at the keeper.
The hosts are simply trying to run the clock down now but get a half chance as Upson's looping header is comfortably saved by Gordon.
Fraizer Campbell is cautioned for a foul on Ilan.
Tempers are beginning to flare at Upton Park as the frantic final moments of this game approach.
The Hammers are giving away too many free-kicks at the moment and Zenden swings another set-piece into the box from a dangerous position but the hosts manage to clear their lines.
West Ham win a free-kick on the edge of the box and Noble's effort flies straight down the throat of Gordon.
Henderson hits a free-kick from a tight angle and forces a decent save out of Green.
The hosts are certainly not sitting back and inviting pressure here and look set to keep going forward in search of a second.
Gianfranco Zola makes his first change of the game as Guillermo Franco comes on for Junior Stanislas.
Boudewijn Zenden, who scored a wonder volley last week, is introduced in place of Steed Malbranque.
There are a few shaky moments at the back as Sunderland bombard West Ham with crosses but Upson repeatedly manages to steer the ball away from danger.
Sunderland are enjoying plenty of pressure at the moment and are looking for the head of Jones at every opportunity.
West Ham win their first corner of the game but the set-piece fails to cause Sunderland any problems.
Jones makes an immediate impact as he sets Bent up one-on-one with Green but the striker slips on the edge of the box in a glorious position.
First sub of the game as Kenwyne Jones comes on for David Meyler.
Cole is searched out in the box again as his glancing header bounces wide of the post.
One of the best moves of the game from Sunderland and Bent sets up Cattermole on the edge of the box but he drives his low shot wide of the mark.
The visitors are dominating the corner counter today but are yet to really make one count as another one is cleared by West Ham.
Sunderland have responded well to the goal with Malbranque seeing plenty of the ball.
The simplest of goals from West Ham could prove to be the most important of their season if they can hang on to this lead.
WEST HAM 1 - 0 SUNDERLAND: A massive goal for West Ham. A long free-kick is knocked down by Cole to ILAN who pokes the ball home from close range.
Kovac puts his side under unnecessary pressure early on as a back-pass to the keeper almost plays through Bent. Luckily for the midfielder Da Costa gets a foot in in the nick of time.
The second-half is underway.
HALF TIME: WEST HAM 0 - 0 SUNDERLAND. The first-half ends goalless with only a few chances at either end and the late penalty shout will be one of the talking points at the interval.
The waves part for David Meyler who drives forward and tries to play through Campbell in the box but Upson intercepts the pass.
It has been an evenly matched first-half at the Boleyn and it is a tie that both sides will feel is there for the taking.
Penalty shout for West Ham as Cole is wrestled to the ground by Gordon but the referee has already blown up for a foul on the keeper.
Noble's free-kick from a tight angle is fired straight into the outstretched arms of Gordon.
Cole finds space in the box and tries to lay the ball off to Ilan who cannot get a shot away. The Hammers need to be more purposeful in those positions.
Junior Stanislas takes the free-kick which is cleared by Cattermole.
It is just a booking in the end for Gordon but the hosts now have a free-kick in a dangerous position on the right-hand side of the area.
Mike Jones has a big decision on his hands as Gordon rushes out of his goal and appears to handle the ball outside the area. Will it be red for the Sunderland keeper?
Spector is booked after a foul on Henderson.
Another West Ham move breaks down in the final third as Jonathan Spector lifts a cross into the chest of Cole who cannot get the ball under control.
Julien Faubert curls an inviting cross into the box and Behrami gets a toe on the end of it but cannot direct the ball goalwards.
Bent strikes a left-footed effort straight down Green's throat from the edge of the box.
Lee Cattermole is the first player to go into the referee's notebook following a rash challenge on Behrami.
Cole gets one-on-one with his maker and gets a shot away on the edge of the box which is easily blocked by Da Silva.
Sunderland look the more comfortable of the two sides at the moment and are enjoying a decent spell of possession.
Paulo Da Silva gets a free header at the far post from a Kieran Richardson corner but cannot get enough power on it and it is a comfortable take for Rob Green.
Shaky moments at the back for Sunderland as Gordon's kick hits the onrushing Cole and, luckily for the keeper, deflects away to the touchline rather than his goal.
Valon Behrami plays a neat one-two with Carlton Cole and works Gordon with a low strike from 20-yards.
Sunderland cause problems on the break and Bent chases down a long ball before lofting a half volley onto the roof of the net.
A Noble free-kick finds Upson at the far post and his looping header falls into the arms of Craig Gordon.
Mark Noble is dispossessed by Malbranque whose dangerous looking through ball to Darren Bent is intercepted by a claret and blue shirt.
Sunderland will be happy with their start today having taken the sting out of West Ham's play and employing the first real scare.
West Ham breathe a sigh of relief as Steed Malbranque's corner flashes across the face of goal and shirts fail to react.
Worrying moments for the Hammers as skipper Matthew Upson goes down with an injury but it looks like the magic sponge will do the trick this time.
Anton Ferdinand, back at the ground where he learnt his trade, swings a cross into the box but it is just too high for Fraizer Campbell.
There is nothing between these two sides in the opening stages and it is typically nervy around Upton Park.
Today is a massive day in the scrap to avoid relegation and West Ham will be hoping to get off to a strong start in this game.
Referee Mike Jones gets the game underway.
Sunderland have no new injury worries ahead of their trip to East London and Steve Bruce names an unchanged side to the one that beat Spurs 3-1.
Gianfranco Zola makes two changes to the West Ham side that spiritedly drew with Everton last weekend. Valon Behrami comes in for the suspended Scott Parker while Ilan starts up-front in place of the absent Mido.
Its been a fairly predictable season in the Premier League.
Southend United have gained promotion to League One after a tense penalty shootout again Wycombe Wanderers that ended in 7-6.
Clubs across Europe are rubbing their hands together in glee as Sami Khedira has announced hell be leaving Real Madrid at the end of the season.
With the summer transfer window fast approaching, Liverpool will again have the chance to strengthen their squad.
We love football.
Hull and Newcastle will be fighting for their Premier League lives on Sunday in yet another instalment of relegation drama