Nigerian stars Emmanuel Emenike and Victor Moses were both on parade as West Ham United secured a slim 1-0 victory over Sunderland at Upton Park on Saturday in a Barclays Premier League week 27 fixture.
Michail Antonio’s first-half goal, his fifth in 15 starts for the club, proved the difference to ensure that the West Ham extended their unbeaten home run to 13 games.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic made three changes to the side that drew at Norwich in their last league game before Saturday’s clash. Emmanuel Emenike was handed a starting place and he was on the pitch for 59 minutes before making way for Andy Carrol while Moses was a 65 minute substitute.
Antonio weaved into the box and struck low into the bottom corner of Vito Mannone’s goal to put Bilic’s men in front. Jack Rodwell had the ball in the net for Sunderland in the second half but he handled it in the build-up.
Substitute Rodwell also saw a second effort go over the bar after a superb last-ditch tackle from Hammers full-back Sam Byram, while Andy Carroll’s volley smashed off the cross bar at the other end.
It means Sam Allardyce’s side remain second from bottom on 23 points, one behind Newcastle and Norwich.
The victory capped off a memorable day as West Ham welcomed back the heroes from the 1960’s and the likes of Sir Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters would have been impressed with what they saw from the current team as they kept alive their hopes of securing a European spot.
West Ham move up to fifth place on 43 points – their highest total after 27 Premier League games.