Last Updated: 12/01/13 4:52pm
Thanks for sticking with us today - and also for your e-mails and tweets. Great win for Sunderland, bad day at the office for West Ham, report online imminently.
Josh Waughman tweets: "Kevin Nolan has got to go. More concerned in arguing with the referee then actually playing football.Disgraceful performance."
Another chance for West Ham as the balls falls to Nolan at the back post, but the ex-Newcastle man guides his placed shot narrowly wide. Cue loud jeers/cheers from the Sunderland fans.
Great chance for N'Diaye (who looks remarkably like Louis Saha) with his first touch. Wickham pulled the ball back to him on the edge of the box, and the Frenchman placed a side-footed effort only narrowly wide.
Great save again from Mignolet. The ball fell to Tomkins at the back post and he drove a low shot goalwards, but the Belgian keeper was down quickly to block it with his feet.
West Ham's problem is that all their attacks have come from set pieces or long throw-ins close to the touchline - and Sunderland's defence has been watertight. They're not giving an inch. West Ham haven't once played through Sunderland's midfield or defence.
Great chance for Vaz Te as the ball drops to him unmarked at the back post, but his close-range half-volley is brilliantly saved by the superb Mignolet. Great stop.
West Ham are a bit like Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV here. They're getting beaten senseless by Ivan Drago (Sunderland), but keep coming back for more. They're on the attack again, but like all through this match, they have been pretty impotent.
Daniel Smiles tweets to say: "They should get Ndiaye on give him a chance to pull some excitedness in to this wicked game."
Game over. Sunderland's counter-attack plan pays off a treat as Johnson breaks down the right and feeds Sessegnon in the right channel. The Benin international cut inside past one man, then past another, before making an absolute hash of his left-footed shot. No worry, though, because it turned into a peach of a pass to McClean, who sidefooted home from an angle at close range.
It's still West Ham who are forcing the issue here. Fair play to them - they haven't sulked about shipping that second goal. They're really giving it a go now. Sunderland, on the other hand, look content to play on the counter-attack.
Reid is booked for absolutely cleaning out Sessegnon on the left wing. To be fair, that was a top foul - really nailed his man. You can't teach that.
Tom Baker Millington e-mails to say: "Absolutely awful showing from West Ham today. I have no idea where the fight from the Man Utd game's gone. I feel sorry for the West Ham fans who've made the trip up to Sunderland to just watch us get utterly outplayed. Disgusted with the performance at the back today."
Another chance for West Ham as a free-kick from the left is cleared only to Joe Cole, but the ex-Liverpool man sliced his long-range shot harmlessly wide, prompting jeers from Sunderland fans. Much better from West Ham, though.
Close call for West Ham as Matt Jarvis sees a left-footed strike deflected with from the edge of the box in the left channel. From the resulting corner, Diarra had a close-range effort cleared off the line. West Ham have finally come to life as an attacking force.
Goal for Sunderland .... but Fletcher is marginally offside. It was a brilliant through-ball from the excellent Colback and a fine, dinked finish, but the linesman was sharp and made the right decision. West Ham's woeful defence hopelessly bypassed again there.
There was some superb defensive work from Vaughan just a moment ago. He has tackled everything but the referee this afternoon and his latest intervention stopped a rare slick passing move from West Ham right on the edge of the Sunderland box. 2-0 up but still working his socks off - can't argue with that.
Wallop! Craig Gardner has just floored Winston Reid with a rapier of a free kick that hit the West Ham defender just behind the ear. That's gonna hurt in the morning. That could have been on it's way into the top corner, actually. Great strike.
Sunderland hit the post! Dreadful, dreadful defending from West Ham presented Jack Colback with acres of space on the left edge of the box. His first shot was saved by Jaaskelainen, but he was allowed to hit the rebound too, and that came off the outside of the woodwork. Massive let-off for West Ham.
Confidence is flowing through Sunderland now after that second goal. Meanwhile, Vaz te has to come to the touchline to get some eye drops. Yes, you read that right, eye drops. They don't make them like they used to.
Just before that goal, poor old T Manser emailed to say: "West Ham are a better team in the second half. 2-1 to the hammers, Nolan and Jarvs to score! COYI"
What a mess from West Ham. Sunderland broke through Sessegnon, who squared the ball to send McClean through on goal, his shot was saved by Jaaskelainen and young Dan Potts failed to clear the loose ball. Fletcher had a stab at goal that Demel blocked, but there was Johnson to hook home the rebound. Disaster for West Ham.
Sunderland are odds-on (2/5) to hang onto their lead from here, with West Ham 11/4 to claw out a draw. Kevin Nolan is joint-favourite with Carlton Cole at 7/1 to score next, but Sky Bet go short at 5/2 that there are no more goals.
If you want to have your say on this game, tweet me @MattSkyCycling or e-mail email@example.com and I'll happily publish what you have to say, as long it's family friendly, of course.
I'm not privvy to West Ham's team talk but, if I had to guess, I imagine a transcription would read something like: "You useless &^%$£ are letting them £$%^%^&^ all over us! I'm £$%%^& going to substitute the *£$%^& lot of you!" Well, maybe not that bad, but Big Sam won't be pleased at all. Martin O'Neill, on the other hand, can be very content with the way his team started and finished the half, but might be slightly disappointed by the way they dropped their tempo in the middle part of it. They have been much the better team, though.
Sunderland are back in control of the game as the first half draws to a close, calmly playing the ball around and probing for an opening. West Ham have been woeful in this opening period and I can fully imagine the hairdryer is being plugged in their dressing room as I write. Fletcher has just headed over from close range but was in an offside position so it wouldn't have counted.
Chance for Sunderland as McClean collects the ball on the left corner of the box and drills a low, left-footer goalwards, but Jasskelainen was right behind it. More positive from the hosts.
John O'Shea can volley home from four yards out ... but no, he steers it inexplicably wide instead. Fortunately for the ex-Manchester United man, the offside flag was up so his blushes were spared.
The tempo of the game is still quite high but the quality has plummeted. Sunderland need to get Sessegnon on the ball, while West Ham need to get it to Joe Cole. Those two players just aren't in the game at the moment.
Oh dear. West Ham have had the ball for about two minutes now but, rather than move forwards, they've merely been passing it further and further back towards their own goal. Alou Diarra, I'm talking about you. Virtually no penetration from the visitors.
Over the last 10 minutes, it's been difficult to pick out who has been the better side. Sunderland have relaxed their grip on the game but West Ham haven't really taken advantage. It's fairly scrappy now, with fouls becoming increasingly prevalent.
West Ham are going to have to make a change here because James Collins has pulled up and is signalling to the bench that he need to come off. Looks like a hamstring pull.
Demel has just shoulder-barged James McClean so hard the Irishman almost ended up in the upper concourse. Now, Demel really is a hard man. The game is strangely wide open at the minute - loads of space in midfield. Neither side are currently able to string long periods of possession together, though.
But then Sunderland break straight down the other end through Sessegnon, who lets a right-footer from 20 yards fly, but pulls the effort wide of the near post.
Want to know the problem with modern-day football? It's not diving, or racism, or ticket prices - it's side partings. Even Kevin Nolan has got one now. I thought he was a hard man?! Anyway, West Ham are seeing more of the ball but just can't seem to get their passing together. That said, as I write, Joe Cole sweeps an absolute beauty of a cross into the box but it is nodded off of the head of Carlton Cole at the last second.
Just sensing a change in pattern in the game now. Sunderland's early energy and tempo has dipped a level or two, and that has allowed West Ham to elbow their way back into the game (not literally). Sunderland still on top, but not as much as they had been.
First foray forward for West Ham and it very nearly yields a goal. Demel crossed from the right, John O'Shea fluffed his clearance, the ball landed at Collison's feet, he couldn't get his shot away, but Jarvis picked it up and managed to let a left-footer rip that Simon Mignolet did well to get down low to his left to save. Better from West Ham.
Incidentally, that goal was fully deserved because Sunderland have been excellent so far. Positive, bright, energetic, inventive, creative - really good stuff. West Ham, on the other hand, are still in the dressing room taping up their socks.
Cancel your Saturday night out and catch the replay of this goal on Football First because Larsson has just netted an absolute scorcher. The ball was cleared to him about 25 yards out, he took one touch to shift it on to his left foot and then unleashed a rocket into the roof of the net. Jussi Jaaskelainen didn't have a prayer. Cracker.
More pressure from Sunderland as they pin West Ham in with a series of corners, but like the pre-match stat suggested, Big Sam's side don't give much away from set pieces and the danger is repeatedly cleared.
Josh Waughman tweets to say: "We will defo be missing Noble today, Our best player this season. Will be tough, 2-1 west ham though!"
Another decent chance for Sunderland as Steven Fletcher slaloms his way past a couple of West Ham defenders on the edge of the box and let's a right-foot shot fly that is deflected wide for a corner. Sunderland still on top.
West Ham fan King Jones (great name!) e-mails from Botswana (of all places) to say: "Hoping for a positive result today, and pray we try and pass the ball moving forward rather than just hoofing it forward like we did against MUFC. We need to start playing English football and not boot and hope for the best. Sad but that's what we are. Frustrated supporter."
Paul Giles in Dorking e-mails to say: "Good to see Diame on the bench - if he comes on he will make a difference. If West ham show the fight of last Saturday we've got a chance but we don't like going up North!"
Pacey start to the game from Sunderland, who have been the better side and are setting the tempo. West Ham are just trying to keep up at the moment.
First chance of the game goes to Sunderland as Stephane Sessegnon beats Guy Demel on the left flank and lofts a cross to the back post to Adam Johnson. His left-footed volley was blocked, and then David Vaughan drilled the rebound wide.
It looks at first glance as though West Ham are in a 4-5-1 formation, with Carlton Cole up front on his own, Joe Cole on the right, Matt Jarvis on the left and both Kevin Nolan and Jack Collison supporting from midfield. Sunderland are in a 4-4-2.
Right, here come the teams now, emerging from the tunnel with each side in their traditional colours. Sunderland have never lost three games in a row under Martin O'Neill, while West Ham are yet to win back-to-back matches since returning to the top flight.
Here's a fact/stat that, for once, is actually of some interest/consequence: West Ham have conceded just three goals from set plays this season, fewer than any other team. So, in short, DO NOT play for a corner against them because James Collins will merely head 50 yards clear and turn your corner into a West Ham attack. Or something like that.
On a serious note, this is a very serious fixture for Sunderland, who have lost their last two Premier League matches and are once again back in the relegation dogfight, albeit four points clear of the drop zone. A defeat here would consequently be a huge dent to confidence. West Ham are a further four points up the table and so can take a far more relaxed approach to the game. Oh get in there - someone had just offered to make me a tea.
Right, there are your teams, so let's dive straight back into some useless match facts. Now then, let me think. Oh yeah, here we go: Sunderland have seen the joint-most opposition players sent off this season (four, along with Manchester United).
West Ham team: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, Potts, Diarra, Collison, Nolan, Jarvis, J Cole, C Cole. Subs: Spiegel, Tomkins, O'Neil, Diame, Taylor, Vaz Te, Chamakh.
Sunderland team: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Bramble, Colback, Larsson, Vaughan, McClean, Johnson, Sessegnon, Fletcher. Subs: Westwood, Bardsley, Kilgallon, N'Diaye, McFadden, Campbell, Wickham.
West Ham make two changes from their their FA Cup match last weekend, with Winston Reid and Matt Jarvis replacing James Tomkins and Ricardo Vaz Te. On-loan Marouane Chamakh is on the bench and is joined there by the returning Mohamed Diame.
John O'Shea and Stephane Sessegnon both return for Sunderland after missing last week's FA Cup match, while new signing Alfred N'Diaye is named on the substitutes' bench.
I've got a list of facts and stats as long as Hulk Hogan's arms regarding this match and in the absence of any team sheets or reader complaints as yet, I'm going to keep them coming. Try this one on for size: Sunderland have blocked more shots than any other team in the top flight this season - 105. Who unearths this information?!
Who wants to read a really uninteresting and overly obscure fact? How about you at the back? Yeah, you? Well here goes then: Sunderland have scored the lowest percentage of goals from headers in the Premier League this season (10 per cent). Stone the crows.
Welcome along to our live coverage of Sunderland v West Ham United at the Stadium of Light. All right, all right, it doesn't look like a thriller on paper, but it's often the ones you don't suspect that deliver the most excitement. Someone famous said that once. Or probably not. Anyway, I'm Matt Westby and I'll be talking you through all the build-up and then the match itself. If you want to have your say on proceedings, tweet me @MattSkyCycling or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to publish your views.