West Ham 1-1 Stoke City: Andy Carroll rescues point for Hammers
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 21/04/18 11:23am
Andy Carroll rescued a point for West Ham and denied Stoke a vital victory with a last-minute equaliser as the sides drew 1-1 at the London Stadium on Monday night.
Stoke had to wait until 79 minutes to make the breakthrough as Peter Crouch took advantage of a terrible mistake by West Ham goalkeeper Joe Hart with England manager Gareth Southgate watching on.
West Ham: Hart (6), Rice (6), Ogbonna (6), Cresswell (7), Zabaleta (6), Noble (6), Kouyate (6), Masuaku (7), Fernandes (7), Joao Mario (7), Arnautovic (7)
Subs: Carroll (8), Hernandez (7), Lanzini (6)
Stoke: Butland (8), Shawcross (7), Zouma (8), Martins Indi (9), Bauer (8), Ndiaye (7), Allen (6), Pieters (7), Shaqiri (6), Sobhi (6), Diouf (6)
Subs: Ireland (6), Cameron (6), Crouch (7)
Man of the match: Bruno Martins Indi
However, fellow substitute Carroll came off the bench to volley home Aaron Cresswell's inch-perfect cross to keep David Moyes' side seven points above 19th-placed Stoke in the race to avoid the drop.
It was a battle of the England 'keepers in a closely fought first 45 minutes, with Hart and Jack Butland both responsible for keeping the scoreline goalless at the break.
The Stoke No 1 was the busier, making excellent stops to keep out Arthur Masuaku, Cresswell and Marko Arnautovic, the latter a point-blank reaction save to deny his former team-mate.
Hart was also tested by efforts from both Moritz Bauer and Mame Biram Diouf, but after the interval, it was one-way traffic as West Ham stepped up a gear in search of the opener.
The home side were denied by the flag as Michael Oliver - making his first appearance since sending off Gianluigi Buffon in the Champions League on Wednesday - and his officiating team were sharp to spot that Arnautovic had twice strayed offside.
Stoke, however, were not without their own moments of promise, with Biram Diouf firing over from close range, before Crouch opened the scoring with 11 minutes to go in a moment Hart will want to forget.
West Ham were unchanged from the side that secured a creditable 1-1 with champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last time out, but both Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini were back as substitutes.
Stoke, meanwhile, made one alteration from last Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Spurs, with Kurt Zouma replacing Glen Johnson – out with a groin injury - at right back.
The visitors worked the ball nicely around the West Ham box, before Xherdan Shaqiri tried his luck from just outside the area, only for Hart to spill the Swiss' low drive straight at Crouch's feet.
And the substitute made no mistake from close range to become his side's record Premier League goalscorer.
However, it was another player coming off the bench that had the final word as Carroll - making his first appearance since January - did brilliantly to guide a volley past Butland and earn the hosts a deserved draw.
- On home soil, West Ham have lost just one of their last seven top-flight games (W3 D3), after losing three of the six before that (W1 D2)
- Stoke are without a win on their last 19 Premier League visits to London, drawing seven and losing 12
- This clash produced 36 fouls, a joint-high tally in the Premier League game this season (level with Chelsea v Man Utd on 5th November)
- Crouch is now on 16 sub goals in the Premier League (level with Javier Hernandez); only four players have more (Defoe 24, Giroud 19, Kanu 17 and Solskjaer 17)
- Carroll has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances, spanning January (2 games, 2 goals) and April (1 game, 1 goal)
The spotlight was on opposing ‘keepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland in the capital, with the former enduring a tough night after his mistake gifted Stoke their opener.
Meanwhile, Aaron Cresswell - who is an outside shot for a place on the plane to Russia – created West Ham’s equaliser with another of his delicious centres straight on to the head of Andy Carroll, who will have given the watching Gareth Southgate a reminder of his abilities with a well-taken late goal.
David Moyes: "I thought we played really well. We played good in parts of the game, it was just the fact we went one behind, because if anyone was going to score first I thought it would be us.
"We got the ball well out of the back, we just didn't have something different up front. But we did on the bench, I thought all the subs who came on made a big difference, we've not had that very often and I'm very pleased to get them back."
Paul Lambert: "I'm really proud of the team and if we keep doing what we're doing then we will certainly be in the mix.
"I have great belief. We've had some really good games and we've just been really unfortunate with Lady Luck.
"With effort, commitment and the way we are playing then we will see what happens."
Pundit - Gary Neville
"Hart had a nightmare for that goal, and you are thinking about the pressure of a World Cup and the form you need to go into a World Cup - this is a serious competition that to be fair eats you alive - and Jack Butland to be did not display great confidence in what I would call the difficult moments where balls came into the box.
"I thought it was a tough, tough night and the goal that was disallowed for offside, I thought Butland should have saved it anyway.
"So for me, I did not think it was a good night for either of them and to be fair, Gareth Southgate will have been there solely watching them, so it is a massive concern not having surety in the goalkeeping position.
"And Jordan Pickford looks to be the No 1, but he is going into a World Cup for the first time away from home in Russia, which is a tough ask."
Man of the Match - Bruno Martins Indi
The Stoke defender was a dominant figure at the heart of the visitors' back line at the London Stadium, helping to keep West Ham at bay for the majority of the match.
The Netherlands international made a number of key interceptions throughout the contest, as well as marshalling his fellow defenders, and the Potters will need more such heroics if they are to beat the odds and stay up.
West Ham take on Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday lunchtime, a match you can see live on Sky Sports Premier League.
Meanwhile, Stoke are also in action on Sunday afternoon, with the Potters hosting seventh-placed Burnley at the bet365 Stadium.