English Premiership

Payet magic rescues spluttering West Ham

2016-10-01 18:26
Dimitri Payet (TEAMtalk)

London - Dimitri Payet produced an early contender for goal of the season as the West Ham star's sublime strike salvaged a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

Slaven Bilic's struggling side were in danger of a fifth successive Premier League defeat after Cristhian Stuani put Middlesbrough ahead early in the second half at the London Stadium.

But Payet finally showed a glimpse of last season's fine form to drag West Ham level with a superb individual effort that brought the France playmaker his first league goal this term.

Even Payet's heroics couldn't completely lift the gloom over the east London club, who remain in the relegation zone with only one win from their first seven league games.

Middlesbrough, with only one victory since winning promotion last season, are two points and two places above the Hammers after ending a three-match losing streak.

After leaking 16 goals already this season, West Ham had the worst defence in the top-flight going into the weekend's fixtures.

And Bilic's beleaguered rearguard suffered another blow when right-back Sam Byram was carried off in visible discomfort after suffering a hamstring injury just minutes after kick-off.

Middlesbrough had only two wins in their 22 previous trips to London but they came close to the opener through striker Jordan Rhodes, who nearly marked his first Premier League start with a goal when he headed just wide.

West Ham's build up to such a significant game wasn't helped by claims Andy Carroll and Darren Randolph got drunk after Bilic told captain Mark Noble to take the squad for a morale-boosting night out on Monday.

No blame was attached to Noble, but the midfielder could have felt the fates were conspiring against him when he unleashed a powerful curling effort just before half-time, only to see it hit the crossbar and rebound to safety.

Middlesbrough took advantage of that escape to open the scoring in the 51st minute when Viktor Fischer's corner reached Stuani and he rose highest to head goalwards.

Noble almost cleared before the ball crossed the line, but referee Neil Swarbrick signalled it had gone in after consulting the goal decision system.

West Ham fans responded by chanting their displeasure at the club's decision to leave Upton Park for their new home at the former Olympic Stadium, a venue which has been marred by problems on and off the field since they took residency.

But their singing had a more celebratory tone in the 57th minute thanks to Payet's brilliant equaliser.

After a sluggish start to the season, Payet was back to his mesmerising best as he span away from Antonio Barragan, cut across the edge of the penalty area past three more defenders before angling a low shot beyond goalkeeper Victor Valdes.


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

29 October 2016
Sunderland v Arsenal, Stadium of Light 13:30
Manchester United v Burnley, Old Trafford 16:00
Middlesbrough v Bournemouth, Riverside Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Hull City, Vicarage Road 16:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Leicester City, White Hart Lane 16:00
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 18:30
30 October 2016
Everton v West Ham United, Goodison Park 15:30
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 18:00
31 October 2016
Stoke City v Swansea City, Britannia Stadium 22:00
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2016/17 season?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.