London - Mohamed Diame proved himself the textbook "super sub' making one goal
and scoring the other as West Ham beat Norwich City 2-0 at Upton Park on
Tuesday to bolster their hopes of Premier League survival.
Norwich had the lion's share of chances but the visitors couldn't find a way past Hammers goalkeeper Adrian.
And West Ham, who've now won three straight games without conceding a goal, made them pay with two late goals.
Senegal midfielder Diame, who replaced Matthew Jarvis on the hour,
created the opening goal for James Collins in the 84th minute and then
scored deep into stoppage time himself to secure all three points for
Victory took the east London club into 10th place in the table and four
points clear of the relegation zone, with Norwich now a solitary point
above the bottom three.
Sam Allardyce's side came into the game on the back of 1-0 win away to
Aston Villa, while Chris Hughton's Canaries had held title challengers
Manchester City to a goalless draw.
Nathan Redmond, whose pace caused the Hammers' defence problems, went
clear down the left and from his cross Gary Hooper saw a flicked header
destined for the bottom corner pushed away by the diving Adrian.
Robert Snodgrass then went close, getting in behind the back four, only
to hesitate before shooting, with Adrian getting a strong hand to the
West Ham struggled to get anywhere near the Norwich penalty area, with
Mark Noble trying a speculative shot from 25 yards out that went
straight to England goalkeeper John Ruddy.
Adrian then produced his third good save of the half, turning away Alex Tettey's shot from the penalty spot.
Allardyce made a change at halftime, bringing on Marco Borriello for
Carlton Cole in a bid to give his side some extra dynamism up front.
The Canaries continued to press but couldn't find a way past Adrian, the
keeper denying Hooper for the second time in the match after the
striker was put clean through by Snodgrass.
As the match became an end-to-end contest, Ruddy saved with his legs to
deny Diame after the substitute was played in by Kevin Nolan before
Norwich's Joseph Yobo lifted the ball over from a corner.
Norwich's pressure was made to count for nothing when the deadlock was finally broken by Collins, six minutes from time.
Diame was allowed to cross from the left unchallenged and central
defender Collins then beat Ruddy to the ball before heading home.
A desperate Norwich, chasing a late equaliser, left gaps at the back.
And when they saw a corner cleared by the Hammers, Diame was left with the length of the field to run.
He did just that and then, rather than take the ball into the corner,
left fly with a shot that beat Ruddy via a deflection off Bradley