Payet saves West Ham’s blushes

West Ham United and Middlesbrough played to a 1-1 draw in a Premiership encounter at the London Stadium with goals from Cristian Stuani and Dimitri Payet.

  • West Ham 1 Middlesbrough 1
  • Sam Byram goes down injured early on
  • The Boro look threatening on the counter
  • Noble's free-kick strikes the crossbar.
  • Zaza replaces disappointing Tore
  • Stuani gives Boro the lead from a corner
  • Payet equalises with a fine solo effort

Match summary:

After a quiet first half, Middlesbrough took the lead from a corner early in the second when Cristhian Stuani's header was correctly adjudged to have crossed the line via the goal-line technology.

Payet leveled matters six minutes later when he brilliantly turned away from Antonio Barragan, skipped past Marten de Roon on the  corner of the box, then dribbled past three Boro defenders before slotting past Valdes.

Despite the late surge by the home team, Boro held on firmly to share the spoils.

Full report:

The game got off to a slow-start, with both teams content on keeping possession early on. West Ham United suffered an early injury blow when defender Sam Byram went down injured and was replaced by Alvaro Arbeloa in the sixth minute.

The Boro almost found the back of the net after some good build up play culminated in a first-time shot by Viktor Fischer's that narrowly missed Adrian's goalframe.

Hammers man Dimitri Payet finally announced himself in the 20th minute of the game when he burst into the area, dummied his opponent and unleashed a thunderous strike, which was well-saved by Victor Valdes.

This prompted the home-side into attack-mode, with further efforts from Michail Antonio and Mark Noble in quick succession.

Boro rarely threatened in the first-half, but when they did it came as a result of their pace on the counter-attack, with Downing proving to be influential in most attacks. 

The lack of quality in the final third was evident for Steven Bilic's side, with Payet and Antonio often guilty of giving away possession cheaply.

Noble almost found the opener when a swift West Ham counter-attack move resulted his shot narrowly missing the target. The home-team thought they broke the deadlock on the edge of half-time, but Noble's free-kick struck the cross-bar.

The second-half saw West Ham make their second substitution of the game, with forward Simone Zaza replacing the largely ineffective Gokhan Tore.

Middlesbrough took the lead from a corner a minute later when Cristhian Stuani's header was correctly adjudged to have crossed the line via the goal-line technology.

Payet leveled matters six minutes later when he brilliantly turned away from Antonio Barragan, skipped past Marten de Roon on the  corner of the box, then dribbled past three Boro defenders before slotting past Valdes.

The tempo of the game dropped considerably following Payet's wonder-strike. Both teams threw numbers forward went in search of the winner, but lacked the killer instinct in the final third.

Antonio should have given his side the lead after he did well to brush off his marker in the area, but saw his effort balloon over the crossbar.

Despite the late surge by the home team, Boro held on firmly to share the spoils.

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