West Ham celebrated its confirmed move to the Olympic Stadium with a convincing 3-1 win over West Brom at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday. Follow GOAL.COM on Twitter
Playing their first game since news of their Olympic deal was announced, the Hammers strolled to victory thanks to two goals from Andy Carroll and one from Gary O’Neil.
A lifeless Baggies side attempted to establish a foothold in the game during the second half but they could only muster one goal in reply through a late penalty from Graham Dorrans, while Youssuf Mulumbu was sent off late on.
The Hammers began the opening half terrifically as Mohamed Diame bossed the midfield, allowing Kevin Nolan and Ricardo Vaz Te to fashion chances straight away.
But true to form, the Baggies hit back immediately and managed to put the ball into the back of the net. The goal didn’t stand, however, as scorer Gareth McAuley had produced a blatant foul on Jussi Jaaskelainen before bundling it in.
Romelu Lukaku's deflected free kick then crashed against the post, almost fooling Jaaskelainen before the veteran keeper produced a fine stop to push it onto the woodwork before collecting safely.
That period of West Brom pressure was brief, however, and soon after, Carroll powered the home side into the lead, leaping above everyone else and sending a fine header home from a O’Neil corner.
And the 29-year-old turned scorer 12 minutes later as the Hammers doubled their lead with a fantastic counterattacking move. A Baggies corner was cleared and straight up the pitch went O'Neil, Vaz Te and Jarvis. After some slick passing, the midfielder received it on the edge of the box and curled a beautiful shot to his left and into the far bottom corner.
When halftime came, the Hammers were in total control and the visitors were determined to change that at the resumption. Steve Clarke’s men dominated possession early in the second half and kept the ball firmly in West Ham’s half.
But despite their ventures forward, the Baggies had little to show for their efforts, with Dorrans’ free kick across goal the closest they came.
After 70 minutes, West Ham looked to have sealed all three points as James Collins netted with a fine finish, only for the linesman to flag for offside.
West Brom's most notable contribution was the introduction of Peter Odemwingie - who was heavily booed by both sets of fans upon arrival. The Nigerian almost went from villain to hero with some fine skill but couldn't trouble Jaaskelainen with a near post shot.
But there would be no way back for the visitors as Carroll scored his second late on with a fantastic first-time volley from inside the box.
Dorrans scored from the spot for the Baggies late but it proved immaterial, while Mulumbu earned a red-card late on after kicking the ball at a West Ham player.
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