Well that was a bit of a corker, wasn’t it? Our matches with them usually are. In the end, I have to admit that a draw was a fair result. While we played well for some periods of the match, so did they, and if anything they had more of those periods than we did. But the result really hung on some controversial decisions by referee Mike Riley, in what was a fairly shambolic refereeing performance.
Their non penalty was a bang-on penalty, although the linesman had already missed the offside, so justice was done in a perverse sort of way. He also missed a blatant handball by Carlton Cole in the penalty area in the second half. Their actual penalty was about the only thing he got right all game. Apparently we committed 33 fouls and they only committed nine, yet we got three yellow cards and they got four. Work that one out.
My man of the match was Carlton Cole. He ran his socks off and was unlucky not to have had more than one goal. Lucas Neill actually got the MoM award from Sky I think, but did he really deserve it when he gave away a penalty? Admittedly, he was due a good performance and today we got one from him. Upson was also very strong and came to the rescue on a couple of occasions.
Now I hope you are sitting down, but I am also going to say a good word about Boa Morte, who I thought gave his best performance in a Hammers shirt today. He was instrumental in our goal, charging down a terrible clearance from Haboul and then running with the ball, before passing it to Solano, who instead of having a go himself, crossed it for Cole to sidefoot in.
And so to the marks
Green 7 Flapping all over the place for their goal but otherwise imperious
McCartney 6 Quiet game
Upson 8 Best performance yet
Gabbidon 7 Played through an injury. Looked solid
Neill 8 Best performance for many games
Solano 7 Getting better with every game
Noble 6 Anonymous for large periods
Mullins 6 Solid
Etherington 7 A few good runs down the left
Boa Morte 8 Battled hard and instrumental in the goal
Cole 8 Ran himself into the ground