For match photos, scroll to PHOTOSTREAM above left; for match stats, click on the stats tab. Manager reaction below
Sunderland and West Ham United struggled to find the back of the net in a game that left both sides around the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table. The visiting side went into Saturday’s game without scoring away from home since August 31 and remain without an away win this season.
Phil Bardsley rattled the crossbar from distance in the first half for Gus Poyet's men, while West Ham offering little in attacking play. The East London club have just one victory in nine Barclays Premier League matches, however they remain above the relegation zone.
Ravel Morrison and Joe Cole replaced the suspended Kevin Nolan and injured Stewart Downing in the Hammers’ line-up, while Poyet handed recalls to Lee Cattermole, Emanuele Giaccherini and Fabio Borini.
The powerful Mohamed Diame proved an early threat for Sam Allardyce's side, yet it was Sunderland who could have taken the lead after six minutes. Jozy Altidore found himself one-on-one with Jussi Jaaskelainen, but the forward's low strike across goal was tipped wide.
West Ham had the ball in the net through Guy Demel after 21 minutes, however, the effort was disallowed with referee Andre Marriner having already signalled a foul. After a brief spell of home pressure, Fabio Borini broke clear for Sunderland but shot straight at Jaaskelainen from a tight angle instead of crossing to Altidore. Phil Bardsley came close to breaking the deadlock, hitting the crossbar with a thunderous effort from 30 yards, with the away side on top during the first half.
Allardyce’s side finally forced Vito Mannone into action 10 minutes after the interval, but the Italian goalkeeper dealt comfortably with Morrison's drilled shot. The visitors continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock either side of Diame directing an effort on the turn straight at Mannone.
Ki Sung-Yueng forced Jaaskelainen into action at his near post with Sunderland's clearest opportunity of the second period, while Morrison fired wide at the other end with five minutes remaining. Mannone was then on hand to tip George McCartney's goal-bound cross over in stoppage time.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "[We were] not at our best, that's clear for us all to see. At times, we never got the crowd excited and never got enough quality into their box and ended up with a 0-0 draw.
"I point to the one thing we've done well this season and that's clean sheets. We've built our base superbly well and the lads have to realise if you want to take points you need to score a goal.
"It's remarkable that with a defensive record like that we're in the bottom four area, not in mid-table. We all know that the goal factor is the problem for us and we would be higher up the league if we could score more. Creative players were on the field against Sunderland but they didn't play at their creative best."
Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet: "Today is probably one of few games this season that I can say we deserved to win. There are moments in the game when you have to take your chances, especially in the first half when we really on top of the game. I need to look at performance, what we have worked on in the last two months and how good the team is playing. I would like to go into every game with this feeling that I am going to see my team on the pitch."
|21 Dec 2013||v Man Utd (A)|
|26 Dec 2013||v Arsenal (H)|
|28 Dec 2013||v West Brom (H)|
|01 Jan 2014||v Fulham (A)|
|11 Jan 2014||v Cardiff (A)|
|18 Jan 2014||v Newcastle (H)|