Andy Carroll strikes late to deny Stoke crucial victory
Premier League - London Stadium - West Ham United 1 (Andy Carroll, 90) Stoke City 1 (Peter Crouch, 79)
Andy Carroll’s brilliant last-minute goal earned a vital point for West Ham – and left Stoke needing snookers to avoid relegation.
A quiet first half was followed by a pulsating second period which lurched from end to end. West Ham had three goals disallowed and were in trouble when substitute Peter Crouch took advantage of a mistake from Joe Hart to give Stoke the lead in the 79th minute.
Carroll also came off the bench to make his first appearance since January, and he rescued a point with a cracking volley from just inside the area.
West Ham deserved a point after dominating most of the game but it was a savage blow to Stoke, who had visions of starting a great escape until Carroll struck.
The draw leaves Stoke five points off safety with only four games remaining. West Ham are seven points clear of Southampton and Stoke in 18th and 19th.
TALKING POINT: Has Joe Hart ruined his World Cup chances?
Probably. All the goodwill that Hart earned with a fine performance at Chelsea was undone when he spilled Xherdan Shaqiri’s shot straight to Peter Crouch. He has become alarmingly error-prone and the England manager Gareth Southgate, who was in the crowd, may feel he cannot be trusted at the highest level any more.
Peter Crouch took advantage of a Joe Hart errorGetty Images
MAN OF THE MATCH: Aaron Cresswell
Cresswell again played as one of three centre-backs, but got forward almost as much as in his wing-back days. He hit some superb crosses and free-kicks, culminating in the low ball that led to Andy Carroll’s equaliser.
West Ham: Hart 5, Rice 7, Ogbonna 6, Cresswell 8, Zabaleta 6, Noble 7, Kouyate 6, Masuaku 6, Fernandes 6, Joao Mario 7, Arnautovic 6. Subs: Lanzini 6, Hernandez 6, Carroll 7.
Stoke: Butland 6, Zouma 7, Shawcross 7, Martins Indi 7, Pieters 6, Bauer 7, Ndiaye 7, Allen 6, Sobhi 6, Shaqiri 6, Diouf 6. Subs: Crouch 7, Cameron 5, Ireland 6.
- 56’ GREAT CHANCE FOR DIOUF! Bauer scorches past Ogbonna on the right side of the area and plays the ball across to Diouf, who belts it over from six yards. What a chance! He screamed with frustration as the ball screwed off his right foot and into orbit.
- 66’ ANOTHER WEST HAM GOAL IS DISALLOWED! Fernandes whistled a 25-yard shot past Butland - but crucially the Stoke keeper had his view blocked by Arnautovic in an offside position. Arnautovic didn't touch the ball, though he did move to allow it to go between his legs.
- 79’ GOAL! West Ham 0-1 Stoke Peter Crouch scores a huge goal for Stoke after a mistake from Joe Hart! He spilled Shaqiri's shot straight at the feet of Crouch, who reacted fastest to score from five yards.
- 90’ GOAL! West Ham 1-1 Stoke What an equaliser from the big man! Cresswell's flat cross finds Carroll just inside the box, and he smacks a terrific left-footed volley into the corner. That is a beautiful goal.
- On home soil, West Ham have lost just one of their last seven top-flight games (W3 D3), after losing three of the six before that (W1 D2)
- Stoke are without a win on their last 19 Premier League visits to London, drawing seven and losing 12.
- This clash produced 36 fouls, a joint-high tally in the Premier League game this season (level with Chelsea v Man Utd on 5th November).
- Peter Crouch has scored 44 goals for Stoke City in the Premier League, more than any other player (Jonathan Walters next on 43).
- Crouch is now on 16 sub goals in the Premier League (level with Javier Hernandez); only four players have more (Defoe 24, Giroud 19, Kanu 17 and Solskjaer 17).
- Andy Carroll has scored three goals in his last three Premier League appearances, spanning January (2 games, 2 goals) and April (1 game, 1 goal).