WEST HAM UNITED v REAL ZARAGOZA
SATURDAY 30 JULY 2011
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Full-time score - West Ham United 2-0 Real Zaragoza
92 mins - That's full-time. West Ham more than deserved their victory this afternoon. That was a professional display capped by two fine goals and some standout performances. We'll be back here in eight days time for the visit of Cardiff City in the opening npower Championship fixture of 2011/12. Child tickets are just a fiver for that game! To guarantee your seat, click here to order. Before then, make sure to visit West Ham TV for exclusive highlights and post-match reaction. Finally, if you'd like a copy of today's matchday programme, click here to order now!
91 mins - We're into added time here. I wouldn't have thought there will be too much of it. That goal caps a satisfying afternoon for everyone involved. A fourth consecutive pre-season clean sheet, for starters, and well-taken goals from Taylor and Sears.
89 mins - GOAL! Sears! Barrera picks up possession inside the Zaragoza half, jinks past one man and then picks out Sears. He looks up and picks his spot, smashing an unstoppable drive low past Leo Franco and into the bottom left-hand corner. Noble is replaced by Junior Stanislas before the restart.
86 mins - Zaragoza attack but first Reid, then Noble make good interceptions. West Ham break and Nouble has a bit of space to run into. He shoots, but the ball slices off the outside of his boot and wide.
84 mins - Cole does well, controlling the ball on his chest before shooting on the volley. Unfortunately, it's too high. Some young fans sat behind me laud their hero with a chorus of 'Carlton Cole' to the tune of Spandau Ballet's 'Gold'!
83 mins - Seven Zaragoza players are warming-up (or warming-down) on the touchline. It looks like the assistant referee is leading a conga!
80 mins - That's just plain ridiculous. Paredes shoots from about 40 yards. The shot goes absolutely miles wide of goal.
79 mins - Montano is on for trialist Samuel. It looks like Montano will play the remaining minutes at left-back.
78 mins - Ah, that's a shame. Nolan gets a foot in and wins the ball inside the Zaragoza half. He sends Barrera away. The Mexican cuts into the box, but his cross for Nouble is too strong and rolls across the face of goal and out for a throw.
76 mins - Green shows good concentration again. Lafita lets one go from about 30 yards and its going into the bottom corner until Green tips it wide. The corner is headed clear by Reid to Cole, who gives it away. A cross comes in and Lafita's header is high and wide.
75 mins - More changes... Pinter is replaced by Lacruz, while Juan Carlos is off and Joel Valencia is on.
75 mins - Cole wins a corner. Barrera takes and Leo Franco punches clear of his penalty area.
74 mins - There you go! Reid gets a foot in and Noble collects, spins away and tries to pick out Sears with the outside of his right foot. Paredes is alert to the danger, however.
73 mins - Winston Reid has quietly had a very good game this afternoon. He's been in the right place on plenty of occasions and has not wasted possession when he has had the ball at his feet. After a season of adapting to the English game, it may be that the big New Zealander has a chance to impress on a regular basis this term.
71 mins - Two more changes for the Hammers. Taylor and Piquionne head off to be replaced by Sears and Nouble. Barrera comes wide left, Cole is up front and Sears goes wide right.
69 mins - Zaragoza replace Uche with Jorge Orti.
68 mins - Cole is putting himself about in usual fashion. He leaves one defender in a heap with pure strength. Taylor curls a cross in and Cole goes to ground himself, but referee Peter Walton shakes his head.
65 mins - That was a bit close for comfort. Pinter gets past Noble and crosses left-footed. The ball eludes both Tomkins and Reid and Juan Carlos prods a volley a yard or two wide. Green might have been in trouble if that was on target.
64 mins - Taylor takes, Cole wins the header but the ball hits a defender and loops high into the air. Piquionne is then adjudged to have fouled the goalkeeper.
63 mins - Parker is replaced by Cole. West Ham have a free-kick wide on the left near the corner flag after Samuel was fouled.
62 mins - Super intricate passing from Parker, Taylor and Piquionne ends with the latter's cross being toed away. West Ham keep up the pressure and Parker plays a nice pass through the middle for Barrera. The Mexican shoots first-time with his left foot, but it's saved by Leo Franco.
61 mins - Parker is crowded out inside the Zaragoza half and the visitors attack. Ponzio spreads play wide left for full-back Paredes. He crosses and Tomkins half-clears, only for the ball fo bounce back into the path of Paredes, who volleys powerfully but well over the top.
59 mins - Carlton Cole is out for a jog on the touchline. I wonder if we'll see the big striker soon?
56 mins - A chance for Barrera to deliver from the left from a free-kick. He does, and Leo Franco can only punch the ball out for a corner. Barrera himself takes it and Piquionne's flicked header is cleared off the line by Lafita.
53 mins - Spence is involved immediately. Samuel starts an attack with a one-two with Nolan before the ball is spread right by Parker to Spence. He crosses first-time and Nolan dives to head the ball, but he's under pressure and can't direct it on target.
52 mins - Jordan Spence is on for O'Brien. That's a tactical change as the right-back jogs across to be replaced by the Academy product.
51 mins - Lafita gets the wrong side of Reid, but the big Kiwi slides in with a good challenge to concede another corner. Juan Carlos takes left-footed and Green catches high above his head.
50 mins - Zaragoza win a free-kick on their left. The ball is headed by O'Brien straight to Abraham, but the Irishman makes up for his error by blocking the substitute's shot behind for a corner. The No2 then completes his work by volleying the ball upfield.
49 mins - Zaragoza look a bit sharper after the break. First, Reid has to get his toe in to concede a corner from Juan Carlos's pass. The ball is worked to Uche, whose cross is headed goalwards by a flying Lanzaro. Green makes a good save and West Ham scramble the ball to safety.
47 mins - Uche this time, shooting from all of 35 yards. Green watches the ball fly well wide again.
47 mins - Uche clips a ball over Reid for Lafita, who controls well but then slices his shot well wide as he loses his balance.
46 mins - Zaragoza have made some changes - Oriol and Contini are replaced by Lafita and Abraham. West Ham have the same XI that finished the first half. The Spaniards get us underway again...
OK, here come the Zaragoza players ahead of the second half. I am told that Sam Allardyce will leave stadium during the second half to go on a scouting mission. I don't know where he is going, I'm afraid!
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Real Zaragoza
46 mins - That's half-time.
45 mins - That's a little bit ambitious from Pinter, who shoots from the halfway line! It is nowhere the goal and flies into the 20 or so Zaragoza fans sitting in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand Lower.
43 mins - This hasn't been half bad from West Ham, but they'll need to keep up their level of performance. Zaragoza are no mugs. It will be interesting to see how many substitutions are made at or after the break. I expect we'll see Carlton Cole and Jack Collison, for two, at some stage.
41 mins - Zaragoza come forward and Parker brings down Juan Carlos about 30 yards out. This is a dangerous area. The free-kick is worked short and teed-up for Ponzio to hit. He belts it low and around the wall, but Green is there to dive to his right and make the save on the line. Good handling.
40 mins - Barrera's corner is met by Tomkins, but his header glances off his forehead and bounces wide.
39 mins - West Ham really are so dominant it's not funny. Now Nolan collects Parker's pass and lets fly from 25 yards. Leo Franco flings himself to his right and palms the ball around the post. Before the corner is taken, Faubert has to be replaced. He looks like he got a kick a couple of minutes ago. The No7 is replaced by Pablo Barrera. The Mexican is going to take the corner himself and gets a nice ovation as he jogs to the far corner of the pitch.
37 mins - He might not be so dangerous on his right foot! Parker and Nolan make some space before O'Brien tries to pick out the midfielder, who swings his right boot and completely misses the ball!
35 mins - Argh! Taylor takes two steps up and curls his shot over the wall and it cannons back off the right-hand post with Leo Franco a mere spectator. The ball drops to Piquionne, who takes a touch and smashes it into the roof of the net. Alas, the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside against the Frenchman. Taylor is clearly going to be a real threat from all manner of dead-ball situations.
34 mins - Lanzaro brings down Taylor about 30 yards from the Zaragoza goal. Taylor is all over this!
33 mins - West Ham get in a bit of a muddle on the edge of their own box and the ball drops to Uche. He crosses, I think, for Juan Carlos, but instead he gets too much on the ball and it flies across the face of Green's goal and out for a goal kick. The Nigerian raises his hand in apology to his team-mate.
31 mins - So close to a second. Noble sprays a superb pass out to the left for Samuel. He lays inside for Parker, who finds Taylor. The scorer stands the ball up for Faubert, whose powerful header is pushed over by Leo Franco. Faubert takes the corner and the ball drops to O'Brien, but his left-foot shot is charged down by Pinter.
30 mins - Neil McDonald is out on the edge of the technical area shouting out instructions to his players. Allardyce is watching from the stand.
29 mins - The Zaragoza fans finally have something to shout about as Ponzo gets forward and Edu Oriol curls a first-time left-foot shot a yard wide of the post.
28 mins - Green has been a virtual spectator so far, so when he catches Juan Carlos' left-wing cross, he gets a loud cheer from the home fans.
26 mins - That's good again from Parker. Reid wins the ball on the edge of his own area and picks out Parker, who again runs past a defender and it's two-on-two. He tries to bend a pass around a Zaragoza player with the outside of his right foot, but Faubert changes his run at the vital moment and the chance goes begging. Leo Franco collects.
24 mins - GOAL! Taylor! That'll do very nicely. West Ham keep up the pressure and Tomkins picks out Nolan's head with a long ball. He nods it down to Parker, whose first touch is superb and he bursts past two defenders and into the penalty area. He could shoot himself, but the Hammer of the Year instead squares and Taylor taps in from about five yards.
24 mins - The Hammers are working hard to keep Zaragoza inside their own half. Faubert puts himself about and blocks a Contini clearance.
22 mins - Parker goes on one of his typically lung-bursting runs through the middle before laying the ball off to Nolan. He tries to pick out Taylor to his left, but Juarezis there to head the ball to safety and Mateos belts it out for a throw.
20 mins - Noble is seeing plenty of the ball in his new withdrawn roll in front of the back four. He starts another attack and the ball is worked to Taylor wide on the left. He cuts on to his right foot, but his cross is headed away by Mateos.
16 mins - Spence, Sears and Montano come out for a jog on the touchline. They are given a decent reception from the fans in the Bobby Moore Stand. Of course, it is 45 years to the day since Moore lifted the Jules Rimet Trophy at Wembley following England's 4-2 FIFA World Cup final victory over West Germany. I'm sure I don't need to tell you who scored the goals...!
15 mins - Nolan loses possession, although he might have been impeded. Zaragoza break down the middle of the pitch, but Oriol's pass is awful and rolls out for a throw. What a waste.
14 mins - That's more good play from the home side. Faubert's diagonal pass is into the path of O'Brien, whose curling cross is superb. It eludes both Contini and Lanzaro, but there is no Hammer there to take advantage.
12 mins - West Ham are well on top here. Nolan crosses and Contini can only flick his header behind for a corner. Faubert takes and Reid flies in but misses his header. Noble heads the ball back into the danger zone, but Piquionne is offside before heading wide from six yards.
12 mins - Good again. Nolan's first-time pass finds Noble on the left-hand side of the penalty area. He crosses but the ball bounces a yard or two in front of Piquionne and Faubert and bounces safely away for a throw.
10 mins - That is a good turn from Piquionne, who makes five yards and shoots. It's blocked. West Ham keep up the pressure and Faubert lays the ball back to Noble wide on the right. He crosses and Nolan wins the header, but Leo Franco catches in front of the leaping Piquionne. Good pressure from the Hammers.
8 mins - A first Boleyn Ground shot on target for 2011/12 and it's Faubert. Parker gets a foot in in midfield and waits before releasing the galloping Frenchman. He takes his effort first-time and tests goalkeeper Leo Franco, who blocks and collects the ball as it rolls along the turf.
6 mins - Quick feet from Uche loses Tomkins and Parker inside the centre circle. Zaragoza are playing a neat passing game when they're in possession. This latest attack comes to nothing as Juan Carlos is flagged offside.
5 mins - West Ham attack again. Noble and Faubert are again involved before O'Brien tries to pick out Taylor at the far post. He overhits the cross and the ball bounces behind for a goal kick.
4 mins - Nolan gets a foot in and Noble finds Faubert. He looks up and fires the ball to the edge of the box, where Nolan tries to chest down for Piquionne, but it's intercepted.
2 mins - The fans behind the goal in the Sir Trevor Brooking Stand are singing their hearts out already! It's been a long two months without football... Pinter tries to thread a pass through for Juan Carlos, but it's too strong and Green collects.
3.02pm - We're underway, with West Ham attacking the Bobby Moore Stand end of the ground. As expected, O'Brien is at right-back, Samuel is at left-back, Noble is anchoring the midfield and Piquionne is being supporter by Nolan and Parker.
3.01pm - Sam Allardyce takes his seat in the home dugout for the first time. He gets a loud cheer from the supporters, as does new captain Nolan.
3pm - The signing of Joey O'Brien has been confirmed. A story and reaction from the Hammers' newest arrival will appear on whufc.com very soon!
2.58pm - Here they are. Kevin Nolan leads out West Ham, while Zaragoza are skippered by experienced Argentina international midfielder Leo Ponzio. The Hammers are in their spanking new claret and blue kit - order yours here. Zaragoza are in their change strip of yellow and black stripes.
2.57pm - The teams are in the tunnel and we should be underway shortly. It's a lovely sunny day in east London - hopefully the portent for a brighter future on the pitch! 'Bubbles' starts to play, which can mean only one thing...
2.51pm - Zaragoza have added another player to their substitutes bench - Kevin Lacruz will join his team-mates in the dugout. Well, it's not really a dugout these days. The manager and players get to sit on some comfortable-looking claret and blue chairs.
2.50pm - Real Zaragoza are still out on the pitch going through their pre-match drills. They're cutting it a bit fine! West Ham's players are safely back in their dressing room. The pitch looks absolutely superb. Green and lush. Lovely.
2.40pm - As you will have seen from the starting lineup, Jlloyd Samuel starts for West Ham this afternoon. The left-back is a 30-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international with well over 200 Football League appearances under his belt. Samuel was actually with the Hammers for a while as a schoolboy before emerging at Aston Villa. After nine seasons at Villa Park, he moved to Sam Allardyce's Bolton Wanderers in 2007.
2.30pm - Don't forget, you can listen to the game live on West Ham TV.
2.25pm - Real Zaragoza have not brought too many fans with them this afternoon. We have just spoken to one, English language student Oscar Rodriguez. An interview with Oscar will appear on West Ham TV soon.
2.15pm - If you'd like a more in-depth preview to this afternoon's game, click here and follow the link for your exclusive match preview.
2.10pm - Pablo Barrera is standing outside the home dressing room chatting and laughing to fellow countryman Efrain Juarez. The pair were both part of Mexico's 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup-winning squad last month.
2.04pm - Real Zaragoza's starting XI - Leo Franco, Juarez, Paredes, Pinter, Contini, Lanzaro, Mateos, Juan Carlos, Edu Oriol, Ponzio, Uche. The visitors' substitutes are - Toni Doblas, Alcolea, Laguardia, Obradovic, Orti, Valencia, Goni, Abraham, Lafita, Braulio.
2.02pm - The West Ham United starting XI is - Green, O'Brien, Samuel, Tomkins, Reid, Faubert, Taylor, Noble, Parker, Nolan, Piquionne. The substitutes are - Boffin, Ilunga, Spence, Nouble, Sears, Collison, Cole, Montano, Stanislas, Barrera.
1.55pm - The team news should be confirmed very soon. Who will Sam Allardyce pick for his first match in charge at the Boleyn Ground? Will he give his new signings a first chance to don the claret and blue on the sacred turf? Or will he choose to give a few promising young players a chance to shine?
1.45pm - If you'd rather listen to the game, then West Ham TV will have live audio commentary from 3pm.
Good afternoon and welcome to a warm and sunny Boleyn Ground!
Well, football returns to east London after a break of a little more than two months with the visit of Spanish side Real Zaragoza.
West Ham United's final pre-season match will see new boss Sam Allardyce, assistant manager Neil McDonald and summer signings Kevin Nolan, Matt Taylor and Joey O'Brien make their Boleyn Ground bows. Trialist Jlloyd Samuel could also start.
The Hammers will not be wearing their squad numbers this afternoon. Instead, they will line up in the good, old-fashioned 1-11!
O'Brien completed his free transfer earlier today and should continue his record of appearing in every one of the club's pre-season matches, having been on trial with the Hammers since the start of July.
The Republic of Ireland international and his fellow arrivals will hope to impress their manager and supporters alike, but West Ham are not likely to have everything their own way against a Zaragoza side managed by former Mexico midfielder and coach Javier Aguirre.
Los Blanquillos have also been busy in the transfer market over the summer, bringing in defenders David Mateos and Abraham Minero and midfielders Edu Oriol and Juan Carlos.
Zaragoza, escaped relegation from the Primera Division on the final day of the 2010/11 season, kick-off their own pre-season schedule today. The Spaniards open their league campaign at Levante UD - the same venue where they survived by winning 2-1 on the final day of last term - on 21 August.
Today's team news is expected to be confirmed at around 2pm. The only players who are definitely ruled out of today's game are long-term absentee Gary O'Neil (ankle), Abdoulaye Faye (hamstring) and Jordan Brown (ankle). Faye is expected to return to full training on Monday.
West Ham United: Green, O'Brien (Spence 52), Samuel (Montano 79), Tomkins, Reid, Faubert (Barrera 39), Taylor (Sears 71), Noble (Stanislas 89), Parker (Cole 63), Nolan, Piquionne (Nouble 71)
Subs: Boffin, Ilunga, Collison
Real Zaragoza: Leo Franco, Juarez, Paredes, Pinter (Lacruz 75), Contini (Abraham 46), Lanzaro, Mateos, Juan Carlos (Joel Valencia 75), Edu Oriol (Lafita 46), Ponzio, Uche (Orti 69)
Subs: Toni Doblas, Alcolea, Laguardia, Obradovic, Goni, Braulio