WEST HAM UNITED v CARDIFF CITY
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 17 AUGUST 2013
REFEREE: HOWARD WEBB
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Final score - West Ham United 2-0 Cardiff City
96 mins - I don't think there is Mutch chance that the new man will make an impact, or even get a touch! Reid heads out for a throw into the East Stand and that is it. West Ham get the season underway in perfect fashion. A win, a clean sheet and two fine goals. The Hammers were too good for their visitors on the day, but Cardiff worked hard and created some chances in the second half before Nolan's goal ended the contest. Before half-time, West Ham were dominant for long periods and Cole's goal was a real classic finish from the midfielder. With another sellout crowd at the Boleyn, all in all, it's been a good day! We'll have exclusive reaction on West Ham TV soon!
95 mins - Whittingham steps up and curls the free-kick a yard wide. Jaaskelainen had that covered diving to his left, I think! Anyway, that should be it. Before the re-start, Jordon Mutch is on for Campbell. Not sure the point of that one, but there you go.
93 mins - A few Hammers fans are leaving. They think this game is over. It might not be as Noble is penalised for felling Campbell on the edge of the D. Whittingham fancies this...
91 mins - We're going to have FIVE added minutes. I suppose the physios have been kept busy. The announcement was interrupted by 'Mr Moon' leaving the stadium. He's been in and out all afternoon, has Mr Moon. Things must be quiet at the Queen Vic...
90 mins - It's a third and final change and it is Cole who is replaced, with Vaz Te coming on for the goalscorer.
89 mins - Today's Match Sponsors, Capital Support, the UK's leading provider of IT solutions to the Alternative Investment Industry, have voted Joe Cole as their Man of the Match.
88 mins - Caulker gets up and makes it to the touchline. He is back on with some Vaseline on his face. Let's hope the Cardiff physio brought a big tub!
87 mins - Caulker looks to be hurt after being caught in the nose by Maiga's arm as both challenged for a header. He needs the physio on and is curled up on the ground. It's been a busy half for the medical men.
85 mins - Maynard misses a sitter, firing over the top from just seven yards after Whittingham had helped on a low cross from the right.
84 mins - Cardiff have a corner as Jaaskelainen tips over a dipping Connolly header from the edge of the box. The corner is cleared, but Cardiff haven't given up the ghost just yet.
83 mins - Downing at it again, causing left-back John more problems before crossing right-footed. Nolan has to stretch and cannot direct his header on target. Downing and Jarvis could cause some serious damage this season. Both are two-footed and put in crosses for fun.
82 mins - Diarra replaces Diame.
81 mins - Alou Diarra is waiting to come on. Today's attendance is a sellout 34,977. The capacity has been slightly reduced to accommodate new camera positions for Sky Sports HD.
80 mins - Gestede wastes a decent chance as he runs into space and slams a low shot well wide of the right-hand post. Maynard was screaming for the ball to the right of him. He shows his frustration when the ball doesn't come his way.
79 mins - As things stand, we're top of the league! We could have cemented our place there, too, as Downing heads Noble's cross down for Nolan, but the captain cannot repeat the trick from 20 yards. The shot flies over the crossbar.
76 mins - GOAL! Brilliant goal from West Ham. After some patient build-up involving Noble, Downing and Diame, Noble finds Maiga and then collects off the Malian. Noble runs into the box and cuts the ball square for Nolan, whose first-time finish curls perfectly inside the left-hand post.
75 mins - Downing's corner is cleared but Noble finds the winger again and he gets to the byline and stands the ball up for Nolan but Connolly heads clear superbly.
74 mins - Cardiff captain Bellamy is replaced and high-fives Noble on his way off. Rudy Gestede is on for him. Gestede is huge. Kim is replaced by Nicky Maynard. Two strikers on for Cardiff. Bold move from Mackay. Corner to West Ham...
73 mins - Downing gets a first touch and it's a positive one as he runs down the right, cuts inside and finds Cole. The ball is eventually worked back to Downing on the right and his low cross is headed behind by Caulker.
72 mins - Handball shouts again as Whittingham finds Bellamy and he slams his cross into O'Brien. Again, nothing is given. Even if it did hit his arm, that would surely have been ball to hand.
71 mins - It's Matt Jarvis who is to be replaced by Downing. The winger gets a loud round of applause as he makes his way off. Downing gets a loud cheer as he comes on. Cole to the left, Downing on the right.
70 mins - Jarvis chases a ball down the left wing and Turner does superbly to clear the East Stand with his clearance. Loud cheers from the fans. Even louder cheers as the ball is returned over the fence from Priory Road! Honest people around here in east London, you know!
69 mins - Downing is called back almost immediately by Neil McDonald.
68 mins - Tomkins, Rat and Diarra jog back to the dugout after warming-up. The three other outfield substitutes are sent out to the touchline to replace them. No sign of a change from Big Sam just yet.
65 mins - After a three-minute stoppage, Turner, Maiga and their respective physios head for the touchline. Both will be back on as soon as the game re-starts with a drop kick.
62 mins - Big Sam will be happier with that. Cole wins the ball and finds O'Brien, who beats one man with a drop of the shoulder before feeding Maiga. The No11 turns and smashes a low left-foot shot that is going in until Marshall makes a finger-tip save to divert it wide for a corner. That was a great save from the Cardiff goalkeeper, as Maiga's shot was bound for the far bottom corner. Marshall needs the physio on before the corner, but he's OK to continue. The corner is cleared, as is the follow-up cross. Finally, the game is stopped after a clash of heads between Maig and Turner. Turner's head is cut. He has some running repairs and has a load of Vaseline put on his head. Nice.
60 mins - Reid does well under pressure running towards the touchline. The Kiwi hooks his left foot around the ball and belts it up the line for Maiga to chase. He wins a throw that comes to nothing. Moments later, Campbell heads down for Kim and Reid is there again with the tackle. The Korean would have been clear in behind had Reid not got that right. Cardiff are lurking in this game and, at 1-0, anything could still happen. West Ham have some substitutes out warming-up.
58 mins - Whittingham collects about 35 yards out, turns and makes a yard or five before dragging his shot well wide. Big Sam was not happy about the amount of space afforded to Cardiff's No7. With 76 career goals to his name, Whittingham is a man to be feared when it comes to goalscoring.
55 mins - Reid fouls Campbell. Whittingham lifts the free-kick from 35 yards out and Connolly wins the header. The ball bounces up and hits O'Brien. The 3,000 Cardiff fans shout 'handball' in unison, but only a corner is given. Jaaskelainen does really well to palm Whittingham's corner away. Cardiff working up a head of steam here.
53 mins - Cole holds up play wide on the right. Demel waits instead of overlapping and his cross is first-time, but Cardiff clear their lines through Caulker under pressure from Nolan and Maiga.
52 mins - Cardiff win another free-kick in a similar position to the one four minutes ago. Bellamy takes again and this time Nolan heads powerfully clear.
50 mins - A clever dummy from Bellamy sets Campbell up. He shoots and the ball is blocked and spins into the air. Campbell himself chases and wins a corner off Jaaskelainen, but that really looked like a goal kick. The corner drops into the box and there is an almighty scramble before the Hammers hack clear. The ball is held up by Diame and then a long ball forward is controlled superbly by Jarvis. He has no support, though, and has to work an opening for himself before slamming the left-foot shot high and wide.
48 mins - Diame gives away a free-kick about 35 yards out. Bellamy and Whittingham stand over it. Cardiff have sent the big men forward. Bellamy crosses and Maiga heads away. Cole gives the ball away and Cardiff find Bellamy again. The Wales international looks up and balloons his cross miles over everyone and out for a throw. Characteristically, Bellamy raises his arms and waves them around in frustration!
46 mins - West Ham get the second period underway and have a shooting chance within 27 seconds. Maiga works the space for Diame, who takes a touch and drives the ball over the crossbar from the right corner of the penalty area.
Half-time score - West Ham United 1-0 Cardiff City
The second half is almost upon us, so to recap on a decent opening 45 minutes from West Ham. A strong start was capped by a fine turn and finish from Joe Cole from Matt Jarvis' left-wing cross on 13 minutes. West Ham continued to control possession for long periods and could have extended their lead when Mohamed Diame's shot took a deflection off Matt Connolly and span a yard wide of the far post. Connolly is also the only player to have been booked so far, for a late tackle on Jarvis. At the other end, Kevin Nolan and Diame have made important blocks, while Peter Whittingham curled a free-kick into the side netting.
45 mins - We're going to have at least one added minute. Bellamy ends a spell of Cardiff possession by firing a low cross that flies wide of the target. Jaaskelainen gets a touch of the ball. He's not had a thing to do. Moments later, Campbell is caught offside and the half-time whistle is blown. So far, so good...
41 mins - Diame at the defensive end this time, blocking a shot. The ball pings away to the halfway line, where Maiga forces Caulker to concede a throw. Good, hard work from the Hammers. After some nice play involving Maiga, Jarvis ends up by crossing from the left but the ball curls away from Nolan and Diame cannot keep it in.
40 mins - Great stuff again from Diame, who wins the ball back from hesistant Turner. Nolan then fires the ball through to Maiga, but it has a yard too much pace on it and Caulker can shield it back to Marshall.
37 mins - So close to a second for Diame, who collects a pass from Maiga and shoots powerfully. The ball hits Connolly and curves narrowly wide of the far post. That was close! The corner from Cole is won by Collins, but he is stretching and the ball flies off his bald head and away for a throw on the near side.
36 mins - Jarvis and Diame combine on the left this time, but when Diame eventually delivers, the ball clips a defender and loops high into the hands of Marshall. Moments later, Diame shows superb strength and skill to hold off his man and only an outstretched boot from Caulker can stop Jarvis going clear down the left wing.
34 mins - Maiga does well to win a header while off-balance and Diame collects before cutting inside from the left and seeing his shot blocked. West Ham come again down the right and the cross skims off the head of Connolly and behind for a corner. Jarvis delivers and Cardiff clear their lines.
32 mins - Campbell collects in a yard or two of space on the edge of the D. He takes a touch and Nolan shows superb tenacity to close him down and charge down the shot. That could have caused Jaaskelainen some issues before the captain's intervention.
31 mins - Cardiff just having a little spell here. First, the ball drops and Nolan hacks it clear from a free-kick into the box, but the visitors are soon knocking on the door again with a throw-in.West Ham work hard and force Cardiff back into their own half.
30 mins - You can view exclusive images from the Boleyn Ground by clicking on the FACEBOOK link above. Also, at half-time, why not watch our first Match Preview show FREE on YOUTUBE? The Match Preview will be broadcast ahead of every match, home and away, on West Ham TV.
27 mins - A first booking of the day for Cardiff right-back Connolly. He had fouled Jarvis late a minute or two back but Mr Webb played on with West Ham in possession. At the break in play, Connolly is shown a card the same colour as his kit.
25 mins - West Ham need a second goal and this game may well be done and dusted. Cardiff are sitting off deep and don't seem too keen to commit too many men forward. Nolan charges down a clearance that goes out for a goal kick. The Cardiff fans give him some banter and Nolan looks at them and smiles. There was some of that during the Play-Off semi-final down in Cardiff a year or so back, I seem to remember. Nolan had the last laugh on that occasion...
21 mins - A huge roar goes up as Cole tries to go clear, but he elects to try to chip Marshall rather than take the ball on himself. The goalkeeper catches easily. Cardiff then counter and right-back Connolly overlaps and crosses low to the near post. Campbell gets there ahead of Reid, but the striker then stumbles and the ball rolls away for a goal kick.
20 mins - West Ham have been very comfortable since going ahead. The ball drops out of the penalty area and Medel looks favourite to win it until Diame gets his foot in. Unfortunately the Senegal captain drags his shot wide.
15 mins - It's been a very encouraging start from the Hammers, who have mixed things up really well. Jarvis has been the main danger and he is involved again before the ball bounces out to Noble 25 yards out. He tries an audacious volley that flies miles off-target.
13 mins - GOAL! West Ham United lead through Joe Cole! Good hassling in midfield from Nolan and Diame wins the ball back and Cole spins away from Kim. He plays the ball wide for Jarvis, who gets to the byline and crosses low. The ball eludes two defenders and falls to Cole, who still has plenty to do. He controls in an instant, spins and fires a low right-foot shot that flies into the bottom right-hand corner.
11 mins - Maiga makes a run to latch onto Cole's pass. He plays back to Demel, whose cross finds Jarvis, but he cannot get the shot away and loses out on the edge of the box. Cardiff break through Kim and its 2v2 for a while. Kim runs to within 25 yards of Jaaskelainen's goal before shooting left-footed, wide.
10 mins - Well, we're ten minutes into the new season and no alarms so far. The atmosphere here is very good, with the 3,000 or so Cardiff fans inside the Boleyn enjoying life in the top-flight after a 51-year absence. No real chances for either side so far. You can join the conversation about today's game by following @whufc_official on twitter and using the hashtag #IRONS.
8 mins - Watch the famous Boleyn Ground roar just seconds ahead of kick-off, with the crowd singing 'Bubbles' as loud as they can on the West Ham YouTube channel. Click on the YOUTUBE link above to watch the video now!
7 mins - Noble is penalised again and this time it's only five yards outside the box. Whittingham has a go at goal from a difficult angle when he should cross. The ball flies into the side-netting as Jaaskelainen watches it closely. Bit of a waste, that.
4 mins - The Chile international 'Pitbull' Medel, who looks fearsome close-up, concedes his first foul in English football. Collins launches the ball into the box, Maiga flicks it on and Nolan heads wide with his back to goal. He was offside, though, was the captain. Decent start for the Hammers.
2 mins - O'Brien comes forward and when the cross is headed out he wins the ball again and flicks it cleverly to Jarvis. He makes his way into the box into space and clips the left-foot cross to the far post, where Cole rises but is challenged and his header loops wide.
16 secs - Mark Noble makes his presence felt in the midfield by giving away the game's first free-kick with a mis-timed sliding challenge inside the centre circle. It is clipped forward but comes to nothing for the visitors.
3.02pm - The game is kicking-off slightly late and someone seems to be having a bonfire in east London because there is a smell of smoke in the air! Cardiff have a quick huddle and then the Bluebirds - dressed in all yellow - get us underway.
2.58pm - The bubbles are floating through the air and The Clash's 'London Calling' is belting out. Seconds later, the music fades, the two teams emerge and 'Bubbles' blares out across the east London sky. The 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season has arrived at the Boleyn Ground!
2.50pm - The great Billy Bonds MBE is honoured by the Boleyn Ground faithful as he is introduced to the crowd. Bonzo looks genuinely moved as he accepts applause from all corners, waving and clenching his fists. He is a true Hammers legend, of that there is no doubt. Joint-Chairman David Gold presents Bonds with his Lifetime Achievement Award to loud acclaim, including applause from Big Sam and his family members, who have also gathered pitchside. It's an emotional occasion on the cusp of the new season.
2.10pm - The teams have been named...
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, O'Brien, Collins, Reid, Noble, Diame (Diarra 82), Nolan, Cole (Vaz Te 90), Jarvis (Downing 71), Maiga
Subs: Adrian, Rat, Tomkins, Morrison
Cardiff City: Marshall, Connolly, John, Caulker, Turner, Gunnarsson, Medel, Bellamy (Gestede 75), Whittingham, Kim (Maynard 75), Campbell
Subs: Lewis, Hudson, Mutch, Cowie, Smith
1.56pm - The team news will be announced in just a few minutes. Who will get the nod from Big Sam?
1.50pm - You've got ten minutes to enter today's Twitter competition to win a signed Stewart Downing shirt. To be in with a chance, tweet your guess of today's West Ham starting XI using the hashtag #WHULINEUP.
1.20pm - Great news from Little Heath, where goals from Lewis Page and Jerry Amoo have secured a 2-1 opening-day Barclays U18 Premier League victory over Manchester United! The Hammers took the lead before half-time through Page before Amoo added a second with nine minutes to go. The Red Devils scored from the penalty spot late on, but they could not deny West Ham all three points and a fantastic start to the 2013/14 campaign.
Good afternoon and welcome to the Boleyn Ground for today's eagerly anticipated 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season opener between West Ham United and Cardiff City.
Billy Bonds MBE will collect his Hammers Lifetime Achievement Award before kick-off on Saturday so make sure you take your seats by 2.45pm to see the Club legend back at the Boleyn Ground.
Supporters travelling to the Boleyn Ground by tube should note that there is no service between Tower Hill and West Ham on the District Line, although trains will be running between West Ham and Upminster, calling at Upton Park.
It is 90 days since the Hammers beat the previous season's Championship winners Reading 4-2 and now Sam Allardyce's side will try to repeat the trick against the Bluebirds. Former West Ham defender Malky Mackay and his players will be full of confidence after running away with the Championship title last season, but the Hammers themselves will be chipper after finishing tenth place in the top flight last season.
History is on West Ham's side, with the Hammers having lost just twice in their history to Cardiff at the Boleyn Ground. In all, the Welsh team have won just nine of the 51 meetings between the two clubs, while West Ham have won the last three games. The most-recent meetings came in the 2011/12 Championship Play-Offs, which West Ham won 5-0 on aggregate on their way to being promoted.
West Ham are also very good on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season, picking up 1.47 points per game on average. Compared to the 1.24 points per game they have picked up since the Premier League was introduced in 1992.
Cardiff will be playing their first top-flight fixture for 51 years. The Bluebirds' last top division fixture was a 2-2 Division One draw at Aston Villa on 1 May 1962. The previous weekend, Cardiff had lost 8-3 at Everton. However, their most-recent top division victory came against West Ham - a 3-0 success at Ninian Park on Easter Monday 23 April 1962 in a game that saw debutant Martin Peters end up in goal!
Team news-wise, Big Sam has three players who could make their Hammers debuts today - Razvan Rat, Stewart Downing and Adrian - but new permanent arrival Andy Carroll is missing with a heel injury. George McCartney is also out with a knee injury suffered in the 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion in March.
Cardiff manager Mackay has signed Denmark centre forward Andreas Cornelius from FC Copenhagen, Chile defensive midfielder Gary Medel from Sevilla, England centre-back Steven Caulker from Tottenham Hotspur, goalkeeper Simon Moore from Brentford and versatile defender John Brayford from Derby County. The Scot broke the Bluebirds' transfer record three times to sign Cornelius, Caulker and Medel, but the former is an injury doubt with a knee problem suffered in pre-season.
With Andrew Taylor suspended, 18-year-old left-back Declan John could be handed just his second first-team appearance.
Today's match will be sponsored by Capital Support, the UK's leading provider of IT solutions to the Alternative Investment Industry.