Hammers too strong for Hull

West Ham United 3-0 Hull City

Valon Behrami, Carlton Cole and Julien Faubert scored to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season and send West Ham United up to 13th place in the Barclays Premier League.

Switzerland midfielder Behrami struck as early as the third minute before Cole made the game safe on the hour mark with his ninth goal of the season. Faubert underlined his sparkling form with the best of the bunch - a rasping effort in added time from fully 25 yards - to mark his 50th league game for the club with his first goal in claret and blue.


The win surpassed the scoreline against Birmingham City ten days ago and was the biggest success of the season, while there was the further positive of Robert Green being able to keep a fourth clean sheet in six league encounters.

Alessandro Diamanti had laid down a marker of the Hammers' intent with a free-kick on 80 seconds that nearly beat Boaz Myhill at his near post. A couple of minutes later and the deadlock was broken, Behrami finishing off a one-two with Guillermo Franco, back in the starting lineup for Mido.

The goal owed much though to Radoslav Kovac's crunching tackle on Tom Cairney in midfield and such tenacity set the mood for the home side's approach.

Cole and Scott Parker both tried their luck from distance in the first quarter of an hour before Hull began to find their feet. The closest they came was a tame header from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink that never troubled Green.

Behrami then twice had the chance to add to his first-ever goal at the Boleyn Ground. On 23 minutes, he surged forward and let fly but Myhill was equal to it. Five minutes later, the keeper produced a stunning save when the former SS Lazio man headed goalwards from barely six yards out after Diamanti's dinked cross to the back post.

By now Craig Fagan had been shown his first yellow card of the contest while George Boateng was lucky not to have his name taken for two crunching tackles on Parker and Franco. Boateng soon showed his ability in the right way, pouncing on a loose ball before sending a fierce effort goalwards - only for Green to claw it away to safety.

The second half began with West Ham marauding forward through Parker and Jonathan Spector - the other change in the starting lineup for the injured Herita Ilunga. The first real incident of note came when Fagan earned his second yellow card for a foul on Diamanti on 53 minutes. Parker picked up a caution two minutes later for a mis-timed tackle.

If that was all scrappy stuff, there was nothing untidy about the second goal when it came. For the second match in a row, a perfect pass from Faubert - this time a slide-rule ball down the line - played in Cole and the England striker did brilliantly to roll in his eighth league goal of the season.

The forward was to make way for Mido so there was to be no chance of a first-ever double at senior level. The closest the team had come to a third goal before then was Diamanti's spectacular effort from the halfway line that Myhill just about tipped away for a corner.

That had virtually everyone of the 33,971 packed into the Boleyn Ground on their feet and their hopes of a victory were further boosted by Hull unfortunately going down to nine men when Anthony Gardner went off with a serious-looking injury to his left ankle, having earlier taken off Cairney, Stephen Hunt and Amr Zaki for Jozy Altidore, Nick Barmby and Seyi Olofinjana.

Man of the match Diamanti was the last to go off, with Jack Collison entering the fray for the closing stages. The last word went to Faubert though, with the right-back smashing in his first goal for the club before taking the applause from the Boleyn Ground faithful. A trip to Manchester United on Tuesday suddenly holds no fears for the Hammers.

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Spector, Behrami, Kovac, Parker, Diamanti (Collison 85), Franco (Ilan 63), Cole (Mido 79)
Subs unused: Stech, Da Costa, Noble, Stanislas

Hull City: Myhill, McShane, Mouyokolo, Gardner, Dawson, Fagan, Boateng, Cairney (Altidore 65), Hunt (Barmby 65), Zaki (Olofinjana 65) ,Vennegoor of Hesselink
Subs unused: Duke, Zayatte, Kilbane, Garcia