Hammers held at Swansea

West Ham United were held to a goalless draw against Swansea City on Sunday afternoon, as the Hammers spurned a series of chances to leave the Liberty Stadium with all three Barclays Premier League points.   

Ravel Morrison, Guy Demel, Mo Diame and Kevin Nolan were all guilty of missing the target in the first half alone, as Sam Allardyce's men dominated vast swathes of this one. 

But for their profligacy in front of goal, West Ham would no doubt have secured a second successive victory on their travels, though a fifth clean sheet of the campaign was an excellent second best.  

It was the visitors who showed first, in the shape of winger Stewart Downing, whose low left-footed drive forced Michel Vorm into a smart near-post stop after eight minutes. The resulting corner, meanwhile, fell at the feet of full-back Demel, but on the stretch, he could only toe over the bar.  

At the other end, Wayne Routledge floated in an inviting centre, but a stooping Alvaro Vazquez could only head into the grateful arms of Jussi Jaaskelainen.

But the Hammers stopper was soon called into more serious action as he somehow kept out Chico Flores' bullet header from little more than six yards. Ironically, it prompted a West Ham breakaway, one that saw Morrison with a sight of goal, though he dragged his shot across the face of goal.      

Thereafter, the Hammers went close on a number of occasions, without succeeding in breaking the deadlock. Firstly, Razvan Rat's long free-kick saw Kevin Nolan beat Vorm to it, only for his glancing header to be cleared off the line.

Sam Allardyce's men then won three corners in quick succession with 25 minutes gone, the first of which came after Downing's goal-bound effort had been deflected behind.   

The second fell kindly to Morrison from 18 yards, but his strike, smashed into the ground, couldn't find its way through a crowded penalty area. But still the Hammers came, with arguably the best chance falling to Demel, who nodded over the bar from close range. 

As the visitors drew breath, Swansea gained a foothold in proceedings, but it was West Ham who continued to threaten the hosts' goal. In the 44th minute, Downing's in-swinging free-kick picked out Diame at the far stick, but like Demel before him, he was unable to direct his header on target.

And in first-half stoppage time yet another presentable opportunity came and went. Jarvis, a first-half replacement for the injured Ricardo Vaz Te, raced to the by-line and though his cut-back was an excellent one, Nolan spooned his effort over the bar, with Morrison perhaps better placed to swipe at goal.   

The Hammers, by comparison, were slightly more subdued after the break and it was the Swans who had the first chance of note, as Vazquez, on the stretch, was inches from connecting with Nathan Dyer's right-wing centre.    

West Ham, however, continued to cause havoc in the opposition box and Winston Reid, this time, had Vorm in all sorts of trouble, but could only hook over from under the crossbar. 

Both sides, meanwhile, shuffled their packs, with Pablo Hernandez and Wilfried Bony joining the fray for the Swans, and Carlton Cole coming on in place of Diame. 

But it was Bony who nearly made an instant impact. The Hammers struggled to clear a left-wing corner and when the Ivorian let fly from six yards, Jaaskelainen was equal to it, diving to his left to palm the ball to safety.  

While the tempo hardly slowed, chances were at a premium in the final quarter. Jaaskelainen dove expertly at the feet of Michu, but the latter was flagged offside in any case. 

There would be one final chance for the visitors, but Carlton Cole's well-timed leap produced a comfortable stop from Vorm, as it ended honours even in Wales.   
Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor, Britton, de Guzman, Michu, Dyer, Routledge (Hernandez 60), Vazquez (Bony 67) 
Subs: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Amat, Canas, Pozuelo

Booked: Rangel

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel, Tomkins, Reid, Rat; Nolan, Noble, Diame (C Cole 64); Downing, Morrison (J Cole 78), Vaz Te (Jarvis 34)
Subs not used: Adrian, Maiga, Taylor, O'Brien

Booked: Demel, Morrison, Cole

Referee: Phil Dowd

Attendance: 20,455