FT - Swansea City 0-0 West Ham United

West Ham United were held to a record-breaking third consecutive goalless Barclays Premier League draw on Sunday
Swansea City 0-0 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League, Liberty Stadium, Sunday 20 December 2015

West Ham United were held to a record third consecutive goalless Barclays Premier League draw in a keenly fought contest at Swansea City on Sunday.

There were chances to win the game with the goalkeepers at either end being kept busy, but with Slaven Bilic’s new look back four once again in imperious mood, the Swans could find no way through.

Both teams went into the game looking for their first win in seven, although the Hammers were confident defensively following consecutive shutouts against Manchester United and Stoke City in their previous two games.

The hosts also had reason to be optimistic after a much-improved performance in losing 2-1 at Manchester City last time out and they started the game brightly with Andre Ayew heading the game’s first chance over Adrian’s crossbar in the ninth minute.

Ki Sung-Yueng then went even closer, drilling a low shot goalwards from the angle that Adrian was forced to turn behind with his legs.

The Hammers were threatening sporadically, too, with Mauro Zarate and Mark Noble both trying their luck from distance without success. The former did better just after the half-hour mark, with a vicious, swerving effort requiring Lukasz Fabianski’s to tip it round the post.

A lively first half concluded with Ayew going close five minutes before the break. He was denied as lunging tackles from a combination of Aaron Cresswell and James Collins, playing in his homeland, did enough to divert his effort into the side netting.

The second half began in more cagey fashion and the first effort on goal was not until 12 minutes after the re-start, when the lively Michail Antonio’s powerful shot was deflected wide. Slaven Bilic, who had handed Nikica Jelavic his first start in place of the injured Andy Carroll in his only change, sought to liven things up by bringing on Enner Valencia for Zarate on the hour mark.

Seconds later, the game did spring to life, but at the wrong end, as Jack Cork sent a screaming volley towards Adrian’s top corner from the edge of the area. Thankfully, the Spaniard was equal to it and palmed the ball round the post.

The Swans then had a good shout for a penalty after Ki’s shot appeared to catch Collins’ hand, but referee Lee Mason only awarded the hosts a corner.

The Hammers started to turn up the heat in the pouring rain up the other end, as Valencia  announced his return from a high ankle injury with a rasping effort that Fabianski did well to tip over.

Both sides pushed for the winner but failed to create any real efforts of note. The Hammers will continue their hunt for goals with a Boxing Day trip to Aston Villa up next.

Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel (Naughton 68), Williams, Fernandez, Taylor, Britton, Cork (Shelvey 73), Ki, Sigurdsson, Gomis, Ayew  (Barrow 83)
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Amat, Emnes, Montero

West Ham United: Adrian, Tomkins, Collins, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Song (Obiang 72), Noble, Zarate (Valencia 60), Kouyate, Antonio (Jenkinson 85), Jelavic
Subs not used: Randolph, Hendrie, Oxford, Cullen

Booked: Jenkinson (87)

Referee: Lee Mason

Attendance: 20,661 (1,025 from West Ham United)