Fan blogger Joe Difford reflects on Saturday's 2-2 draw with Sunderland...
Saturday afternoon’s result against bottom-of-the-table Sunderland may not have been ideal, but it is important to remember that we are now unbeaten in five games. Yes, draws at Norwich and Sunderland may seem like points dropped at a glance, but if you look at the five games that make up the Hammers’ run, it’s a magnificent feat.
Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City, Norwich and the Black Cats have all failed to beat us, and subsequently we sit comfortably in the top half of the table.
Sunderland surprised everyone in the Stadium of Light on Saturday, getting off to a flying start and opening the scoring just ten minutes in. Carl Jenkinson conceded an avoidable free kick, and Steven Fletcher netted to send the home fans into a confused frenzy.
Jeremain Lens doubled the lead just over ten minutes later as a mistake in the West Ham midfield was pounced on by the Sunderland man, who lobbed Adrian from all of 30 yards.
The goal was painfully impressive, but spurred the visitors on to fight back.
On the stroke of half time, Jenkinson made up for his earlier error and ran the length of the field to get on the end of a Victor Moses left-wing cross, finishing like a natural striker.
It was Payet’s turn to make amends next, as he squared the ball to Manuel Lanzini, whose shot was spilled by Costel Pantilimon, with the French magician gratefully picking up the loose ball and putting it in the net.
Payet has now scored four Premier League goals, picked up three assists and has created a whopping 32 chances in his first eight games for the club, so it is no surprise that even neutral fans are taking an interest in our new number 27.
They say statistics don’t tell the full story, and this was the case on Saturday, as West Ham left the field after 90 minutes devastated not to be leaving with all three points. We had the chances to win it and on another day we could have picked up the three points.
Nikica Jelavic missed a series of good chances, whilst Mauro Zarate added an injection of pace and skill that somehow didn’t result in a goal.
A draw against a side who have beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and City away probably would have been seen as a good result for Sunderland, but unfortunately Dick Advocaat was the first managerial casualty of the season.
Up next for us is a trip to the high flying Crystal Palace, but having not lost away, I’m confident that the boys can go there and at least pick up a point. It’s a London derby and given the form of both teams it promises to be a great game.
Angelo Ogbonna, Enner Valencia and Alex Song are all closing in on a return to action, and coming off the back of a five game unbeaten streak, the trio surely can’t wait to get in on the action and help us continue our impressive start to the season.
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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of West Ham United