West Ham Push Sunderland Closer To The Brink.
Andy Carroll made sure that West Ham would almost certainly be playing Premier League football next season, but at the same time helped to see that Sunderland almost certainly won't.
Carroll opened the scoring at the Stadium of Light early on and then midfielder Mohamed Diame twisted the knife just five minutes into the second half.
Substitute Adam Johnson gave the Black Cats hope of salvaging something from the game, but West Ham keeper Adrian made sure there was no way back when he pulled off class saves from Ki Sung-yueng and Connor Wickham.
Sunderland fans now fear the worst is going to happen and with just one win in nine league games, it does look likely that the fat lady is tuning up ready for a very loud finale.
It didn't look good for Sunderland when Andy Carroll had the ball in the net after just nine minutes, using his gimpish style to head the visitors in front. He simply got up higher than the Sunderland defence and headed home from a Mark Noble corner.
That was bad enough to swallow but as the half came to an end things got worse when a ball into the penalty area was controlled by the arm of Kevin Nolan and despite appeals, Howard Webb decided to give nothing.
And things got worse early in the second half when Diame latched on to Carroll's knock-down and got a deflection to give Mannone no chance.
Johnson then struck his tenth goal of the season which sparked something of a fightback but West Ham held on and took the points leaving the Black Cats deep in trouble, four points from safety with just eight games to play.