Sunderland drew for the tenth time this season as the points were shared at the Stadium of Light.
West Ham had the first chance of the game on 5 mins through Carl Jenkinson. Sunderland failed to clear the ball in from Alex Song and the ball fell to Jenkinson whose snapshot was well saved by Pantilimon.
Jenkinson was again at the heart of West Ham’s next chance on 15 mins as he forced Pantilimon into another save, however this one was straight at him.
It was Sunderland who broke the deadlock on 21 mins through a Jordi Gomez penalty. Adam Johnson ran to the by-line and before he could get his cross in he was bundled to ground by James Tomkins. Gomez stepped up and sent Adrian the wrong way.
This seemed to spark West Ham into life again and Sunderland began to sit back, and it wasn’t long until the hammers were level. On the half hour mark Stewart Downing cut in from the right and wasn’t closed down as Gomez back pedalled and this cost the Black Cats as Downing’s shot deflected into the bottom corner.
Sunderland were nearly caught on the break on 37 mins. A long ball out of defence by West Ham allowed Sakho to run into the box but he rushed his shot which flashed wide of the goal.
The game got stretched as the half neared its close with Sunderland going close after a quickly taken free kick saw Gomez’s low cross flash across goal. West Ham replied with a chance of their own from a set piece as Sakho shot straight at Pantilimon from the edge of the box.
But Sunderland should undoubtedly have gone into half time with the lead. On the stroke of half time Seb Larsson crossed for Altidore who looked destined to score at the back post but he made a mess of what looked like a tap in with the goal gaping.
Sunderland started the second half well by forcing a series of corners and they had the first chance of the half from an Adam Johnson free kick but his shot was straight at Adrian.
After Sunderland’s opening spell, West Ham began to control the possession and they had an opportunity just before the hour mark when Cresswell was found on the left but Pantilimon raced out quickly to deny him.
On 64 mins West Ham again had an opening as Carroll headed down for Sakho who went down theatrically in the area but Carroll played on and tried to chip Pantilimon but he saw his chip land on the roof of the net.
After seeing out a period of West ham dominance in the game, Sunderland had a penalty appeal turned down on 71 mins after Winston Reid misjudged a cross which he looked to have handled but the referee waived play on.
Sunderland again created the next chance on 73 mins after Wickham headed on for Fletcher who ran into the box and fired powerfully at Adrian who gathered the ball at the second attempt.
Sunderland were pressing for a winner and it nearly arrived on 84 mins through Connor Wickham. Seb Larsson won the ball in midfield and gave it to Fletcher who linked up well with Wickham, setting the Englishman through in the box but he was denied by a superb save by Adrian.
West Ham nearly won it on 89 mins when Connor Wickham inadvertently cleared the ball straight into the path of Andy Carroll whose shot trickled inches wide.
Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Vergini, Brown, O’Shea (c), Reveillere, Cattermole, Larsson, Gomez, Johnson (Alvarez 70’), Wickham, Altidore (Fletcher 62’).
Subs: Mannone, Coates, Bridcutt, Rodwell, Alvarez, Buckley, Fletcher
Goals: Gomez 21’
West Ham Utd (4-3-1-2): Adrian, Jenkinson, Cresswell, Reid, Tomkins, Kouyate, Song, Nolan (c) (Valencia 80’), Downing, Carroll, Sakho.
Subs: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Collins, Amalfitano, Zarate, Cole, Valencia.
Goals: Downing 30’