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Sunderland 2-2 West Ham United: Black Cats Still Searching For First Win

The Black Cats search for their first league win goes on as they threw away a two goal lead at the Stadium of Light.

Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

West Ham came from two goals down to grab a point at the Stadium of Light as Jeremain Lens saw red in a frantic affair.

A confident start by Sunderland was rewarded when they broke the deadlock on 10 minutes thanks to Steven Fletcher. A set piece straight of the training ground saw M’Vila square the ball across the box teeing up Fletcher to rifle the ball into the roof of the net.

The Black Cats nearly made it two moments later when Toivonen played in Borini on the edge of the box, but his powerful effort narrowly went the wrong side of the post. Sunderland were dominant and were denied what looked like a penalty on 20 minutes when Borini was brought down in the box by Tomkins before he could latch onto Fletcher’s through ball.

Sunderland were completely rampant and they doubled their lead on 22 minutes through Jeremain Lens. M’Vila won the ball just inside the West Ham half before sliding in Lens who exquisitely chipped Adrian from 20 yards.

Sunderland’s intensity and work rate was clear to see and they nearly scored a third on 27 minutes. Borini did well to win a corner which resulted in O’Shea’s goal bound header saved one handed by Adrian.

The Black Cats should have been out of sight on 38 minutes when neat play between Toivonen and M’Vila played in Fletcher who back heeled the ball to send Borini one on one but the Italian shot agonizingly wide. Moments later Borini received another flick on from Fletcher but again his shot went inches wide.

But after missing a hatful of chances to put the game away the Black Cats yet again conceded in injury time as West Ham pulled a goal back through Carl Jenkinson. The Black Cats yet again switched off on the stroke of half time which allowed Jenkinson to sneak in from the wing to drive low past Pantilimon after latching on to Moses’s low cross.

Sunderland made the job a lot harder for themselves on 58 minutes as Jeremain Lens received a second yellow card for a reckless challenge and although he won the ball it was a needless tackle.

It didn’t take long for the hammers to make the extra man count as Payet equalised on 60 minutes. Pantilimon parried out a long range shot which Payet followed up to score the rebound.

It really should have been ten against ten on 64 minutes when Noble took down Borini on a counter attack but the referee decided not give the West Ham captain a second booking.

Sunderland saw out the reminder of the game remarkably well considering West Ham had the extra man. But overall its three points which should have been Sunderland’s but more individual mental mistakes cost them again.

Sunderland (4-3-3): Pantilimon, Yedlin, Jones, Coates, O’Shea (c), M’Vila (Gomez 90+4’), Cattermole, Toivonen (Larsson 84’), Lens, Borini, Fletcher (Rodwell 84’).

Subs: Mannone, Van Aanholt, Brown, Larsson, Rodwell, Gomez, Defoe.

Goals: Fletcher (10’) Lens (22’)

West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Adrian, Jenkinson, Reid (Collins 66’), Tomkins, Cresswell, Noble (c) (Zarate 79’), Kouyate, Moses (Jelavic 58’), Payet, Lanzini, Sakho.

Subs: Randolph, Zarate, Obiang, Collins, Jelavic, Oxford, Antonio

Goals: Jenkinson (45+1’) Payet (60’)

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