Andy Carroll secured West Ham’s premier league status for at least another 12 months with his last-minute equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw with Stoke City last night. The former England international came of the bench to score in injury time to take the Hammers 7 points clear of the relegation zone, while at the same time worsening Stokes predicament as they are now five points adrift of safety with only 4 games remaining.
For Stoke’s manager Paul Lambert he was looking at his side’s first win in 10 games after another former England International Peter Couch had given his side the lead with 20 remaining, Crouch taking full advantage of Joe Harts fumble in front of the night.
Although Things could have been worse for the visitors has seconds after Carroll had equalised, Javier Hernandez thought he had scored the winner, only for referee Michael Oliver to disallow it for a hand ball in the build up.
It was the third goal off the night Oliver and his officials had ruled out on the night for the Hammers, with Marko Arnautovic having his effort disallowed for offside, while it was Arnautovic again on the second one, this time the Austrian International being deemed to have interfered with play, denying Edimilson Fernandes his goal. All three were rightly called by Oliver who has been under pressure after he revealed both himself and his wife have received threats and abuse following his decision to send former Italian captain Gianluigi Buffon off for abuse following his decision to award Real Madrid a last-minute penalty during their Champions League quarter final last week.
For Hart it was a night to forget as his error lead directly to Stokes opener, butting more doubt on his position within the England set up ahead of this summers World Cup!
Up next for Stoke is Burnley, who are still in with a chance of making Europe, while West Ham visit local rivals Arsenal who are also looking to play in Europe again next season.