Stoke City 2-2 West Ham United

Stewart Downing
Stewart Downing's equaliser was his second goal of the season
  • West Ham extend unbeaten run to four games
  • Downing makes one and scores one in comeback
  • Moses scores first goal for Stoke
  • Manager Hughes disappointed on 51st birthday

West Ham showed they have some steel to go with their new-found attacking flair after salvaging a point against Stoke thanks to a spirited late comeback.

Stoke had dominated for the first hour and deservedly led through goals from Victor Moses and Mame Biram Diouf.

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Stoke 2-2 West Ham: Excellent performance deserved win - Hughes

At that stage, a Hammers fightback looked unlikely but Enner Valencia's header gave them hope and Stewart Downing's 73rd-minute strike completed their recovery.

Sam Allardyce's side had risen to fourth place in the Premier League on the back of three straight wins, including last weekend's impressive victory over Manchester City.

West Ham - without in-form striker Diafra Sakho because of a shoulder injury - were way below their best at a blustery Britannia Stadium but showed they have resolve to add to their more attractive playing style this season.

Stoke dominated the first half with Bojan Krkic, starting a league game for the first time since mid-September, full of neat touches and Jon Walters and Geoff Cameron linking up well on the right.

It was from that flank that Moses opened the scoring after 33 minutes. The Hammers failed to deal with a Cameron centre and after Bojan's cross was blocked, Moses pounced from close range.

Victor Moses
Victor Moses scored his first Stoke goal since arriving on loan from Chelsea

Things could have been worse for the visitors before the break, but keeper Adrian brilliantly blocked Diouf's shot after he span away from James Collins inside the box.

The Hammers did not manage a shot on target in the first 45 minutes so it was no surprise to see Allardyce - who started with one striker - revert to two up front at the break, with Carlton Cole sent on to support Valencia.

Stoke continued to press forward, and deservedly extended their lead after 56 minutes when Diouf headed home after good work by Walters down the right.

Only in the last half-hour did West Ham come to life, and Downing was at the heart of their revival.

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Stoke 2-2 West Ham: 'Ultimate comeback' for Allardyce's Hammers

With Stoke still complaining about a wild-looking Alex Song challenge on Diouf that had gone unpunished, the ball broke to the former Liverpool winger on the right and he delivered a perfect floated cross for Valencia to nod home at the far post.

The Potters almost restored their two-goal lead when Steven Nzonzi was denied by Adrian but, instead, the Hammers completed their comeback.

Valencia was the creator, with Downing meeting his pull-back from the left with a fierce strike that Asmir Begovic could not keep out - denying Stoke victory on manager Mark Hughes's 51st birthday.

Stoke manager Mark Hughes on the unpunished Alex Song challenge in the build-up to West Ham's first goal: "It was dangerous play. It was reckless. We're grateful that Diouf jumped out of the way, because it could have been a nasty collision.

"The referee should come down on challenges like that - he needed to stop play, but apparently he was trying to play an advantage, which we didn't get. But it's not the first time we've been disappointed by a referee this season.

"I think everybody at the game knows who were the better side, and who created the most chances. Unfortunately, sport doesn't always give the spoils to the team who deserve them."

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce: "When you're 2-0 down away from home anywhere in the Premier League, getting anything is a terrific comeback. For us, that's what it had to be.

"I always thought there was a goal in us. We changed the shape of the team and went for it, knowing we'd either lose 3-0 or get it back to 2-1, at which point Stoke might get nervous.

"Stewart Downing scored with his right foot. People think he's all left foot, and he isn't. We moved him into the middle from the wing, and he made a terrific difference."

Mame Biram Diouf
Mame Biram Diouf headed in Jon Walters' cross to put Stoke 2-0 up
Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes believed play should have been stopped for a foul by Alex Song just before West Ham's first goal
Carlton Cole
Carlton Cole was involved in a flashpoint after claiming his shirt was tugged at a corner

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea1082026101626
2Southampton107122151622
3Man City95221910917
4Arsenal104511811717
5West Ham105231914517
6Swansea104331310315
7Liverpool104241313014
8Man Utd93421613313
9Everton103431917213
10West Brom103431313013
11Newcastle103431115-413
12Stoke103341012-212
13Hull102531314-111
14Tottenham93241113-211
15Aston Villa9315414-1010
16Crystal Palace92341316-39
17Leicester102351116-59
18Sunderland9153817-98
19QPR10217920-117
20Burnley10046519-144
View full Premier League table

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