The Sports Bay


Payet Goes On Solo Run, Rescues West Ham From Another Home Defeat

Dimitri Payet’s stunning solo goal salvaged a point for struggling West Ham as they ended a run of four consecutive Premier League defeats in a 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough at London Stadium.

Cristhian Stuani’s second-half header put the away side ahead and had the home fans fearing a fifth defeat on the spin in Saturday’s contest.

However, Payet stole the show for the Hammers, the France international leaving the Boro defence in a daze with a superb run and clever finish to level the match in the 57th minute.

After Sunday’s defeat by Southampton, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic told Noble to take the players out for dinner on Monday as a team-bonding exercise.

There were claims a couple of players were still out drinking the following day, but the Londoners looked more of a team here, though they were still well short of their impressive form of last season.

Having seen his side concede 16 goals in six league games, Bilic went for a 4-5-1 formation and, apart from a lapse of concentration for the goal, they looked more secure.

They let Boro have 60% of possession, which affected their attacking play, but in Payet they have a constant threat, and the Frenchman’s first league goal of the campaign rescued them.

“It’s been terrible the last four, five weeks,” said centre-back James Collins. “We knew we needed to stop conceding goals. It’s a step in the right direction.

“We can’t depend on Dimi. We need to be better defensively and going forward as it is a lot to ask Dimi to keep coming up with goals like this.”

Hammers keeper Adrian added: “Payet is like that in training. He scored like a Lionel Messi goal at Barcelona. It is a massive goal to us.”

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