Premier League
CardiffCardiff City0West HamWest Ham United2

Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United

By Bruce PopeBBC Sport Wales
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce (L), his assistant Neil McDonald and new Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (R)

Struggling West Ham lifted the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce with a battling win at Cardiff City.

The visitors had to survive a serious injury to Guy Demel and the sending-off of James Tomkins to claim their first Premier League win in seven attempts.

West Ham led when Carlton Cole was picked out by Matt Jarvis, before Mark Noble's late breakaway settled things.

It ruined Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's league debut as Cardiff boss as his side replaced West Ham in the bottom three.

Despite public support from West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan, Allardyce brought his team to the Welsh capital second-bottom and three points behind their hosts.

On top of that were humbling defeats in their previous two matches, with a 5-0 loss to Championship side Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup followed by a 6-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

But, despite the return of £15m striker Andy Carroll to the West Ham bench after an eight-month absence, it was far from the perfect afternoon for Allardyce's side.

The game was stopped for 10 minutes when Ivory Coast defender Demel suffered a serious head injury, falling awkwardly as he challenged Fraizer Campbell.

After the application of a neck brace and oxygen, he was taken off on a stretcher and replaced by George McCartney.

The sending-off of Tomkins, shown his second yellow card for catching Campbell in the face, will further compound Allardyce's defensive worries with James Collins and Winston Reid still out through injury.

But after all the pre-match attention on Carroll it was Cole, signed only on a short-term deal, who gave the Hammers a much-needed lift.

When Matt Taylor picked out Jarvis on the right, his low cross allowed Cole to muscle his way in front of Kevin Theophile-Catherine to smash the ball past Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.

Cole nearly added a second after half-time, but Bluebirds captain Mark Hudson - making his first Premier League appearance of the season - stretched to nip the ball off the striker's toe.

The 30-year-old was replaced for the final 18 minutes by Carroll and departed to a standing ovation from the travelling fans.

Solskjaer began his Cardiff reign last week with an FA Cup win at Newcastle, and the Norwegian saw his side nearly come from behind again.

Firstly, Kim Bo-Kyung's deflected shot came off the underside of the bar, before Craig Noone drew a full-length save out of goalkeeper Adrian.

After all that Cardiff pressure, Cole's goal came as something of a sucker-punch and Solskjaer responded at half-time by replacing striker Peter Odemwingie with Craig Bellamy, making his return after two months out.

The former Wales captain nearly created an equaliser, racing free on the right to pick out Campbell, whose fierce shot drew a brilliant reaction save out of Adrian.

Solskjaer sent on new signing Magnus Wolff Eikrem in place of Gary Medel in midfield, then replaced Hudson with striker Andreas Cornelius in the hunt for an equaliser.

West Ham nerves jangled when Eikrem unleashed a pile-driver, only to hit it straight at Adrian, but in injury time, a swift counter caught Cardiff over-committed and Noble's cool finish sealed a crucial result.

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Line-ups

Cardiff

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Marshall
  • 28Théophile-Catherine
  • 42John
  • 7Whittingham
  • 4Caulker
  • 5HudsonSubstituted forCorneliusat 78'minutes
  • 16Noone
  • 8MedelBooked at 45minsSubstituted forWolff Eikremat 65'minutes
  • 10Campbell
  • 13Kim
  • 11OdemwingieSubstituted forBellamyat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Turner
  • 9Cornelius
  • 15Wolff Eikrem
  • 17Gunnarsson
  • 25McNaughton
  • 32Lewis
  • 39Bellamy

West Ham

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Adrián
  • 20DemelSubstituted forMcCartneyat 17'minutesBooked at 50mins
  • 8Rat
  • 14Taylor
  • 28JohnsonBooked at 70mins
  • 5TomkinsBooked at 72mins
  • 23Downing
  • 16Noble
  • 24ColeSubstituted forCarrollat 72'minutes
  • 10CollisonSubstituted forDiarraat 75'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 7Jarvis

Substitutes

  • 3McCartney
  • 9Carroll
  • 11Maiga
  • 18Diarra
  • 21Diamé
  • 22Jääskeläinen
  • 26Cole
Referee:
Lee Mason
Attendance:
27,750

Match Stats

Home TeamCardiffAway TeamWest Ham
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home19
Away10
Shots on Target
Home7
Away3
Corners
Home8
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away16

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Cardiff City 0, West Ham United 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, West Ham United 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Cardiff City 0, West Ham United 2. Mark Noble (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Andy Carroll.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Andreas Cornelius (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Magnus Wolff Eikrem with a cross.

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  6. Booking

    Alou Diarra (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  7. Post update

    Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Alou Diarra (West Ham United).

  9. Post update

    Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Craig Noone.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Craig Noone (Cardiff City).

  11. Post update

    Adrián (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by George McCartney.

  14. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  15. Post update

    Attempt saved. Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City).

  17. Post update

    Adrián (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Cardiff City. Andreas Cornelius replaces Mark Hudson.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Craig Bellamy (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Kim Bo-Kyung.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, West Ham United. Alou Diarra replaces Jack Collison.