Ba turns into Drogba as Hammers claim vital point at West Brom
Hammers striker scores twice to rescue point
An amazing second half comeback saw West Ham recover from three goals down to claim a 3-3 draw with West Brom.
Down and out after a horrendous first half display, the Hammers showed their battling spirit as a Demba Ba double and a Carlton Cole goal rescued a valuable point.
It felt like a win on the final whistle for West ham who could have actually claimed the three points had Ba not had his shot cleared off the line or if Manuel Da Costa taken his chance deep into injury time.
As defensive performances go, the first half was the lowest of the low. Two goals down after eight minutes, the Hammers were in deep trouble before a Winston Reid own goal after 32 minutes summed up the visitors dismal showing.
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The Hammers made West Brom look like Barcelona, backing off at every opportunity, letting the hosts shoot at will. Neither forward could hold the ball up with Carlton Cole in particular failing to maintain possession for his side.
The second half almost saw a role reversal. West Brom forgot how to defend, West Ham played with width and attacking flair and were rewarded.
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They won the second balls, put crosses into the box and used Ba like Chelsea use Didier Drogba.
The Senegalese striker was excellent in the second period and his physical presence gave the hosts huge problems.
It took the Baggies just three minutes to take the lead when Hammers summer transfer target Graham Dorrans hit an unstoppable 25 yards unstoppable shot, as the Hammers backed off the midfielder.
It was two, five minutes later when Cole lost possession in midfield. The ball fell to Marc Antoine Fortune who played the ball back to Jerome Thomas who curled the ball into the corner of the net as the Hammers once again backed off.
Odemwingie should have made it three after Cole missed a header from a corner, but from just four yards out he headed straight at Green.
After 24 minutes Cole had a goal wrongfully ruled out for offside and when West brom went 3-0 up through an own goal it just seemed like one of those days.
With time running out in the first period Ba forced an excellent save from Myhill who pushed his effort onto the post, while Gary O’Neil’s hit a terrific shot which cannoed off the cross bar.
West Ham started the second half strongly and struck back when Mark Noble’s pass was brought down by Ba who outmuscled his marker and placed the ball past Myhill.
Frederic Piquionne came on for the ineffectual Luis Boa Morte as West Ham changed to 4-3-3.
It worked and within minutes of his arrival Piquionne registerd an assist as some dreadful baggies defending left the striker free to head across goal to Cole who headed home.
They were almost level a minute later as Piquionne headed onto the bar from a Wayne Bridge cross.
Odemwingie forced good save from Green after dancing through defence after 63 minutes and Ba had an effort cleared off the line as both teams exchanged attacks in a frantic half hour spell.
West Ham got their just deserts with seven minutes left after West brom again failed to clear their lines from a set piece and Ba smashed a half volley past Myhill and into the net.
West ham had a great chance to win the game in the dying seconds, but Da Costa could only head Noble’s corner over from six yards out.
It was a tremendous comeback by the Hammers and of course serious questions must be asked about their first half showing, the amazing spirit shown to claim a draw will give the east Londoners great confidence as they head into the final third of the season.