West Ham relegated to the Championship after loss at Wigan, the report
Hammers lose to relegation rivals
Wigan 3 West Ham 2
West Ham will playing in the Championship season after Wigan came from two goals down to win 3-2 to seal the Hammers fate.
Hugo Rodallega scored in the 94th minute to give his side hope of survival and in doing so send the Hammers down.
Forget about Robbie Keane’s miss last week against Blackburn summing up West Ham’s season, it was today’s against Wigan which really was d�j� vu for the east Londoners.
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All too often this season the Hammers have thrown away leads and there few surprised when Demba Ba’s first half double was levelled thanks to second half strikes from Charles N’Zogbia and Connor Sammon, before Rodallega’s goal after 94 minutes.
Both sides pressed for a winner and only substitute Carlton Cole will know how he missed a late open goal.
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The Hammers had the chance to prolong their hope of survival after Fulham beat Birmingham City 2-0, but yet again when it mattered, West Ham failed to deliver.
Hopes were not as high before kick-off with Avram Grant’s bizarre selection continuing.
The Israeli brought in Jordan Spence for Lars Jacobsen, Was this the right time, a game which West Ham had to win to stand any chance in the Premier League to hand a full debut to a 20-year-old?
Spence was thrown in at the deep end and twice within the opening three minutes Wigan twice went close after finding joy down West Ham’s right –hand side.
Jack Collison was handed his first start of the season, while Zavon Hines was picked ahead of Carlton Cole and Robbie Keane. Scott Parker was fit enough for the bench, but apparently not to start.
Matthew Upson was a notable absentee on the bench. It seems odd that the club captain in a game of that magnitude was chosen only as a substitute.
Surely if you don’t play him now the question must be asked as to why he is your team’s leader in the first place.
Frderic Piquionne, who replaced Freddie Sears wide right, burst forward in the Hammers’s first attacking move which ended with solid Wigan defending.
Their second ended in success as Ba headed home from a brilliant Thomas Hitzlsperger cross after a sustained of pressure which saw both James Tomkins and Jack Collison were denied by blocking Wigan defenders.
It was 2-0 after 25 minutes thanks again to a wonderful Hitzlsperger cross.
The German whipped another delicious ball into the area and Tomkins rose well at the far post and headed across goal for Ba, who bundled the ball home.
The Hammers were dealing with the strong winds at the DW Stadium when a long ball forward by Tomkins was mis-judged by Emerson Boyce. Piquionne shot on goal, but his effort was cleared off the line.
Wigan rallied managing to find big gaps in the centre of the park and with neither full back getting much support there was always an option wide for the hosts.
After 35 minutes Hugo Rodallega forced a decent save from Robert Green, who parried his shot away from danger.
The England goalkeeper was agin to West Ham’s rescue minutes later when Diame outmuscled Collison before firing straight at Green, who was in the right place to deny Rodallega’s header from the following corner.
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez knowing a defeat would spell relegation brought on strikers Connor Sammon and Victor Moses changing to 4-2-4.
Wigan were back in with a chance after 55 minutes when Charles N’Zogbia’s free kick rocketed into the top corner of Green’s net.
With half an hour left Jonathan Spector was replaced by the returning Parker.
Ba could have a hat-trick after being played through by HItzlsperger, but the striker shot straight at the goalkeeper.
The Hammers were made to pay when a minute later Sammon, in the same position struck into the corner to beat Green and level the scores.
Cole and Keane were brought on in a bid to find the vital third, but it were Wiagn who looked more likely to find a winner.
However five siz minutes left Hines could have won the game for the Hammers but his goalbound effort was cleared by Stephen Caldwell.
Wigan kept creating chances with Green again called upon to make important saves.
With 92 minutes on the clock Cole should have won the game, but somehow didn’t manage to get enough of a touch to score an open goal late.
Then Rodalleg’s cool finish four minutes into stoppage game sent eh Hammers down.