West Ham sink Sunderland with last-minute winner by Winston Reid

Deeper and deeper Sunderland dropped, until they were almost defending from their six-yard box, and there was an inevitability about the cruel blow that came from Winston Reid’s left foot in the fourth minute of stoppage time. Having decided to settle for a point when a braver side might have sought to test West Ham United’s nerve in a stadium that still feels a little cold and alien, they ended up with nothing. Their air of resignation about their plight is becoming suffocating, a self-fulfilling prophesy that threatens to drag them into the Championship without so much as a whimper.

As the cliche goes, goals change games and Reid’s winner certainly altered the perception of a desperately poor game. If Sunderland had held out, David Moyes would have been able to praise their resilience or Lamine Koné’s fine performance in central defence. In that parallel universe, the visitors left east London with their heads held high, determined to build on a morale-boosting draw by giving Arsenal the game of their lives at the Stadium of Light next weekend.

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