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Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Saturday, 7 May 2011 16:53 UK

West Ham 1-1 Blackburn

Hitzlsperger
Hitzlsperger struck West Ham's equaliser 12 minutes from time

By Kevin Darling

Thomas Hitzlsperger's late strike salvaged a point for West Ham against Blackburn but the Hammers remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

Rovers took an early lead when Jason Roberts tucked away Brett Emerton's right-wing cross from close range.

The hosts looked resigned to defeat until Hitzlsperger dragged them back into it with a stunning 20-yard strike.

And they almost grabbed the win they desperately needed but Robbie Keane fluffed a late chance from six yards.

The sour expressions of Hammers fans at the final whistle painted this result as two points dropped rather than one gained, although Hitzlsperger's leveller 12 minutes from time could yet prove vital in the east London side's survival fight.

West Ham boss Avram Grant had given his players a seven-point target from their final three games to escape relegation, meaning they now appear to need victories from their final two games - at Wigan on 15 May and at home to Sunderland on 22 May - to have any realistic chance of staying in the Premier League.

The Hammers' day started badly before they had even kicked a ball, with news that key midfielder Scott Parker had failed a fitness test, along with captain Matthew Upson.

Confident Grant backs Hammers to survive

Yet there were promising early signs from the hosts, with Manuel da Costa seeing a towering header cleared off the line by Morten Gamst Pedersen.

However, the atmosphere quickly turned to gloom when Blackburn went in front after 12 minutes with a slick and simple counter-attack.

The impressive Jermaine Jones broke through the middle and fed Emerton, whose low cross was converted from close range by Roberts.

The home side were stunned, with Rovers defending their lead with ease, and it was only towards the end of the first half that Grant's men began to show signs of recovery.

Demba Ba and Jonathan Spector failed to trouble Paul Robinson with close-range headers, before Freddie Sears saw a 20-yard drive held by the Rovers keeper.

The east Londoners began the second half like a group of players that had suddenly realised they had 45 minutes to save their season.

Spector saw a left-footed strike whistle just wide and Hitzlsperger's trademark 'hammer' was parried by Robinson.

Carlton Cole then screamed for a penalty after tumbling under Chris Samba's challenge, while at the other end Steven N'Zonzi saw an effort well saved by Robert Green.

Grant signalled West Ham's desperation for a goal when he sent on two more strikers - Keane and Frederic Piquionne - without removing any of his original front men.

However, the lopsided new formation seemed to dampen the home side's attacking threat, with any coherence in their play evaporating as the Upton Park faithful grew audibly frustrated.

Kean targets one point for survival

Those jeers turned to howls of joy when Hitzlsperger drew the hosts level with a stunning equaliser.

Cole held the ball up patiently in the penalty area before laying it off to the German, who lashed into Robinson's bottom corner from 20 yards.

The goal sparked a late onslaught from the home side as the visitors clung on to preserve a point that was also vital in their bid for Premier League safety.

The inspirational Samba made several crucial blocks, notably to deny Cole from point-blank range, but the Hammers' best chance fell to Keane.

With minutes remaining, Piquionne did well to race to the byeline and send in a dangerous low cross that needed just a simple finish from Keane - but the Irishman contrived to miss the ball and it flew across the face of goal.

Live text and stats

 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Barclays Premier League

Home Team Score Away Team Time
West Ham 1-1 Blackburn FT
(HT 0-1)
  • Hitzlsperger 78
  • Roberts 12

West Ham

Substitutes

Blackburn

Substitutes

Ref: WaltonAtt: 33,789
WEST HAM
BLACKBURN

Possession

  • West Ham 58%
  • Blackburn 42%

Attempts on target

  • West Ham 15
  • Blackburn 4

Attempts off target

  • West Ham 9
  • Blackburn 4

Corners

  • West Ham 7
  • Blackburn 3

Fouls

  • West Ham 7
  • Blackburn 14
  • Final Result
  • Full Time
  • 90:00+5:03 The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.
  • 90:00+4:30 The assistant referee flags for offside against Demba Ba. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 90:00+4:05 Foul by Jermaine Jones on Jonathan Spector, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Thomas Hitzlsperger.
  • 90:00+3:46 Free kick awarded for a foul by Roque Santa Cruz on Wayne Bridge. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
  • 90:00+3:10 Substitution Ruben Rochina comes on in place of Mame Diouf.
  • 90:00+2:58 Shot from just outside the box by Jack Collison misses to the right of the target.
  • 90:00+2:40 Corner taken left-footed by Thomas Hitzlsperger from the right by-line to the near post, Morten Gamst Pedersen manages to make a clearance.
  • 90:00+2:31 Carlton Cole takes a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba.
  • 90:00+1:53 Demba Ba takes a shot. Blocked by Christopher Samba.
  • 90:00+0:38 Thomas Hitzlsperger takes a shot. Blocked by Gael Givet.
  • 89:38 Foul by Martin Olsson on Frederic Piquionne, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed left-footed by Thomas Hitzlsperger, Christopher Samba manages to make a clearance.
  • 85:25 Thomas Hitzlsperger gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jermaine Jones. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the free kick.
  • 84:34 Shot by Manuel da Costa. Save made by Paul Robinson.
  • 83:46 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Frederic Piquionne by Martin Olsson. Thomas Hitzlsperger takes the direct free kick.
  • 82:26 The referee penalises Manuel da Costa for handball. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the direct free kick.
  • 81:09 Unfair challenge on Keith Andrews by Carlton Cole results in a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • Correction - 80:31 Roque Santa Cruz is penalised for a handball. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
  • 80:31 Handball by Roque Santa Cruz. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
  • 79:36 Handball decision goes against Morten Gamst Pedersen. Thomas Hitzlsperger takes the direct free kick.
  • 77:52 The assist for the goal came from Carlton Cole.
  • 77:52 GOAL - Thomas HitzlspergerWest Ham 1 - 1 Blackburn Thomas Hitzlsperger finds the back of the net with a goal from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. West Ham 1-1 Blackburn.
  • 76:30 Demba Ba produces a header from close range which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 73:56 Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Manuel da Costa, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Robert Green.
  • 71:52 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Wayne Bridge misses to the left of the target.
  • 71:01 Mame Diouf takes a shot. Blocked by Daniel Gabbidon.
  • 69:22 Shot from long range by Martin Olsson misses to the right of the goal.
  • 68:10 Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the free kick.
  • 68:10 Substitution Keith Andrews on for David Hoilett.
  • 68:10 Substitution Roque Santa Cruz on for Jason Roberts.
  • 68:10 Booking Booking for Jonathan Spector for unsporting behaviour.
  • 67:57 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Spector on David Hoilett.
  • 66:44 Demba Ba has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
  • 65:32 Robbie Keane concedes a free kick for a foul on Morten Gamst Pedersen. Morten Gamst Pedersen takes the direct free kick.
  • 63:57 Corner taken left-footed by Thomas Hitzlsperger from the right by-line, Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 63:19 Substitution Frederic Piquionne joins the action as a substitute, replacing Lars Jacobsen.
  • 63:00 Substitution Jack Collison joins the action as a substitute, replacing Freddie Sears.
  • 61:05 David Hoilett produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
  • 60:47 Steven Nzonzi takes a shot. Save made by Robert Green.
  • 56:08 The assistant referee signals for offside against Freddie Sears. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 55:17 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line, Robert Green makes a save.
  • 54:24 Substitution Luis Boa Morte goes off and Robbie Keane comes on.
  • 54:08 Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
  • 52:11 Centre by Wayne Bridge.
  • 51:42 Unfair challenge on Freddie Sears by Martin Olsson results in a free kick. Lars Jacobsen restarts play with the free kick.
  • 49:40 Thomas Hitzlsperger takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 48:39 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Jonathan Spector misses to the left of the target.
  • 48:13 Outswinging corner taken by Thomas Hitzlsperger from the left by-line, clearance made by Steven Nzonzi.
  • 46:30 Free kick taken by Brett Emerton.
  • 46:30 Booking Luis Boa Morte is cautioned.
  • 46:13 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Morten Gamst Pedersen by Luis Boa Morte.
  • 45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
  • Half Time
  • 45:00+3:24 The whistle is blown to end the first half.
  • 45:00+2:33 Corner taken by Thomas Hitzlsperger from the left by-line, Demba Ba takes a shot. Gael Givet gets a block in.
  • 45:00+1:43 Unfair challenge on Manuel da Costa by Jermaine Jones results in a free kick. Thomas Hitzlsperger shoots direct from the free kick, Gael Givet gets a block in.
  • 45:00+0:48 Luis Boa Morte has shot on goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
  • 45:00+0:26 Manuel da Costa takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.
  • 44:12 Christopher Samba concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Direct free kick taken by Luis Boa Morte.
  • 43:36 Freddie Sears takes a shot. Save by Paul Robinson.
  • 42:41 The official flags Carlton Cole offside. Free kick taken by Paul Robinson.
  • 40:56 Morten Gamst Pedersen fouled by Manuel da Costa, the ref awards a free kick. Brett Emerton takes the direct free kick.
  • 39:31 Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Morten Gamst Pedersen, Robert Green fouled by Jason Roberts, the ref awards a free kick. Robert Green takes the direct free kick.
  • 37:48 Demba Ba fouled by Christopher Samba, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Hitzlsperger takes the free kick.
  • 37:33 Booking Manuel da Costa shown a yellow card.
  • 36:46 Steven Nzonzi has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
  • 36:22 Thomas Hitzlsperger takes a shot. Christopher Samba gets a block in.
  • 34:56 Jermaine Jones challenges Demba Ba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thomas Hitzlsperger restarts play with the free kick.
  • 33:23 Jonathan Spector takes a shot. Paul Robinson makes a save.
  • 30:51 Header from close range by Demba Ba misses to the right of the target.
  • 29:56 Unfair challenge on Luis Boa Morte by Jermaine Jones results in a free kick. Thomas Hitzlsperger takes the free kick.
  • 29:19 Luis Boa Morte takes a shot. Mame Diouf gets a block in.
  • 28:48 Outswinging corner taken by Thomas Hitzlsperger from the left by-line.
  • 24:36 A cross is delivered by Brett Emerton.
  • 23:50 Carlton Cole challenges Christopher Samba unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Robinson restarts play with the free kick.
  • 23:30 David Hoilett is ruled offside. Robert Green restarts play with the free kick.
  • 18:10 Morten Gamst Pedersen produces a cross, clearance made by Wayne Bridge.
  • 17:24 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Robert Green.
  • 15:33 Close range headed effort by Manuel da Costa goes wide of the left-hand post.
  • 15:02 Foul by Steven Nzonzi on Luis Boa Morte, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Thomas Hitzlsperger.
  • 13:23 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Thomas Hitzlsperger, Steven Nzonzi manages to make a clearance.
  • 12:00 Assist on the goal came from Brett Emerton.
  • 12:00 GOAL - Jason RobertsWest Ham 0 - 1 Blackburn A goal is scored by Jason Roberts from close in low into the middle of the goal. West Ham 0-1 Blackburn.
  • 9:27 Carlton Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 8:18 The referee blows for offside against Demba Ba. Paul Robinson takes the indirect free kick.
  • 7:57 Shot from just outside the area by Manuel da Costa misses to the left of the target.
  • 6:40 Foul by Mame Diouf on Daniel Gabbidon, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Manuel da Costa.
  • 4:54 Lars Jacobsen handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Paul Robinson takes the free kick.
  • 4:10 Thomas Hitzlsperger takes the inswinging corner, Manuel da Costa takes a shot. Martin Olsson gets a block in.
  • Correction - 2:09 Corner taken by Morten Gamst Pedersen from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Demba Ba.
  • 2:09 Corner taken by Steven Nzonzi from the left by-line to the near post, Demba Ba makes a clearance.
  • 1:50 Steven Nzonzi takes a shot. Demba Ba gets a block in.
  • 1:04 Carlton Cole takes a shot. Gael Givet gets a block in.
  • 0:00 The game gets underway.

Live text and data provided by The Press Association.



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 7 May 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 35 38 73
2 Chelsea 35 38 70
3 Arsenal 35 32 67
4 Man City 35 21 62
5 Tottenham 35 7 56
6 Liverpool 35 15 55
7 Everton 36 6 51
8 Bolton 36 -1 46
9 Fulham 35 7 45
10 Newcastle 36 -1 44
11 Sunderland 36 -12 44
12 Stoke 35 0 43
13 West Brom 35 -14 43
14 Aston Villa 36 -13 42
15 Blackburn 36 -14 39
16 Birmingham 36 -18 39
17 Blackpool 36 -22 36
18 Wigan 36 -23 36
19 Wolves 35 -23 34
20 West Ham 36 -23 33

see also
Saturday football as it happened
07 May 11 |  Football
Premier League photos
07 May 11 |  Football



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