West Ham United 1 Sunderland 0: Cats make worst start to Premier League season by any club this century

Steven Pienaar in action for Sunderland.
Steven Pienaar in action for Sunderland.

Sunderland have made the worst start to a Premier League season by any club this century after going down 1-0 to West Ham United at the London Stadium.

The game seemed to be heading to a goalless draw but Winston Reid popped up in the 94th minute to send a low shot into the corner of the net.

Lamine Kone wins the ball

Lamine Kone wins the ball

It was heartbreaking for Sunderland and leaves the Black Cats without a win in their opening nine games of the Premier League season.

Bottom of the table with just two points, it has been a desperate start to the season.

Sunderland had to avoid defeat at West Ham United today to avoid the worst start to a Premier League season by any club this century.

Not since Sheffield Wednesday in 1999 have a club recorded two points or less in their opening nine games of a top-flight campaign.

Lamine Kone and Steven Pienaar returned to the starting line-up, with Paddy McNair and Papy Djilobodji dropped down to the bench.

Kone was back after a hamstring strain, while Pienaar, who came on as a sub against Stoke City last week, returned to the starting line-up.

And Kone had a busy return to the Sunderland team, with the Ivory Coast international nodding the ball wide for a corner under pressure from Simone Zaza in the first minute.

Dangerman Dimitri Payet curled an effort inches wide of Jordan Pickford's right-hand post, with the visitors put under increasing pressure.

It was all West Ham in the opening eight minutes, with Javier Manquillo fortunate not to give away a penalty for blocking Winston Reid.

Pickford was called into action again in the 10th minute, blocking Payet's effort after the French ace danced his way through the Sunderland defence.

Sunderland were struggling to get a foothold in the game, with the Hammers midfield dominating. The Black Cats camped inside their own half.

Twenty five minutes in and Payet hit the post for West Ham, he created space before curling an effort off the woodwork, the ball bouncing clear.

Both Jack Rodwell and Didier Ndong were then booked in the space of two minutes, as West Ham continued to press them.

It took Sunderland until the half hour stage to muster anything resembling a chance, Jermain Defoe's effort blocked before Patrick van Aanholt's poor free-kick hit the wall.

Almost immediately, Sunderland won another on the other flank, this time Wahbi Khazri with a better delivery but Rodwell could only head over.

Thirty-five minutes in, Watmore played Defoe in, the 34-year-old top scorer showed excellent footwork but couldn't get enough on his effort on goal.

Van Aanholt cut inside from the left flank but rushed his shot on his less favoured right foot, with Sunderland seeing more of the ball around the Hammers penalty area.

After a shaky start, Sunderland were enjoying more of the play down the left-hand side, in particular, with van Aanholt and Pienaar linking up well.

Zaza tried his luck with an acrobatic overhead kick minutes before half-time, his effort sailing a yard wide of Pickford's left-hand post.

West Ham were the better team first half, carving out the better chances, but the sides went into the break level.

Half-time: West Ham 0 Sunderland 0

Sunderland should have been ahead within a minute of the restart, a lucky deflection fell to Khazri and he was in on goal.

But his effort was weak and Adrian parried the ball clear. It was a big opportunity missed.

Zaza almost made them pay moments later but Kone recovered well to snuff out the danger, with Defoe then blasting an effort over the crossbar from a Khazri pass.

It was a bright start to the second half by Sunderland, with the 3,000-strong travelling fans giving them their full support.

In the 54th minute, Defoe saw a shot from the edge of the area deflected wide for the first Sunderland corner of the game, Khazri's delivery too close to Adrian though.

It was much better from Sunderland, though, who started the second half well.

The game was evenly poised midway through the second half, with Pedro Obiang bursting his way into the Sunderland area, under pressure from Kone he shot into the side netting.

Moyes made his first sub, with Lynden Gooch coming on for Watmore in the 75th minute, with Paddy McNair on for Pienaar four minutes later.

Khazri, who had worked hard, was subbed with five minutes to go, Moyes bringing on Billy Jones and pushing Manquillo into a more advanced role for the final stages.

Defoe was becoming increasingly isolated as the half wore on, with Sunderland playing the ball too quickly to him up front.

There were few clear cut chances for either side in the final 15 minutes but Sunderland - who had defended doggedly - couldn't hold out.

A Payet corner fell to Reid on the edge of the Sunderland area, he took a touch before shooting low through a crowd of players into the right-hand corner of the net to seal the win.

It was almost the last kick of the game. Sunderland had no time to respond, to leave them without a win in nine games.

Full-time: West Ham 1 Sunderland 0

West Ham United (3-5-2): Adrian, Reid, Kouyate, Lanzini (Fletcher, 84), Zaza (Calleri, 68), Obiang, Noble (C), Ogbonna, Payet, Antonio (Feghouli, 62), Fernandes.

Subs: Spiegel (GK), Nordtveit, Collins, Oxford.

Booked: Reid (68)

Goals: Reid (90+4)

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Pickford; Manquillo, van Aanholt, O'Shea (C), Kone; Rodwell, Pienaar (McNair, 79), Ndong, Watmore (Gooch, 75), Khazri (Jones, 86), Defoe.

Subs: Mika, Djilobodji, Anichebe, Honeyman.

Booked: Rodwell (25), Ndong (27), Pienaar (40), Khazri (83), Jones (90).


Referee: Bobby Madley (West Yorkshire)

Attendance: 56,985