Premier League: West Ham victorious on Olympic Stadium debut, Middlesbrough win Tees–Wear derby - Firstpost

Premier League: West Ham victorious on Olympic Stadium debut, Middlesbrough win Tees–Wear derby

London: West Ham United's Premier League bow at London's former Olympic Stadium ended with a 1-0 win over Bournemouth on Sunday courtesy of Michail Antonio's 85th-minute header.

West Ham have moved into the arena, now known as the London Stadium, after leaving Upton Park and Antonio's late goal made their first domestic fixture at the ground one to remember.

In the day's other game, Cristhian Stuani netted a stunning brace as Middlesbrough beat local rivals Sunderland 2-1 in the Tees–Wear derby to register a first victory since securing promotion from the Championship.

West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrates scoring for his side. AP

West Ham's Michail Antonio celebrates scoring for his side. AP

"We just deserved it. It was difficult, but we knew it would be. We were missing our best players," said Slaven Bilic, who was notably without Dimitri Payet and Andy Carroll due to injury.

"We were pushing and wanted it more. We're delighted to end the first game at this beautiful stadium with a win."

West Ham beat Slovenian Europa League opponents NK Domzale 3-0 in their first match at their new home, but Bilic's side were narrowly beaten 2-1 at Chelsea in their opening league fixture last Monday.

They procured the only chance of note in the first half against Eddie Howe's Bournemouth, with visiting goalkeeper Artur Boruc obliged to parry at his near post from Enner Valencia.

Josh King threatened to spoil West Ham's big day with a long-range strike early in the second half, drawing a full-stretch save from home goalkeeper Adrian.

Bournemouth lost midfielder Harry Arter in the 77th minute after he was shown a second yellow card for holding back Cheikhou Kouyate, having earlier been booked for dissent.

West Ham exploited their numerical advantage with five minutes to play when Gokhan Tore lifted an inviting cross to the back post and Antonio flew in to head home from close range.

King had a late chance to snatch a point for Bournemouth with a smooth chest-and-volley, but Adrian denied him again.

Sunderland's August gloom

"It was a tight game with few chances," Bournemouth manager Howe told Sky Sports.

"We were much improved in the second half and thought it was our game for the taking. But for one bit of a lack of discipline, I think we would have won it."

Earlier, Uruguayan striker Stuani scored twice to earn Middlesbrough victory at Sunderland in the northeast rivals' first top-flight encounter since January 2009.

Stuani put Aitor Karanka's Boro ahead with a glorious 25-yard strike in the 13th minute at the Stadium of Light before finishing off a neat team move on the cusp of half-time.

Sunderland replied through Patrick van Aanholt in the 71st minute, but Boro, promoted from the Championship in May, prevailed to record their first top-flight win over the Black Cats in over 10 years.

"It's always important to win, especially in a derby and for our crowd who have been waiting for this moment for a long time, so I'm pleased for the players and the crowd," said Karanka.

"I told the players they would start at 150 percent, but with players of the quality of Cristhian Stuani we were able to score a first goal like that, which opened up the game."

Sunderland have not won a league game in August in six years and having lost 2-1 at Manchester City on the season's opening day, they are still awaiting a first win under new manager David Moyes.

"We played well," said Moyes. "We had a great level of intensity, but ran out (of energy) with 10 minutes to go.

"We are working really hard. Everybody knows we are short and we will get the players."

Comment using Disqus

Show Comments