Shoulder worry for Hammers hero

Published: Saturday 25th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Sam Allardyce saw serial goalscorer Diafra Sakho shoot down Manchester City but fears the striker may be set for a spell on the sidelines.

The reigning Barclays Premier League champions fell to a 2-1 defeat at Upton Park as Allardyce’s West Ham moved to within a point of the visitors.

Morgan Amalfitano, who opened his Hammers account in the recent win over Liverpool, grabbed his second goal since his summer move as he swept home Enner Valencia’s low cross in the first half.

Sakho then headed home his sixth goal in as many Premier League starts, with goal-line technology on hand to confirm his effort beat the despairing dive of Joe Hart.

David Silva pulled one back almost immediately with a well-taken individual effort but it was Sakho’s goal which proved the difference as Allardyce was full of praise for the Frenchman and his strike partner Valencia.

“Valencia and Sakho – I don’t think they really know what they have done yet,” Allardyce said.

“I don’t think they really know how good they have been. They have just come here, they want to play football and I don’t think they realise what such a big impact they have made and the rest of the team has been lifted by those two.

“We have goalscorers, we have players who believe they are going to score – none more than Sakho who has scored yet again today.”

Signed from Metz during a busy transfer window, Sakho has now scored in his last seven West Ham appearances, dating back to his opening strike in the Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield United.

He has scored against Manchester United and Liverpool, as well as the match-winner against City, but Allardyce was worried after seeing him forced off following a collision with Hart.

“We are four wins out of five and three wins on the trot,” Allardyce said. “But for me my biggest worry is that my leading goalscorer today came off with a shoulder problem towards the end and I sincerely hope that the damage is not severe and he recovers very quickly.

“When you have got someone who has scored six in six you can ill-afford to lose them at any stage and if we lose him that is going to be a big blow.”

Despite universal praise for his own side, especially a man-of-the-match display from Alex Song, Allardyce felt City’s own frailties led to a fifth league win of the campaign.

“We put Manchester City’s back four to task and, in my opinion, they didn’t hold up,” he added.

“The quality of our play in the final third is why we have won the game today.

“When you have got quality players, quality players look forward to the big games where the less quality players can get anxious, but Song led us as a team today and the rest of the lads responded.”

City boss Manuel Pellegrini could see his side fall eight points behind leaders Chelsea if the Blues win at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Chilean refuted claims a Champions League hangover, after their trip to draw 2-2 against CSKA Moscow, cost his side a victory and accepted it was the profligacy of his team which saw them lose.

“I don’t think that the team felt what happened on Tuesday in Russia,” Pellegrini said.

“Of course I’m very disappointed about the score as I don’t think we deserved to lose the game.

“We had two or three clear chances we couldn’t score. West Ham played well in the first half but we improved a lot in the second, but if you don’t score that goal you can’t win.

“I’m always concerned about my team, what the other teams do is not my concern – we will see what Chelsea will do but we have 87 more points to fight for.”

Pellegrini also refused to blame referee Martin Atkinson or his officials, who failed to spot both Valencia and Sakho in offside positions in the lead-up to Amalfitano’s opener.

“I don’t want to analyse the referee,” he said.

“I said just one thing against Arsenal and I don’t want to continue me analysing the referee as that is not my duty – it was clear what happened and it doesn’t matter what I say.”

Published: Saturday 25th October 2014 by The News Editor

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