Sunderland Ace Lee Cattermole Praises Returning Wahbi Khazri as Relegation Battle Intensifies
Apr 19 2017
Above all, they have been dismayed by the persistently downbeat demeanour of a manager who, as early as last August, declared that a relegation battle beckoned and underwhelmed by a series of low key, low impact, signings including Darron Gibson and Donald Love, nearly all of whom had previously played for Moyes at either Everton or Manchester United.
Do David Moyes' guys stand the opportunity of survival?
As ever, the Sunderland fans among a crowd of 40,168 were put through the wringer as they saw the home side succumb to Andre Ayew's fifth-minute opener before Wahbi Khazri, starting a game for the first time since October 29, levelled direct from a corner. Sunderland's top scorer Jermain Defoe has netted 58% of the team's goals in the Premier League in 2016/17, and the second-highest scorer has only three to his name.
The 26-year-old has a risky delivery and considering that Sunderland had gone seven successive games without scoring before his corner against West Ham, it asks more questions of Moyes for continuing to leave him out.
Moyes now hopes that Khazri can reproduce that form in the final six games of the season and help solve Sunderland's chronic goal scoring problems.
Sadly, their dominance was not to last.
The Frenchman was inserted back into the side for his 16th appearance of the season against West Ham and made an instant impact.
Minutes after the break though West Ham were ahead again as James Collins headed in Robert Snodgrass' corner. Khazri's set-piece curls straight in as Anichebe blocks off Randolph.
Having surged down the right-hand side, he picked out an unmarked Ndong in the heart of the penalty area, but the midfielder somehow side-footed over from ten yards with the goal seemingly at his mercy.
The Italian striker scored two minutes after being introduced as an 88th-minute replacement for Billy Jones, who suffered a suspected concussion and was carried from the pitch on a stretcher while being given oxygen. He then palms it into the path of Borini who slot home.
Substitute Borini pounced on an error by Randolph to spare Sunderland another defeat, but they couldn't snatch a valuable victor despite Byram's dismissal for a second booking in 10 minutes of stoppage-time.