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West Ham 3 West Brom 3 - match report and pictures

Sport | Published:

[gallery] Nicolas Anelka's first two West Brom goals helped caretaker boss Keith Downing claim a third successive draw in a thriller at Upton Park.

Saido Berahino also scored a fine goal as the Baggies battled back from 1-0 down to lead 2-1 but had to stage their own fightback to claim a point after falling 3-2 behind.

They trailed to Joe Cole's opener but Anelka's five-minute double handed Downing's men a 2-1 half-time lead.

Two goals in three minutes from Modibo Maiga and Kevin Nolan then gave the Hammers the lead but Berahino struck just two minutes later for Albion.

And the young striker was denied a second goal by the woodwork late on.

Albion made a promising start as Berahino caught Razvan Rat in possession to spark a move that ended with James Morrison's cross from the right being volleyed into the side netting by Chris Brunt at the far post.

But direct from the goal-kick that followed, the Hammers went ahead courtesy of some shoddy Baggies defending.

They failed to deal with a high ball, Carlton Cole won a header and, with the visitors ball-watching, Joe Cole exchanged passes with Nolan, darted behind Jonas Olsson and produced an emphatic finish.

Albion had a more promising spell after conceding the goal and a Morrison backheel narrowly failed to find Berahino in the six-yard box.

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But their brief period of momentum petered out quickly and the hosts took charge again.

And the Hammers might have doubled their lead on the half-hour when a Carlton Cole knock-down found substitute Guy Demel, whose shot struck Ben Foster's left-hand upright.

And moments later Mark Noble bent a 20-yard free-kick just off target.

The Baggies appeared to be lacking inspiration until Anelka's two goals in just over six minutes turned the game on its head.

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In the 40th minute Youssouf Mulumbu found Chris Brunt, whose magnificent through-ball found Anelka racing behind the hosts' defence, with the Frenchman producing a fine finish.

And 17 seconds into stoppage-time Brunt's corner found the head of Jonas Olsson, whose header was cleared off the line, only for Anelka to force home the rebound.

Anelka had a chance to complete his hat-trick just three minutes into the second half as Mulumbu's fine, raking pass found Billy Jones on the right and his near-post cross picked out the Frenchman.

But Anelka's flick towards goal was saved by keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

And moments later another Albion attack saw James Morrison's pull-back find Berahino, who dragged a shot just wide of the far post.

The Baggies conceded a dangerous free-kick just outside their own penalty area, but Joe Cole blasted high and wide after it was taken short by Noble.

But the Hammers had their chances too, with Foster pulling off a fine, flying save to keep out a curling shot from half-time substitute Maiga.

Then, three goals in a breathless five minutes took fans on an emotional rollercoaster.

On 65 minutes, Maiga collected a pass from Nolan and his shot hit his team-mate, taking it past a wrong-footed Foster to make it 2-2, although the Baggies keeper might have done better.

Two minutes later, after Albion failed to clear a corner, a cross from Noble was headed down by Maiga and Nolan turned it in.

And only two minutes more had passed when Brunt found Berahino, who tricked his way past Demel and produced an outstanding finish off the far post to level the scores again.

With nine minutes remaining Albion were agonisingly close to regaining their lead.

Brunt was fouled by Diame inches outside the West Ham area and Berahino curled the free-kick against Jaaskelainen's left-hand upright.

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