McAuley’s late hammer blow rescues West Brom


London (AFP) – Gareth McAuley’s header deep in stoppage time salvaged a 2-2 draw for West Brom in an entertaining Premier League encounter at West Ham’s London Stadium on Saturday.

Slaven Bilic’s men were eyeing all three points after goals from Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini but for McAuley’s dramatic late intervention.

West Ham were without in-form striker Andy Carroll, missing with a groin injury, with Lanzini standing in as the only change.

West Brom boss Tony Pulis fielded the same side that saw off Stoke City 1-0.

Beaten 4-0 on their last away day to the capital by Tottenham the visitors enjoyed the perfect start on this trip, catching the Hammers on the hop with their first attack with only six minutes on the clock.

A defensive slip-up led to James Morrison’s assist to Nacer Chadli who beat off Cheikhou Kouyate before nutmegging keeper Darren Randolph.

West Ham’s furious appeals that the goal should not stand after a foul by Chris Brunt on Feghouli were dismissed.

Shortly after West Ham’s new Hull City recruit Robert Snodgrass forced Baggies keeper Ben Foster into action with a curling freekick.

Only the crossbar saved West Ham from falling further behind when Salomon Rondon’s shot hit the woodwork from the edge of the area.

Feghouli then had the ball in the back of the net but the goal was disallowed for offside.

But any feeling of injustice felt by Feghouli dissipated after the hour when the Algerian international tapped in the rebound after Foster tipped Lanzini’s shot onto the bar.

That set up a frenzied end as Lanzini’s powerful drive with four minutes to go left the hosts’ heading for the win.

But in the fourth minute of injury time Chris Brunt’s lofty cross sailed over to the far post for McAuley to get a touch to substitute Jonny Evans’s header.

Bilic was sent off after angry protests to match officials.

The stalemate left West Brom in eighth on 32 points while West Ham slipped one place to 10th.

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