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Dimitri Payet stars for West Ham as Winston Reid grabs a late winner

A 94th minute goal in a 1-0 victory was enough to give West Ham a fortunate three points against a Sunderland side who fought back well in an entertaining game.

Early on, the match was all Hammers, and it seemed just a matter of time before the home side scored. After Dimitri Payet struck the post, however, David Moyes' team started to get a grip, and Adrian and his defence had to be wary of Jermain Defoe.

With some poor crossing from wide positions, West Ham couldn't breach the Sunderland defence, and with the visitor similarly struggling to get past an organised Hammers rearguard, the game looked to be slipping into a 0-0 stalemate.

However, a corner in the last minute of injury time allowed Winston Reid to strike a low shot that eluded everyone on its way through a melee of legs and into the net. Slaven Bilic might claim the goal was deserving because of his side's early superiority but, more likely, the manager will be noting how his luck has turned recently. Two wins in a week and things are looking rosier.

Positives

The winner might have come late -- very late -- but it's a home victory, a second successive league triumph, and things have taken a favourable upturn from a few weeks back.

Negatives

The Hammers are still struggling up front and really need some good news from the treatment room soon if they are to push on this season.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Bilic has undoubtedly improved his team's defensive capabilities after the nightmare of the early weeks of the season, but his attacking substitutions did little to change the course of the game and, it could be argued, the manager would have done better leaving Antonio and Zaza on the pitch.

Player ratings (1-10; 10=best; players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Adrian, 6 -- An important save when faced with a one-on-one with Wahbi Khazri just after half-time helped his defence keep the clean sheet.

DF Cheikhou Kouyate, 6 -- The Senegalese international's improvement in form has coincided with the team's. Looks solid in a more defensive position.

DF Winston Reid, 6 -- Commanding in defence and even scored the winner. To be fair, the New Zealander's low shot that went through a bunch of players probably deserved a goal less than some of the intricate play earlier on by some of his more creative teammates, but that, as they say, is football.

DF Angelo Ogbonna, 6 -- Starting to form a solid partnership with Reid once again. The early-season jitters have been replaced with some confident tackling.

MF Michail Antonio, 5 -- Not one of his better games, but Antonio's wide runs looked dangerous, certainly in the early part of the match. Was substituted earlier than he need have been, as the England new boy always threatens and opposing defenders have less to think about when he leaves the field.

MF Mark Noble, 6 -- Noble is starting to look a little more like his old self. He grafted for the team on a day when early encouragement on the pitch turned into jitters.

MF Pedro Obiang, 6 -- An unsung strength in the midfield; the Hammers have improved vastly since his reintroduction into the team.

MF Edimilson Fernandes, 6 -- Solid but unspectacular.

MF Manuel Lanzini, 5 -- Tried hard but struggled to get into the game and was replaced by Fletcher just before the end.

MF Dimitri Payet, 7 -- Once again, the pick of the bunch. Some mazy runs in the first half and was unlucky to strike the post after some brilliant play. It was interesting to see Sunderland bringing a man back to protect their keeper when the Hammers were awarded a dangerous free kick in Payet territory. The Frenchman might have to refine his dead ball technique further.

FW Simone Zaza, 6 -- The improvement continues. Zaza worked hard and tried some tricks, but nothing came off. The fans are warming to him, though, because of the effort.

Substitutes

Ashley Fletcher, NR -- Thrown on with six minutes to go but wasn't able to influence the play in the time provided.

Sofiane Feghouli, 5 -- Replaced Antonio just after the hour mark, but the Hammers actually looked worse following the substitution.

Jonathan Calleri, 4 -- Replaced Zaza after 68 minutes but, as always seems the way, added nothing up front.