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Kouyate rescues a point for the Hammers

HAMMER TIME:Cheik Kouyate fires home his team's leveller

CHEIKHOU KOUYATE’S late equaliser was final act in an entertaining draw at Upton Park. Twice West Ham fell behind and twice they fought their way level.

There is a resilience about Slaven Bilic’s side at present and this rescued point eased lingering fears about West Ham’s home form and kept them third in the Premier League table.

Norwich impressed at times with their slick play and the manner of their injury-time concession should not detract from what remains an impressive start for the newly promoted Canaries.

West Ham were chasing the game from as early as the ninth minute when Mark Noble tried to pick out James Tomkins with a cross field pass. The Hammers’ captain put too much on it and the ball carried away from Tomkins into the path of a grateful Robbie Brady. The Irishman drove past Tomkins’ desperate challenge to lash a shot beyond Adrian. It was an excellent finish but the wound was self-inflicted and avoidable.

Both Jonny Howson and Cameron Jerome should have given Alex Neil’s side a more commanding lead but neither could match Brady’s cute finish. Norwich were on top but West Ham gradually rediscovered their composure to claim a well-crafted equaliser on 33 minutes.

Diafra Sakho found Dimitri Payet wide on the right and charged into the box to sweep home the French playmaker’s low cross as it evaded the retreating Russell Martin and Sebastien Bassong. Sahko has now scored on three consecutive Premier League appearances.

He could have had three in four several minutes later but he could not keep his bicycle kick down. Nonetheless, West Ham were threatening and also the happier of the two teams at the interval.

The second half saw each team pushing for a lead and both goalkeepers taking it in turns to make important saves. First, Adrian threw himself into an acrobatic dive to tip a dipping 20-yard Howson shot over the top. He later blocked a fierce Jerome effort with his face.

At the other end John Ruddy needed to be diligent to deny Sakho’s header at point blank range and several minutes later had to extend himself to push Payet’s goal bound attempt around the post.

Gradually, Norwich began to assert greater control through the industry and imagination of Howson, Brady and Wes Hoolahan. Dieumerci Mbokani and Nathan Redmond emerged from the bench to give the visitors greater impetus and the latter scored Norwich’s second on 83 minutes.

Hoolahan clipped a pass to Redmond with the outside of his foot and the substitute jinked his way into the box and picked out Adrian’s bottom left corner through a crowded penalty area restore Norwich’s lead and secure his third goal of the season.

West Ham through everything at their opponents in the dying minutes, with Andy Carroll coming on to reinforce the Hammers attack, in their increasingly desperate attempts to plunder the equaliser. It came when Kouyate found space in a crowded box to thump the ball beyond Ruddy with 94 minutes on the clock.

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