A wonderful Dimitri Payet equaliser ensured West Ham ended a run of four successive league defeats by drawing with Middlesbrough.
Payet took possession on the left, turned past Antonio Barragan and weaved his way across goal, past four defenders, before angling in a shot.
His effort cancelled out Cristhian Stuani’s opener for Boro, the Uruguayan heading home from a Viktor Fischer corner.
Hammers captain Mark Noble had earlier gone closest to breaking the deadlock when his curling shot hit the crossbar.
Neither side threatened a winner in the latter stages as Boro secured a point after three defeats in a row.
Did West Ham’s night out work?
After Sunday’s defeat by Southampton, Hammers boss Slaven Bilic told Noble to take the players out for dinner on Monday as a team-bonding exercise.
There were claims a couple were still out drinking the following day, but the Londoners looked more of a team here, though they were still well short of their impressive form of last season.
Having seen his side concede 16 goals in six league games, Bilic went for a 4-5-1 formation. Despite right-back Sam Byram going off injured early on, they looked more secure, apart from a lapse of concentration for the goal.
They let Boro have 60% of possession, which affected their attacking play, but in Payet they have a constant threat, and the Frenchman’s first league goal of the season rescued them.
“It’s been terrible the last four, five weeks,” said centre-back James Collins. “We knew we needed to stop conceding goals. It’s a step in the right direction.
“We can’t depend on Dimi. We need to be better defensively and going forward as it is a lot to ask Dimi to keep coming up with goals like this.”
Hammers keeper Adrian added: “Payet is like that in training. He scored like a Lionel Messi goal at Barcelona. It is a massive goal to us.”
Capital gains for Boro
The draw gave Boro their first point from their past six Premier League games in London and, while they had a high work ethic and more of the ball, they lacked a creative spark.
Jordan Rhodes, making his first top-flight start, was a willing runner and caused some moments of concern for the West Ham defence, but Boro rarely looked like scoring from open play.
They did have three shots on target to West Ham’s two, but their ambition seemed affected by recent results.
Their goal came from a set-piece – referee Neil Swarbrick alerted by the goal decision system after Stuani’s effort was cleared by Noble.
Man of the match – Dimitri Payet
What they said
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic: “I feel pressure because I am not happy with our position in the table and because we lost four matches on the trot. It is below my standards.
“But I believe in my team and I’m a hard worker. Although we didn’t win, we showed that the team is alive. We are together. We have to show it more often.”
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka: “It is a good point, especially after three defeats. It is important that our attitude has been good.
“West Ham have not been in the best moment but they have amazing players. So I’m pleased to add one more point and play with that intensity.”
The stats you need to know
- This is West Ham’s worst start to a top-flight campaign after seven games (four points) since 1988-89, when the Hammers were relegated.
- Middlesbrough have lost a league-high seven points from leading positions in the Premier League this season.
- Cristhian Stuani has scored three goals in three Premier League away games this season.
- Middlesbrough have won just one of their past 17 Premier League away games (D3 L13).
Both teams return to Premier League action following the international break, with West Ham facing a trip to London rivals Crystal Palace on Saturday, 15 October at 17:30 BST, and Middlesbrough hosting Watford at 13:30 BST the following day.
- 22ByramSubstituted forArbeloaat 7′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 16NobleSubstituted forLanziniat 73′minutes
- 14ObiangBooked at 11mins
- 17TöreSubstituted forZazaat 45′minutes
- 17BarragánBooked at 88mins
- 14de RoonBooked at 62mins
- 18StuaniBooked at 80mins
- 11FischerSubstituted forRamírezat 59′minutes
- 9RhodesSubstituted forNegredoat 68′minutes
- 5Espinosa Zúñiga
- Neil Swarbrick
- Shots on Target
Match ends, West Ham United 1, Middlesbrough 1.
Second Half ends, West Ham United 1, Middlesbrough 1.
Álvaro Arbeloa (West Ham United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Álvaro Arbeloa (West Ham United).
Foul by Álvaro Negredo (Middlesbrough).
Winston Reid (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Offside, Middlesbrough. Gastón Ramírez tries a through ball, but Álvaro Negredo is caught offside.
Corner, West Ham United. Conceded by Ben Gibson.
Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Antonio Barragán (Middlesbrough).
Dimitri Payet (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United).
Attempt missed. Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Cheikhou Kouyaté.
Attempt missed. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Adrián.
Attempt missed. Gastón Ramírez (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Winston Reid.
George Friend (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Michail Antonio (West Ham United).
Offside, West Ham United. Angelo Ogbonna tries a through ball, but Simone Zaza is caught offside.
Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough).
Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt missed. Michail Antonio (West Ham United) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Simone Zaza.
Attempt missed. Simone Zaza (West Ham United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Manuel Lanzini.
Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Simone Zaza (West Ham United).
Substitution, West Ham United. Manuel Lanzini replaces Mark Noble.
Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Pedro Obiang (West Ham United).
Attempt blocked. Marten de Roon (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Álvaro Arbeloa.
Offside, West Ham United. Mark Noble tries a through ball, but Simone Zaza is caught offside.
Foul by Cristhian Stuani (Middlesbrough).
Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Álvaro Negredo replaces Jordan Rhodes.
Víctor Valdés (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Cheikhou Kouyaté (West Ham United).
Attempt blocked. Winston Reid (West Ham United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Dimitri Payet with a cross.
Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Payet stunner earns West Ham draw with Boro