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Five things we learnt: Michail can’t celebrate, not all about Payet, the old Van Aanholt

27 Feb

European football at the Olympic Stadium?

West Ham climbed to fifth place after this lunchtime win and suddenly the prospect of European football at their new stadium looks very much on.

With both Mark Noble and sub Andy Carroll hitting the woodwork, they will claim this was a deserved three points.

But the hosts were made to look second best to relegation-threatened Sunderland for long periods in the second half with Sam Allardyce unlucky not to mark his return to Upton Park with at least a point.

Hammers fans probably had this one down as a home banker before kick-off but come May, it may yet go down as one of the big results of their season.

Back to the old Van Aanholt

The left-back has been Sunderland’s most improved player in recent weeks, not just chipping in with vital goals but looking far better defensively than he did at the start of the season.

But Van Aanholt slipped back into bad old habits when he allowed Michail Antonio to nick the ball off him and then drift past him far too easily for the opening goal after half an hour.

That apart, PVA did not too badly but one moment of madness cost the visitors a vital point.

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