Albion win battle of the Wests

A late goal by Chris Brunt gave West Brom a 3-2 victory over West Ham on Saturday as Gianfranco Zola was given an idea of the size of the task awaiting him as new Hammers boss. Zola, who has replaced Alan Curbishley in the West Ham hotseat, watched from the stands as caretaker-boss Kevin Keen took charge at The Hawthorns.

West Brom's James Morrison ghosted in past Matthew Upson in the opening minute to give the hosts the lead. West Ham pressed hard for the equaliser but were frustrated until Mark Noble, making his 50th Premiership appearance for West Ham, was on hand to tap in following Scott Carson's good save from a header by David di Michele.

The London side carried on playing in their fluid style and were rewarded when Australian defender Lucas Neill gave them the lead as he volleyed home from close range after Upson had headed across goal. However, their joy was cut short as West Brom equalised from the penalty spot through Roman Bednar after goalkeeper Robert Green had hauled down Leon Barnett.

It was even worse for the Londoners shortly before the end as Brunt was on hand to score with a good strike, turning smartly to fire past Green.