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Premier League match report: West Ham 1-1 Middlesbrough

Cristhian Stuani, left, was on the scoresheet. Photo: PA

If the letter in the match programme is to believed, West Ham's joint chairman David Sullivan told fans the club are "remaining resolutely positive" despite the club's recent bad form. The east London outfit have won just once in the opening six games, losing the other five.

For the game against Middlesborough, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic made four changes to the team that lost 3-0 to Southampton at the London Stadium last week. Hammers' manager Bilic also tinkered with the positioning of his players with man of the moment Michail Antonio deployed as a striker.

Dimitri Payet scored a stunner. Credit: PA

In the first-half the Hammers looked to put an end to the wrongs of the last few weeks and head into the international break with a win. Despite early possession from the home team, basic passes and a crosses seemed to go astray.

It was the away team who largely dominated the first 45 minutes. So comfortable on the ball, it was hard to believe Middlesborough were the team who had just been promoted to England's top league. Captain Mark Noble's effort which hit the underside of the crossbar gave West Ham fans little encouragement but it was Middlesborough fans who went into the half-time break the more happier.

West Ham fans weren't too happy. Credit: PA

It was the second-half where both teams came alive. West Ham boss Bilic made a half-time substitution bringing on summer signing Simone Zaza and releasing Michail Antonio in the No.10 role.

Boro needed goal-line technology to confirm the first goal of the game. Uruguayan striker Cristhian Stuani scored a powerful header from a corner. Cue Dimitri Payet. The West Ham winger who was largely quiet for the first half levelled the game on the 56 minute with a brilliant individual effort curling the ball pass Middlesborough goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The winger seemed lively, but the rest of his team-mates didn't carry his attitude.

The game ended 1-1, all in all a point seemed to have suited both sides going into the international break. Bilic would rue some of the wasted chances from his men but it seems more than a week of team bonding is needed to get his team back to winning ways.

Match attendance: 56,945 Man of the Match: Dimitri Payet