West Ham 1 Hull City 0: Luckless Tigers hit rock-bottom
Hull City hit the woodwork three times before succumbing to a defeat against West Ham that sent them bottom of the Premier League.
Mark Noble's penalty secured back-to-back wins for West Ham in a 1-0 victory over a luckless Hull City side who now sit bottom after being denied by the post three times on Saturday.
Despite losing their last six away games in the Premier League, drawing a blank in the previous four, Mike Phelan's men produced an excellent display at London Stadium and were repeatedly denied a goal by the narrowest of margins.
Dieumerci Mbokani spurned an excellent one-on-one opportunity as he was the first to be denied by the woodwork, while Noble headed against his own upright in a second half that also saw Andrew Robertson hit the post.
The Hammers, seeking back-to-back league wins for only the second time this season, had chances of their own, notably when substitute Andre Ayew's header forced Robertson into a block on the line.
But the decisive moment arrived 14 minutes from time, when referee Lee Mason saw fit to award the hosts a questionable penalty and Noble converted.
A deflated Hull could muster no response as they slumped to the foot of the table for the first time this season.
Tigers goalkeeper David Marshall went down injured inside the opening 10 minutes, but remained on the pitch despite reporting a groin injury.
Dimitri Payet carried the Hammers' greatest threat in the opening exchanges and the Frenchman's jinking run ended in a shot that was blocked by Curtis Davies.
But it was the visitors who went closest to a first-half goal, with Mbokani collecting Aaron Cresswell's poor 21st-minute backpass and beating Darren Randolph, only to see his effort hit the inside of the post and stay out.
Randolph was then called into action to repel Harry Maguire's powerful header as Hull continued to ask questions of Slaven Bilic's side.
The hosts had another narrow escape when Pedro Obiang stabbed wide of his own goal to thwart the onrushing Maguire.
Bilic's dissatisfaction was evident as he made two changes at the break, introducing Ayew and Edimilson Fernandes.
And still it was Hull who pressed and they hit the woodwork twice just before the hour mark, Noble's attempted headed clearance clipped the outside Randolph's right-hand upright, while Robertson's stunning angled effort hit the other upright.
Robertson had to come to the rescue at the other end as he kept out Ayew's header on the line, with Cheikhou Kouyate performing similar heroics to deny Sam Clucas in an increasingly lively encounter.
But when Michail Antonio went down in the box under the slightest of contact from Tom Huddlestone, Noble – who missed in the midweek win over Burnley before slotting in the rebound – stepped up to roll home the spot-kick and seal the points.
It was harsh the visitors, who have now lost seven in a row against West Ham and must face up to the stark statistic that 21 of the last 24 sides bottom at Christmas have been relegated.
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