Sam Allardyce endured an unhappy return to Upton Park as Sunderland slipped to a 1-0 defeat against West Ham.
Michail Antonio’s first-half goal left Allardyce empty-handed and the Black Cats stuck in the Premier League relegation zone.
Yet the former Hammers boss will be wondering how his side did not take something from the game after Jermain Defoe and Jack Rodwell missed glorious chances after the break.
Article continues below ...
The build-up to the game centred around Allardyce, whose relationship with the West Ham supporters was strained to say the least during his four years in charge.
He may have anticipated a hot reception yet nothing more sinister than a polite smattering of applause greeted the 61-year-old as he took his seat in the opposition dug-out.
The opening 20 minutes of the match itself was also perhaps a little too cordial, with neither side mustering an attempt at goal.
But the game woke up when Manuel Lanzini tip-toed across the 18-yard line and teed up home skipper Mark Noble, whose fierce drive from the edge of the area was tipped onto the crossbar by Vito Mannone.
At the other end, Hammers keeper Adrian’s attempts at ball juggling almost backfired as he was charged down by Wahbi Khazri, but luckily for the Spaniard the ball spun to safety.
Moments later Khazri whipped in a swerving, dipping free-kick which clipped the top of Adrian’s goal.