West Ham held 3-3 by West Brom in Premier League

West Ham will head into 2014 stuck in the Premier League’s

relegation zone after twice surrendering the lead to draw 3-3 with

West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling match at Upton Park on

Saturday.

Former France striker Nicolas Anelka scored twice in a

five-minute span – his first goals for West Brom – to put his team

2-1 ahead at halftime after Joe Cole had given West Ham a

fourth-minute lead with a low shot.

Substitute Modibo Maiga curled a shot underneath goalkeeper Ben

Foster for West Ham’s equalizer in the 65th before heading across

goal for Kevin Nolan to net a flying volley two minutes later, the

captain’s first goal since the start of the season.

That looked like giving the hosts a victory in what

under-pressure manager Sam Allardyce had labeled a ”must-win”

game. But Saido Berahino’s low finish in the 69th earned a point

for West Brom, which is unbeaten in three matches under caretaker

manager Keith Downing.

Of the teams to start the day in the bottom six, only West Ham

hasn’t changed its manager since the start of the season.

”Any of the six teams in trouble, if Sam is out of a job, they

hire him to keep them up,” Nolan said. ”The chairmen have been

brilliant with him, they understand we’ve had injuries. We’re all

in it together.

”We feel we’ll be in the Premier League come the end of the

season.”

West Ham, which has won just one of its last 12 games, was

fortunate to come away with a point after Berahino curled a free

kick against the post in the 82nd.

By running on to Chris Brunt’s pass and clipping home a finish

in the 40th to make it 1-1, Anelka became the ninth player to score

for six different Premier League clubs. It was his first goal in

the English top division since August 2011.