West Ham 1 Middlesbrough 1: Boro stop slide but are denied victory by Dimitri Payet

MIDDLESBROUGH managed to avoid a fourth defeat on the spin despite a wonder goal from Dimitri Payet.

Cristhian Stuani, left, celebrates scoring his sides goal with team-mate Viktor Fischer against West Ham (Picture: John Walton/PA).

“It’s a good point, but I’m happier with the performance,” said Boro head coach Aitor Karanka after the draw.

“We knew West Ham weren’t in the best moment, but when they have players like Payet we knew we would have problems so a point was fair.

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“He hasn’t just scored goals like that against us. He’s a top-class player and we knew that. We have to try to stop players like that, but sometimes it’s difficult.”

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic compared Payet to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

The Hammers were trailing thanks to a headed goal from Cristhian Stuani when Payet picked up the ball out on the left.

What happened next, even by Payet’s standards, was remarkable as the France star beat half the Boro team before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

He turned Antonio Barragan on the wing, breezed past Marten de Roon on the edge of the area and then skipped away from Calum Chambers and Ben Gibson before leaving George Friend on his backside as he rolled the ball home.

It was a stunning strike which secured a 1-1 draw for the Hammers after four straight defeats.

Bilic said: “It was a great goal, a brilliant individual goal which brought us back into the game.

“I don’t see many players scoring these type of goals. You see free-kicks, you see volleys, scissor kicks, all different types of goals, but this was like Messi’s goals.

“It was a brilliant, brilliant moment of magic. But we can’t rely on him doing that every week.”

Payet’s touch of genius lit up what was otherwise threatening to turn into another miserable afternoon for West Ham at their new London Stadium.

Their players were already under the spotlight after a team night out on the town on Monday attracted national headlines.

To compound problems the move from Upton Park to the former Olympic Stadium is still not sitting well with some fans, as a section sang ‘We should have stayed at the Boleyn’ and ‘Stratford’s a s***hole, we want to go home’.

West Ham United: Adrian, Byram (Arbeloa 7), Collins, Reid, Ogbonna, Noble (Lanzini 73), Obiang, Kouyate, Tore (Zaza 46), Antonio, Payet. Unused substitutes: Randolph, Feghouli, Fletcher, Fernandes.

Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, de Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Downing, Fischer (Ramirez 59), Rhodes (Negredo 68). Unused substitutes: Ayala, Bernardo, Clayton, Guzan, Traore.

Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Dimitri Payet