Anelka bags brace in six goal thriller at Upton Park

West Ham and West Brom played out a wildly entertaining six goal thriller at Upton Park that saw both sides share the spoils with a 3-3 draw.

Joe Cole smashed the hosts in front straight from the off but a quickfire Nicolas Anelka brace saw the Baggies go in on top at half-time.

Modibo Maiga made it 2-2 before Kevin Nolan finished from close range to put the Hammers back in front however it was West Brom youngster Saido Beharino who had the last laugh, slotting home smartly to make it 3-3.

Home boss Sam Allardyce made two changes to the team that lost 3-1 to Arsenal on Boxing Day, with Razvan Rat coming in for the injured James Collins and Jussi Jaaskelainen recalled in goal.

Anelka returned to the West Brom starting XI for the first time since October, with stand in boss Keith Downing also bringing in a host of fresh faces including Gareth McAuley, Chris Brunt and Berahino.

Unfortunately the glut of changes hardly gave West Brom the impetus they were aiming for, as Joe Cole put the hosts 1-0 up in under five minutes after slamming in at the near post following Jaaskelainen’s punt upfield.

Carlton Cole was a nuisance for the entirety of the first half, with the striker’s hold up play creating a few opportunities for the Hammers. Nolan saw his effort well blocked, before Carlton Cole himself went close with a couple headers.

Guy demel rifled against the post as West Ham attempted to double their lead before the interval however it was the Baggies who were to go in at half-time on the ascendancy, with Anelka coolly clipping beyond Jaaskenlainen to level things before prodding home during a goalmouth scramble shortly after to put his side 2-1 up.

West Ham seized control after the interval, with substitute Maiga bending beyond Ben Foster to make things even. Maiga then turned provider, nodding down in the box for Nolan to lash home.

The home side’s lead barely lasted seconds though before Beharino slid a classy finish in off the post to make it 3-3.

The England u21 youngster then stepped up to bend a beautiful free-kick off the post as the game entered its final ten minutes, however that was to be the last moment of note, with the game finishing 3-3.