A narrow one goal win was enough for West Ham United to go level on points with leaders Southampton in the Championship. Even though West Ham United have played a game more than Southampton, this is a crucial advantage for Sam Allardyce’s men.

The 1-0 win against Barnsley will take them to 43 points from 22 matches, while Southampton also have the same points tally but from 21 matches. Papa Bouba Diop is usually known for his defensive abilities, but he turned out to be the unlikeliest of scorers for West Ham United.

The giant former Portsmouth player scored the goal just 6 min into the match. It proved to be the winner eventually, as West Ham defended valiantly throughout the match.

Carlton Cole wasted a good chance to extend West Ham United’s lead, while Frederic Piquionne also wasted a very good chance. They could have been made to pay for the lacklustre finishing by Barnsley, who had an extraordinary header from Rob Edwards saved by Rob green. Mark Noble’s corner led to the goal in the first half itself. The result leaves West Ham United two points ahead of third placed Middlesbrough, who look like real contenders for the title this time around.

“It was a great debut from [Daniel] Potts both in defence and attack. It was a fantastic result under the circumstances, I’m not sure anyone’s squad could cope with being as stretched as ours is in this league,” West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce said after the match. For Barnsley, the away defeat will be tough to take, but they will know that there will be plenty of chances for them to inch closer to the play-offs positions. They remain in the 13th position in the table following this defeat.