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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PHOTOS: Carroll heads West Ham to third spot, Leicester lose

EPL PHOTOS: Carroll heads West Ham to third spot, Leicester lose

December 08, 2014 10:11 IST

Images from the Enlish Premier League matches played on Sunday

Andy Carroll of West Ham celebrates scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Swansea City at Boleyn Ground in London on Sunday

Andy Carroll of West Ham celebrates scoring the second goal against Swansea City during the English Premier League match at Boleyn Ground in London on Sunday. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

England forward Andy Carroll returned to goal-scoring form with two thumping headers in West Ham United's 3-1 victory over Swansea City that lifted the London club to third in the Premier League on Sunday.

Carroll, without a goal since March, headed his side level just before halftime after Wilfried Bony had put Swansea ahead against the run of play.

He struck again early in the second half before top scorer Diafra Sakho lashed home a third as West Ham, one of this season's surprise packages, registered their third successive league victory.

Swansea had goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski sent off shortly after they fell behind for impeding Sakho.

West Ham have 27 points, one ahead of fourth-placed Southampton and two clear of fifth-placed Manchester United who face each other on Monday.

Hutton scores to give Villa comeback win

Alan Hutton of Aston Villa celebrates scoring against Leicester City on Sunday

Alan Hutton of Aston Villa celebrates scoring against Leicester City on Sunday. Photograph: Darren Staples/Reuters

Aston Villa also came back from a goal down to condemn bottom club Leicester City to eighth defeat in 10 matches -- Alan Hutton scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory.

Ciaran Clark equalised for the hosts after Leonardo Ulloa gave Leicester the lead with his first goal since September.

Villa are now unbeaten in five games.

Carroll, who has endured serious foot and ankle injuries since joining West Ham in 2012, was too powerful for Swansea's defence, especially in the air.

"It was a great feeling, it is fantastic to be back on the pitch and play as many games as I have in the last few weeks," Carroll, who returned from his latest long-term injury last month, told the BBC.

'We have fought back twice in a week to get the points'

Wilfried Bony of Swansea City is closed down by West Ham's Winston Reid (left) Kevin Nolan and Cheikhou Kouyate (right) during their match on Sunday 

Wilfried Bony of Swansea City is closed down by West Ham's Winston Reid (left) Kevin Nolan and Cheikhou Kouyate (right) during their match on Sunday. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

"There is nothing better than scoring goals as a striker, so I was desperate to get a goal and it is great feeling.

"It is never a good sign going behind but we have fought back twice in a week to get the points, which is fantastic."

West Ham dominated the opening exchanges with their newly-adopted fluent, passing football but only managed to draw one sharp stop from Fabinaski.

They were left to rue their failure to create the chances their possession warranted when Jefferson Montero's smart cut back was steered in by Bony for his seventh goal of the season.

Both sides created chances with the lively Gylfi Sigurdsson drawing a save from Adrian while Cheikhou Kouyate and Alex Song were wasteful in promising positions for the hosts. 

Sakho twice hit the post before finally adding a deserved goal

Diafra Sakho (right) of West Ham United celebrates with Andy Carroll after scoring his team's third goal against Swansea City

Diafra Sakho (right) of West Ham United celebrates with Andy Carroll after scoring his team's third goal against Swansea City on Sunday. Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

With halftime looming Carroll restored parity when he met Carl Jenkinson's deep cross with a thunderous far post header.

Sakho was introduced from the bench at the break and was lively following his return from injury.

Bony clipped the top of the crossbar with a fierce drive but West Ham responded with Carroll leaping highest to cannon Stuart Downing's corner past Leon Britton's attempted clearance.

Within minutes Fabianski was shown a straight red card after dashing out of his area and barging Sakho.

Sakho twice hit the post before finally adding a deserved goal with an emphatic finish.

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