Zola hails West Ham matchwinner Ilan

West Ham United boss Gianfranco Zola was delighted with matchwinner Ilan after their 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

West Ham United boss Gianfranco Zola was delighted with matchwinner Ilan after their 1-0 victory over Sunderland.

Ilan is fast emerging as West Ham's unlikely saviour, having followed up his equaliser against Everton last weekend with a vital strike today.

The 29-year-old, who was making only his second start for the club, latched onto Carlton Cole's downward header to earn West Ham a vital three points.

"Ilan has done very well," said Zola. "Last week he came on and he scored a very important goal for us and he has made his way through to the team. That goal he scored today was unbelievable.

"I am delighted. He is becoming very effective for us. He is making a big difference but I don't think we have seen the best of him because he is still adapting his football.

"But the understanding he has with Carlton Cole is good."

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