Frederic Piquionne's controversial goal has let to an unfortunate injury, one that should have seen Robert Huth punished. While the striker's chip was arcing into net, the Stoke defender lunged into Piquionne's leg in a desperate attempt to prevent the equalizing goal. Huth ended-up jumping into Piquionne's lower leg, and while the French attacker tried to continue, he has now had to been removed from the match, clutching at his right ankle.
During such a controversial play it was easy to lose track of what Huth had done, particularly since he had altruistic motives (prevent the goal). Still, it was a very reckless play. Piquionne was standing upright, on the goal line, waiting to see if the ball was going to fall short of a goal. Huth was desperate and leaped, but desperation is no excuse for putting another player's health at risk. It was, at a minimum, a yellow card offense.
In Piquionne's place, Jonathan Spector has been brought on, a substitution that threatens to change West Ham's shape. Avram Grant had been playing a 4-3-3, with Piquionne, Carlton Cole and Victor Obinna in front of Mark Noble, Scott Parker, and Thomas Hitzlsperger. Spector is a defender-cum-midfielder who is unlikely to play an outright attacker. Instead (and early) he is being deployed to the right, with Obinna occupying the other side of Cole.