Crystal Palace 4-3 West Ham: Eagles triumph in seven-goal thriller
Crystal Palace 4-3 West Ham: Roy Hodgson’s revitalised side edge seven-goal thriller thanks to Eberechi Eze’s penalty – as Eagles soar above Chelsea into 11th and Hammers’ relegation fears deepen
- The momentum shifted frequently in the seven-goal thriller at Selhurst Park
- David Moyes’ side found repeated success from set pieces as they fought back
- Nayef Aguerd headed a consolation but the Hammers could not find an equaliser
The game was delayed by 15 minutes but my word, was it worth the wait.
For the neutrals tuning in to see what the Premier League had to offer this Saturday lunchtime, they were served up a delectable defensive disasterclass for their viewing pleasure.
For Crystal Palace and West Ham’s fans, this was a nerve-racking goal-fest full of ups and downs and topless celebrations and VAR frustrations and ‘you’re going down’ and ‘we’re not, we’re not’.
It was beautifully bonkers and, in the end, it was Palace who took the points from a game in which seven different scorers got the goals. They are now up to that magical 40-point mark and above Chelsea as they continue this marvellous renaissance under Roy Hodgson.
Unfortunately for David Moyes, West Ham are still in this race against relegation. Very much so. This made it two defeats in four days, with Manchester City and Manchester United to follow in the next week.
Crystal Palace saw off a spirited West Ham challenge to secure three points at Selhurst Park
The result marks the continued revitalisation of the club since Roy Hodgson’s return in March
Moyes left unhappy with Palace’s fourth goal – a penalty won and scored by Eberechi Eze. It was scrutinised by VAR Jarred Gillett, who felt there was not enough wrong with it to overturn referee Craig Pawson’s decision.
Ultimately, that was the difference between the two teams here.
Seven minutes before the 12.30pm start, the announcement arrived – kick-off would be delayed by 15 minutes due to turnstile issues which had left thousands of supporters outside. West Ham weren’t thrilled with the short notice. They were limber, lining up to walk out and, truth be told, wouldn’t mind the Holmesdale Road End being slightly less boisterous than usual.
Palace could not push kick-off back any further, lest they risk eating into the 3pm blackout. Once the players were finally on the pitch, one name was being chanted on repeat. It was that of Wilfried Zaha, the 30-year-old captain who is out of contract come July.
Unlike the kick-off, West Ham did not delay taking the lead. They scored within 10 minutes as Tomas Soucek grabbed his first goal since August. Michael Olise’s headed clearance from Jarrod Bowen’s corner was poor. Soucek accepted his gift, blasting the ball beyond Sam Johnstone for 1-0.
It was 1-1 after 15 minutes with Olise making amends for his mistake. Played onside by Kurt Zouma, Jordan Ayew burst behind West Ham’s back line and beat Lukasz Fabianski.
Ayew could not contain his excitement as he ripped off his shirt. It transpired Zouma was injured in the process of trying to stop him from scoring, forcing West Ham into an unwanted substitution.
Tomas Soucek gave West Ham the lead in the London derby with a goal after just nine minutes
But Palace hit back after Jordan Ayew slid his strike beyond West Ham keeper Lukasz Fabianski
The hosts took the initiative and Wilfried Zaha gave Roy Hodgson’s side the lead on 20 minutes
Jeffrey Schlupp added a third on 30 minutes to double the home team’s advantage
The visitors were a consistent threat from set pieces and Michail Antonio scored from a corner
CRYSTAL PALACE: (4-3-3) Johnstone, Mitchell, Guehi, Andersen, Ward, Schlupp, Doucoure (Milivojevic 90+5), Eze, Zaha (Edouard 84), Ayew, Olise
Subs not used: Tomkins, Lokonga, Guaita, Mateta, Hughes, Richards, Riedewald
Goals: Ayew 15′, Zaha 20′, Schlupp 30′, Eze 66′ (P)
Coach: Roy Hodgson
WEST HAM: (4-2-3-1) Fabianski, Emerson (Cresswell 46), Aguerd, Zouma (Ogbonna 19), Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Fornals (Benrahma 46), Paqueta (Ings 69), Bowen, Antonio (Cornet 89)
Subs not used: Lanzini, Downes, Areola, Kehrer
Goals: Soucek 9′, Antonio 35′, Aguerd 72′
Bookings: Coufal, Soucek
Coach: David Moyes
Referee: Craig Pawson
Venue: Selhurst Park
While Zouma was limping down the tunnel – to chants of ‘that’s how your cat feels’ – Palace took the lead. Olise’s low ball through the six-yard box trickled to Zaha at back post. Unmarked by Vladimir Coufal, he made it 2-1 after 20 minutes.
One of the loudest cheers of the day was reserved for the 23rd minute when Hodgson controlled a ball dropping from the Gods. Turns out you never lose it, 75 or not.
In the 29th minute, it was 3-1, and West Ham only had themselves to blame. Nayef Aguerd tried to play out from the back by passing to Soucek, who had Jeffrey Schlupp breathing down his neck. Soucek lost the ball and Schlupp slid it under Fabianski.
West Ham’s players held an on-pitch enquiry, with Declan Rice waving his arms as if to say: ‘Get your act together, all of you.’
In the 35th minute, the game’s fifth goal arrived. Emerson’s corner was flicked on by Soucek towards the back post. There, Michail Antonio was waiting to make it 3-2 with Cheick Doucoure playing him onside as Palace bemoaned further dismal defending at a set-piece.
We then experienced a goal drought as the scoreline stayed the same until half time. Palace wanted help before the break, arguing that Zaha was pulled over by Coufal in the penalty area.
Referee Craig Pawson said it was six of one, half a dozen the other, and their battling continued in the second half with Coufal booked for a cynical trip on Zaha. ‘He’s just too good for you,’ sang Palace’s supporters at West Ham’s right back.
The referee contentiously awarded Palace a penalty for a foul on Eberechi Eze and the 24-year-old duly converted from the spot
Nayef Aguerd notched a consolation from another corner following a VAR check
But despite a lengthy stoppage time Moyes’ side were unable to find an equaliser
Palace finally had their penalty in the 63rd minute when Eze and Ayew played a one-two. Eze dropped down under pressure from Aguerd, who was adamant he did not touch his opponent. Pawson pointed to the spot and, as soft as it was, VAR Jarred Gillett said there was nothing clearly or obviously wrong with the decision.
Eze took the spot-kick himself and made it 4-2, sending Fabianski the wrong way.
In the 72nd minute, it was 4-3, and it was deja vu from earlier. There was another corner, this time from Bowen. Another flick-on at the near post by Soucek. Another goal, Aguerd the scorer. VAR Gillett searched for a handball to disallow it but could not find one.
This was West Ham’s fifth goal scored from a corner in their last six Premier League games. They’re getting better at their choreography and tried to score a late equaliser from other similar scenarios. It wasn’t to be. Palace are out of this fight for survival, but West Ham aren’t.
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