Hammers held by battling Palace

West Ham United v Crystal Palace – Premier League – London Stadium – Report

West Ham United 2-2 Crystal Palace

West Ham United was handed a slight reality check as their recent bogey team, Crystal Palace grabbed a share of the spoils from an otherwise entertaining Premier League encounter at the London Stadium.

Two wins from two – Top of the Premier League – But facing a Palace side that has, at times, become a thorn in the Hammers’ side. Moyes remained pragmatic: “It is a game which we treat the same as all the others,” the Scotsman explained. 

“Patrick Vieira has been an unbelievable player and he has a really good managerial background and he’s learned from, from different situations as part of the Man City group and then went and managed in France and is now back in the Premier League.

“He is learning his trade in the Premier League as a manager, he certainly knows his way around as a footballer and knows how good teams look so we’re expecting a really tough game.”

And so it proved. Palace – perhaps free from the weight of expectation – who appeared the sharper during the game’s infancy. Michail Antonio and Tomas Suceck found their route to goal blocked as the hosts attempted to establish a foothold. Meanwhile, the South Londoners snapped, snarled and closed down the space, epitomising the work ethic displayed by their manager during his own successful career as a player.

Joel Ward hooked Antonio’s header off the line, denying the Hammers number nine his fiftieth Premier League goal for the East Londoners – the balance of power rapidly shifting towards the home side. And seven minutes before the interval they made the breakthrough. Antonio instrumental – Pablo Fornals enhancing his ever-improving CV with a neat finish from close range. 

Palace stopper Vincent Guaita thwarted Said Benrahma with a save low to his right – this after Jarrod Bowen had fashioned an opening. The latter then fired over as West Ham began to turn the screw. 

But the proverbial thorn in their side was about to strike. Palace, content to play on the break at this stage, struck back when Conor Gallagher somehow squeezed the ball inside the far post from an acute angle – Fabianski left disappointed after getting a big hand to the effort – Christain Benteke involved in the move.

Palace had found their second wind and a little belief to boot. But before they could make any headway, West Ham struck again. Fifty Premier League goals for Antonio. An emphatic finish after bullying Joachim Anderson to create the opening.

Michail Antonio netted his fiftieth Premier League goal for West Ham United (Kieran Galvin ActionFotoSport)

Nevertheless, Palace hadn’t lost that belief. Within two minutes, Gallagher had spun on a sixpence before rifling beyond Fabianski – James McArthur instrumental – Game on!

It was now up for grabs. Hammers substitute Andriy Yarmolenko was too high, while former West Ham midfielder, Cheikhou Kouyate headed over in stoppage-time when it appeared easier to hit the target. 

West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday, September 11 when they face Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium (3pm).

West Ham United: Lukasz Fabiański, Vladimir Coufal, Craig Dawson, Angelo Ogbonna, Aaron Cresswell, Declan Rice (Capt), Tomas Souček, Jarrod Bowen (Manuel Lanzini 79’), Pablo Fornals (Andriy Yarmolenko 86’), Said Benrahma, Michail Antonio Subs not used: Alphonse Areola (GK), Jamal Baptiste, Ryan Fredericks, Ben Johnson, Issa Diop, Conor Coventry, Mark Noble

Booked: Declan Rice (foul)

Goals: Pablo Fornals 38’, Michail Antonio 68’

Crystal Palace: Vincente Guaita, Joel Ward, Marc Guéhi, Joachim Andersen, Tyrick Mitchell, Cheikhou Kouyaté, James McArthur (Capt) (Jeffrey Schlupp 87’), Wilfried Zaha, Conor Gallagher, Andre Ayew, Christian Benteke Subs not used: Jack Butland (GK), James Tomkins, Jairo Riedewald, Martin Kelly, Reece Hannam, Robert Street, Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, Jean-Philippe Mateta

Booked: None

Goals: Conor Gallagher 58’, 70’

Referee: Stuart Attwell 

Assistants: Dan Cook and Harry Lennard

Fourth Official: Josh Smith

VAR: Graham Scott

Assistant VAR: Simon Long

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]