Hammers lack spark as Palace pinch a point

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

West Ham United 1-1 Crystal Palace

West Ham United were unable to extend their recent winning Premier League sequence as Crystal Palace earned a share of the spoils from what was a frustrating encounter at the London Stadium.

The South Londoners had been something of a bogey side to David Moyes’ men in E20: “Crystal Palace have always been a tough team to play against throughout the years, the Scotsman explained.

“Roy Hodgson, as a manager, is always really well organised and highly prepared for whoever they’re playing against. 

“It will be a really tough game for us, as are all the games in the Premier League.”

West Ham United boss David Moyes (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Back-to-back Premier League victories over Nottingham Forest and Burnley had relieved Moyes of criticism from a section of the support. His starting eleven was boosted by the return of Jarrod Bowen from injury along with Edson Álvarez and Mohammed Kudus, who sat out the Hammers Europa League victory over Backta Topola during the week.

Palace were unbeaten on their last four visits to the London Stadium. However, they found themselves behind just before the fifteen-minute mark. Vladimir Coufal picked out Kudus, who stroked, right-footed, past Sam Johnstone, although the Palace keeper might have done better with the Ghanaians’ effort which took a slight nick off Jochim Andersen before finding the net.

Andersen was agonisingly close to levelling the score when his dead-ball attempt heavily deflected off Konstantinos Mavropanos and drifted the wrong side of an upright with Alphonse Areola completely wrong-footed. Nevertheless, the opening period offered little in the way of quality as the sides slogged it out in front of an otherwise agitated audience.

West Ham United’s Lucas Paqueta and Crystal Palace’s Joel Ward tussle for possession (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Kudus thought he’d added to his recent impressive haul immediately after the restart, but celebrations were cut short by an assistant flag. Soucek, who took a wild swing at the ball, was deemed offside. Meanwhile, James Ward-Prowse made a timely intervention to deny Palace as Odsonne Édouard lurked.

But within minutes, former Celtic man, Édouard, seized on a wayward pass from Mavropanos before dispatching low beyond Areola to restore parity. It was a bad goal to give away, particularly as the home side seemed to be in control of proceedings.

Emerson was unable to direct Lucas Paqueta’s delightful centre goalwards. But West Ham’s approach was laboured and unimaginative, the match, without incident. The atmosphere, flat. Mavropanos nodded wide. The home side needed a spark.

Without attacking fluidity, West Ham’s greater possession provided little effect. Johnstone clung on to Bowen’s glancing header after substitute Pablo Fornals had picked him out. But there was no way through. Palace extended their impressive sequence in East London with little fuss. It was no more than they deserved.

West Ham United remain in ninth place. They return to Premier League action on Thursday, December 7, when they take on Tottenham Hotspur at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (8:15 pm). 

West Ham United: Areola, Coufal, Mavropanos, Aguerd, Emerson, Álvarez (Fornals 89′), Ward-Prowse, Kudus, Soucek, Lucas Paquetá, Bowen Subs not used: Fabianski (GK), Cresswell, Cornet, Ings, Ogbonna, Benrahma, Kehrer, Mubama

Booked: Ward-Prowse (foul), Coufal (foul)

Goals: Kudus 14′

Crystal Palace: Johnstone, Ward, Andersen, Guéhi, Mitchell, Richards, Lerma, Olise, Hughes (Riedewald 82′), J Ayew, Édouard (Mateta 87′) Subs not used: Tomkins, França de Oliveira, Clyne, Ebiowei, Ahamada, Matthews, Whitworth

Booked: None

Goals: Édouard 53′

Referee: Michael Oliver

Assistants: Stuart Burt and Dan Cook

Fourth Official: Darren Bond

VAR: Peter Bankes

Assistant VAR: Constantine Hatzidakis

Brian Jeeves

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