Hapless West Ham are hammered by Palace

Brian Jeeves

Crystal Palace v West Ham United – Premier League – Selhurst Park – Report

Crystal Palace 5-2 West Ham United 

West Ham United’s ambitions of securing a European place ahead of next season took a sizable dent as they were thrashed 5-2 by an impressive Crystal Palace side at Selhurst Park.

Understandably, it was an energy-sapped Hammers that crossed the capital following their Europa League tussle with Bayer Leverkusen four days previous. They came up against a Palace side in a confident mood following a single-goal Premier League success over Liverpool at Anfield a week beforehand.

“I think going to Palace is always a difficult encounter. I think all the managers would say it’s never an easy place to go and get a result,” Hammers boss, David Moyes explained. 

“They’ve got a terrific support and it’s another tough game.

“I think they’ve proved tricky opposition because they’ve got good players. They have some really talented individuals.

“The Premier League every week is the same. You can talk big about what the opposition are because the level in the Premier League is so high.”

And so it proved. Moyes was charged with lifting his side following their Europa disappointment and sustaining their challenge for a top-seven finish. But it was the home side that forged ahead in the ninth minute when Michael Olise beat Emerson to Joachim Anderson’s hanging cross to head beyond the stranded Lukasz Fabianski.

Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise scores his side’s first goal against West Ham United at Selhurst Park (Rob Newell CameraSport)

Tyrick Mitchell and Eberechi Eze passed up decent chances to extend Palace’s advantage. But the home side had the contest by the throat. Eze spectacularly doubled their lead after Fabianski had saved Jean-Philippe Mateta’s initial effort.

Incredibly, West Ham found themselves three goals in arrears after just twenty minutes. Emerson turned the ball into his own goal after Phil Hughes had centred. 

Eze was a whisker away, while Fabianski clung to Olise’s dead-ball attempt as Palace continued to torment the East Londoners’ fragile rearguard. Indeed, another strike from Eze sailed over, with the traffic remaining decidedly one-way.

Unsurprisingly, it was 4-0 just after the half-hour mark. Mateta arrived to convert after Eze and Olise had combined, sending the home crowd into raptures and a percentage of the Hammers’ support towards the exits.

Michail Antonio prodded home shortly before the break after a James Ward-Prowse cross had been headed on by Tomas Soucek. Referee, Graham Scott confirmed the goal following a lengthy VAR check.

Dean Henderson saved at the feet of Soucek, while at the other end, Andersen nodded over as the first-half madness continued to unfold. 

Moyes replaced Angelo Ogbonna and Siucek with Ben Johnson and Aaron Cresswell ahead of the second period. Fabianski saved low to his left from Olise as Palace looked to pick up where they’d left off.

Just after the hour, Mateta turned on a pass from Eze before sending a crisp strike beyond Fabianski for the home side’s fifth.

Eze was off-target after tip-going through a static Hammers’ backline, while Mitchell volleyed over amidst more keystone cops defending from the visitors, who in truth, couldn’t have complained had Palace hit double figures!

West Ham comically reduced Palace’s lead in the final minutes when keeper Dean Henderson allowed Mitchell’s lofty backpass to slip past him and into the net. The keeper was eventually credited with the howler. However, the goal did little to suggest that Moyes’s men had been completely out-fought, out-thought and out-played by the entertaining home side.

West Ham United return to Premier League action on Saturday, April 27 when Liverpool visit the London Stadium (12:30pm).

Crystal Palace: Henderson, Clyne, Richards, Andersen (Capt), Mitchell, Muñoz, Wharton (Ahamada 62′), Hughes (Riedewald 81′), Olise (Ayew 69′), Eze (Schlupp 81′), Mateta (Édouard 69′) Subs not used: Matthews (GK), Ward, Holding, Tomkins

Booked: Hughes (foul), Ahamada (foul), Mitchell (foul)

Goals: Olise 7′, Eze 16′, Emerson (own-goal) 20′, Mateta 31′, 64′

West Ham United: Fabiański, Coufal, Zouma (Capt), Ogbonna (Johnson 46′), Emerson, Ward-Prowse, Álvarez (Phillips 75′), Souček (Cresswell 46′), Kudus, Paquetá, Antonio (Ings 75′) Subs not used: Areola (GK), Cornet, Casey, Mubama, Orford

Booked: Antonio (foul), Soucek (foul)

Goals: Antonio 40′, Henderson (own-goal) 90′

Referee: Graham Scott

Assistants: James Mainwaring and Sam Lewis

Fourth Official: James Bell

VAR: Paul Tierney

Assistant VAR: Eddie Smart

Attendance: 25,145

Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk