Crystal Palace 2-3 West Ham: David Moyes' side go fourth

Crystal Palace 2-3 West Ham: David Moyes’ side go FOURTH after sixth win on the bounce as Tomas Soucek nets twice after Wilfried Zaha had given Eagles an early lead

  • Wilfried Zaha gave Crystal Palace an early lead before Tomas Soucek equalised
  • Soucek then got his second to put the Hammers ahead in the 25th minute
  • Craig Dawson made it 3-1 with a header midway through the second half 
  • Michy Batshuayi scored a late consolation goal in stoppage time for the hosts

After collecting the manager of the year award three times when he was Everton, David Moyes is making a convincing challenge for number four.

When he returned to West Ham in December 2019, Moyes found a club drifting towards the Championship. In less than 13 months, he has transformed them into a hugely impressive unit, solid at the back and dangerous in attack. 

This was a brilliant performance, full of graft and craft and when the final whistle went, West Ham were in the top four, a point above Liverpool. What a turnaround it has been and Moyes – above anyone – deserves credit for it. It is now six consecutive victories in all competitions. 

West Ham came from behind to beat Crystal Palace 3-2 to move into fourth place 

Wilfried Zaha put Palace ahead in the third minute with a shot from just outside the area

Tomas Soucek pulled the Hammers level with a header from a Michail Antonio cross

Soucek put his side 2-1 ahead with a finish at the back post after an Aaron Cresswell cross

‘This was our 10th win of the season which is usually enough to keep you in the league but I want much more than that,’ said Moyes. ‘The players have much more to give and I can sense they want more.

‘Part of a manager’s job is to raise expectations. I am ambitious and I want to compete at the top end of the league. The players have been superb and they are giving me every hope.’

His team fell behind in the third minute to Wilfried Zaha’s goal and then dominated the rest of the match. The outstanding Tomas Soucek’s first-half double put them in front, with Craig Dawson heading the third midway through the second period. 

Michail Antonio hit the post twice and could have scored four. Substitute Michy Batshuayi pulled a goal back for Palace in the final minute of stoppage time but anything less than a West Ham win would have been unjust.

This was a dispiriting evening for Palace, who have won only one of their last nine matches. Roy Hodgson’s teams are usually tough to play against even when below their best and the former England manager would have been worried about how little his team competed.

‘West Ham deserved to win the game,’ said Hodgson, whose assistant Ray Lewington is self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus. ‘Our performance in the first half was nowhere near good enough and the players thought that too.

‘We think Ray caught the virus from a household member. He’s not feeling that bad luckily so it will be a question of retesting towards the end of his isolation period to give him the green light to return.’ 

Palace had not scored for more than four hours before this game but they needed only three minutes to end the drought. Zaha played a one-two with Christian Benteke on the edge of the penalty area and drove a low effort into the bottom corner. 

MATCH FACTS AND RATINGS 

Crystal Palace (4-4-2): Guaita 7; Ward 5.5, Kouyate 5, Cahill 6, Mitchell 5.5; Townsend 5 (Batshuayi 66, 6.5), McArthur 6, Milivojevic 5 (Riedewald 68, 6), Eze 5; Benteke 5.5 (Ayew 68, 6), Zaha 6.

Subs not used: Butland, Van Aanholt, Dann, Clyne, McCarthy, Kelly.

Scorers: Zaha 3, Batshuayi 90

Manager: Roy Hodgson 5

West Ham (4-2-3-1): Fabianski 7.5; Coufal 7, Dawson 8, Ogbonna 7, Cresswell 7.5, Rice 7.5; Bowen 7.5 (Fredericks 82), Benrahma 8 (Noble 87), Fornals 7; Antonio 7 (Yarmolenko 83).

Subs not used: Martin, Balbuena, Lanzini, Diop, Johnson, Odubeko.

Scorers: Soucek 9, 25, Dawson 65

Manager: David Moyes 8.5

Referee: Stuart Attwell 6

Yet West Ham were soon level. Pablo Fornals clipped the ball into the box where Antonio lifted it across for Soucek, who ended a surging run by heading the equaliser from close range – and he added his second in the 25th minute.

Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick from the left escaped Antonio’s head before Soucek collected at the far post and squeezed home from a narrow angle.

Palace were lucky not to go 3-1 down immediately. Former Hammers player Cheikhou Kouyate underhit his attempted back-pass, sending Antonio clear. The strike beat Vicente Guaita but rebounded off the inside of the post to safety.

Six minutes before the break Fornals dummied Said Benrahma’s cross and Cresswell’s angled drive found Antonio, only for the woodwork to rescue Palace again. 

Lukasz Fabianksi then kept the visitors in front early in the second half with a fine double save from Zaha.

The match was delayed for three minutes after a clash of heads between Palace team-mates Kouyate and Gary Cahill as they went for the same ball, though both were cleared to continue.

Antonio came close again when his point-blank effort was somehow clawed away by Guaita following more good work from Benrahma.

The Croatian midfielder now has seven goals in the Premier League this season

Antonio could have had a hat-trick after hitting the post twice and missing another chance

Craig Dawson made it 3-1 with a header from a Jarrod Bowen corner in the 65th minute

Six minutes before the break Fornals dummied Said Benrahma’s cross and Cresswell’s angled drive found Antonio, only for the woodwork to rescue Palace again. 

Lukasz Fabianksi then kept the visitors in front early in the second half with a fine double save from Zaha.

The match was delayed for three minutes after a clash of heads between Palace team-mates Kouyate and Gary Cahill as they went for the same ball, though both were cleared to continue.

Antonio came close again when his point-blank effort was somehow clawed away by Guaita following more good work from Benrahma.

But West Ham were not to be denied for much longer. In the 65th minute Jarrod Bowen’s corner was perfect and Dawson powered the header beyond Guaita.

Another chance went begging for Antonio, this time the forward sticking out his foot to divert Bowen’s wayward effort past the post. Batshauyi then produced a neat finish in the final minute of stoppage time but it could not remove the gloss from a superb West Ham display.

The centre-back beat Palace defender Gary Cahill to the ball to power his header into the net

Michy Batshuayi scored a late consolation for Roy Hodgson’s side in stoppage time




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