Crystal Palace 1 West Ham 3: Hammers too good for Eagles

By Rob Virtue on August 23, 2014 5:42 PM |

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West Ham claimed their first points of the season after defeating Crystal Palace 3-1 with a fine display at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

After a heartbreaking loss at the hands of rivals Tottenham Hotspur last week, the Hammers were looking to bounce back.

First chance of the match went to the hosts. Debutant Martin Kelly jinked his way past Ricardo Vaz Te, with the former Liverpool full-back's cross narrowly missing former Hammer Maurone Chamakh's head and was dealt with by the returning James Tomkins.

From the resulting corner, Fraizer Campbell failed to generate any power with his head and it was comfortable for Adrian.

After 14 minutes, Mile Jedinak should have done better with his shot from just outside the box but his scuffed effort was blocked by stand in captain Mark Noble after a neat lay-off by Chamakh.

Six minutes later, Joey O'Brien's whipped cross found the head of Carlton Cole, but his effort was easily handled by Julian Speroni.

With 24 minutes on the clock, Cole's inviting knock down found Aaron Cresswell, who fluffed his lines from 12 yards in what had been the visitors best chance of the game. Cheikhou Kouyate's tame headed effort found the gloves of Speroni in what had been a very even game so far.

A lively looking Mauro Zarate misscontrol a Ricardo Vaz Te through pass, in what could have been a glorious goal scoring opportunity for the Hammers. Zarate then had his low drive from 25 yards out comfortably saved.

Ten minutes before half time, a well worked corner from Vaz Te and Noble eventually found Zarate, whose first time volley from just outside the area beat Speroni, and the Argentine claimed a spectacular first goal for his new club and putting West Ham 1-0 to the good.

Two minutes later, the Palace backline where shaken when Zarate's pass out wide found Stewart Downing, who cut inside Joel Ward, and finished well to double West Ham's lead.

Vaz Te unleashed a fierce drive from 30 yards out that had Speroni scrambling Cresswell's fantastic cross was just out of the reach of Cole, while at the other end, Damien Delaney's volley hit the side netting and capped off an impressive first 45 minutes for Sam Allardyce's men.

The Hammers started off as they left off in the second half. Stewart Downing's corner to the back post found James Tomkins, whose header hit the underside of the crossbar.

One minute later, the Eagles were back in the match. Mile Jedinak's neat flick found former Chamakh, who unleashed a fierce drive from the edge of the box past Adrian.

Palace were applying more pressure and Barry Bannan's powerful strike from 25 yards out stung the hands of Adrian after an hour.

However, just as Palace were looking the more dominant, West Ham's Carlton Cole dealt caretaker boss Keith Millen the ultimate sucker punch. A free kick on the halfway line wasn't dealt with by the Palace defence, and the ball fell to Cole who finished well and edge the Hammers closer to their first three points of the campaign.

West Ham's attacking was looking deadly and a fine move created by Kouyate and Downing nearly resulted in Diafra Sakho making it 4-1 to the Hammers and his first goal on his debut. At the other end, Winston Reid was on hand to deny Yannick Bolasie a sniff at goal with a superb block.

West Ham kept possession well for the remaining 15 minutes and hung onto a precious three points which will boost confidence ahead of their next Premier League game at home to Southampton.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward; Jedinak ©, O'Keefe (Murray, 86); Bolasie, Campbell (Gayle, 75), Bannan (Williams, 75); Chamakh.

Subs: Hennesey, Mariappa, McCarthy, Ledley .

West Ham: Adrian, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Kouyate, Noble ©; Vaz Te, Zarate (Poyet, 86), Downing (Diame, 90); Cole (Sakho, 72).

Subs: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Morrison, Diame, Valencia.

ATT: 24,242

Jack Pinnock