1. There’s hope
There always was hope, of course, and no-one really imagined that West Ham would spend the season in the bottom three before falling into Championship obscurity. But over the interminable international break with only the nightmare of losses, home draws and London Stadium woes as company, the night sweats came once or twice.
2. Slaven has a plan
He’s a football thinker. He outwitted his opposite number Alan Pardew keeping the Palace wingers quiet while finding the room to create chances. West Ham not only dominated in the first half they played some gorgeous football that the London Stadium needs to see. Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell were deployed as wing-backs in a 3-5-2, advancing far up the pitch – resulting in a win, and a crucial clean sheet.
Slaven Bilic said afterwards: “We need more than one game, more than one win. It is not about the system but much more about the approach and composure we have.”
3. West Ham like it at ‘home’
It was rainy, it was dark. It was miserable. They were in a traditional stadium with fans, in sheds, hyped on derby fervour, breathing down their neck. For a moment, with eyes squinted, it could have been the Boleyn Ground on a miserable Tuesday in December. Perhaps, just perhaps, the players felt the tingle of something familiar in Selhurst Park. The fans felt it too.
4. The players are motivated
Mark Noble, who speaks for West Ham better than anybody, said before the match that footballers do feel pain. Afterwards, fist clenched, he showed how much it meant to land the three points. The players toiled in atrocious conditions to fashion a result, keeping a good Palace at bay with 10 men. It meant something.
He said: “That win was a little boost for us. Just to show we do care. We really, really care. The way we’ve trained, the way we are as players, it’s really important to us.
“When you look at it, by all accounts we’ve had a terrible start, our worst in how many years. But we’re only a point now behind Leicester, who won the league last season. Start winning a couple of games and it doesn’t look so bad after all.
5. Cresswell’s a bonus – and a loss
The fury greeted by the decision to give him two yellows and a red within a minute was not just the result of the judgment, but testimony to Aaron Cresswell’s performance on his return. He has been missed.
And now will be missed again as West Ham look to bring the same kind of effort and style back to the London Stadium against whipping boys Sunderland.