West Ham inquired about taking Carlos Tevez on loan this week, although Manchester City's response to letting their disgraced Argentina striker leave for east London was "unprintable" according to Karren Brady, the Hammers' chief executive.
Whether it was a genuine move to bring Tevez back to Upton Park or just grandstanding, it goes without saying that West Ham could have done with someone of his quality. With 10 minutes to go of this derby they were losing, before John Carew, who had a run-in with his last manager, equalised with a glancing header. Note to Tevez – Carew's goal showed the value of saying "yes" when asked to come off the substitute's bench. It was the Norway forward's first strike since joining from Aston Villa, where he fell out with Gérard Houllier.
Sam Allardyce, the Hammers' manager, also has previous in making outlandish bids for South Americans. Remember his attempt, when he was at Bolton, to bring in Rivaldo? That also came to nothing. But Allardyce did have something to say about Tevez. "We'll have him if he wants to join and the chairman wants to pay for him." At £250,000 a week, that was presumably a short-lived conversation between David Gold and his counterpart at Eastlands. Yet West Ham did have one new Spanish-speaking loanee to show off. But it was only Manuel Almunia, in from Arsenal, who was a touch slow to get down to Glenn Murray's strike from the edge of the box.
Almunia, who is emergency cover for the injured Robert Green, conceded his first goal after only six minutes. Despite their preferred method of playing neat passing football, Palace went the long route and were rewarded. A high clearance from inside their half fell for Jonathan Williams and he deftly touched to Darren Ambrose, who tapped in from six yards. Ten minutes later, West Ham equalised from their first genuine foray. George McCartney's cross went to Carlton Cole, who headed back across goal to Kevin Nolan, and the midfielder was unmarked five yards out.
Palace re-took the lead, seven minutes into the second half. Wilfried Zaha, Palace's last teenage sensation before Williams, 17, turned up, beat two players and found Murray, on the edge of the area.
But Dougie Freedman, the Palace manager, was happy with a point despite twice taking the lead. He said: "It was a fair result, with our guile against their power. Some of my players came into this game as boys and finished it as men."
Crystal Palace (4-4-1-1): Speroni; Parr, McCarthy, Gardner, Moxey; Zaha (Easter, 84), Jedinak, Wright, Ambrose (Ramage, 70); Williams (Scannell, 66); Murray.
West Ham (4-1-4-1): Almunia; Faubert, Tomkins, Faye, McCartney; Diop; Bentley (Sears, 88), Lansbury, Nolan, Collison (Carew, 68); Cole (Baldock, 68).
Referee Kevin Wright.
Man of the match Williams (Crystal Palace).
Match rating 6/10.