Crystal Palace 1 West Ham United 0 match report: Rare Marouane Chamakh goal gives Tony Pulis home take-off

Striker's first goal in 11 games sees Eagles soar off bottom of table

Selhurst Park

If West Ham United came to Selhurst Park to see what a team under threat looked like, they will have been unpleasantly surprised. Sam Allardyce's side fell to a dismal 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and it was very obvious indeed that they are in for a long and difficult winter, in which they must fight against the drop just as fiercely as anyone else.

For all the experience of their manager, the superiority of their players, their years of top flight nous,

West Ham are now just three points and four positions above Tony Pulis' Palace. It was their new manager's first home game and bounces do happen but they did at least play with all the spirit and discipline he demands from his sides. They even scored their eighth goal of the season, Marouane Chamakh heading in the only goal just before the break.

“It was a great result,” said Pulis afterwards. “The players have been fantastic. The attitude and commitment has been absolutely wonderful form the first minute I walked in.”

Allardyce could be nowhere near as happy with his players. They did have an equaliser questionably disallowed but his team were poor throughout. Sam Allardyce did not give the post-match press-conference, assistant manager Neil McDonald saying he was still “a bit livid”, with the officials and his team.

The lack of a usable fit striker is the story of their season. Allardyce gave Carlton Cole his first league start for eight months and was rewarded with not very much. He turned back to Modibo Maiga for the last half hour but without visible improvement.

“We did not have enough cutting edge, that was the problem for us” said Sam Allardyce afterwards, not for the first time this year.

The closest West Ham came to scoring were two free-kicks in either half. Just before Chamakh put Palace ahead, Mark Noble had a free-kick on the edge of the box which he flicked over the wall into the path of Kevin Nolan. The captain, usually a master in these situations, could not quite get enough power on his swivel-volley.

Then, mid-way through the second half, Joe Cole swung in a free-kick from deep. It eventually fell to Stewart Downing on the edge of the box, and he beat Julian Speroni at his near post. That would have been 1-1 but Lee Mason spotted a foul - seemingly by James Tomkins on Chamakh - and ruled it out. McDonald said afterwards that West Ham were “very disappointed” with the decision and understandably so.

But West Ham have now taken five points and scored five goals from their last seven league games, three of each of those coming against from the fatal generosity of Martin Jol's Fulham team. When Andy Carroll returns they will certainly improve but until then they just do not have an effective way of playing.

Palace do not have an awful lot but they did at least have that, using their two muscular forwards well enough to cause enough trouble for West Ham's defence - again lacking the security of Winston Reid. Palace did not try to play expansive football, but they did not need to.

All it took, as is often the case in games like this, was a flash of skill and a quick slip to create the goal-scoring chance. With three minutes left before the break, and no obvious signs of a forthcoming breakthrough, Barry Bannan hit a poor corner to the near post. When the ball came back to him, though, he produced the game's single moment of technical excellence, clipping in a delightful curling left-footed cross, the touch of the match.

Chamakh had drifted away from Joey O'Brien and it was a simple chance, which he nodded in between Noble and Nolan on the line for West Ham. Allardyce called it “the most ridiculous goal, from our point of view, that I've seen for a very long time”.

West Ham needed to improve after the break but in fact they got worse, gifting Palace the chances with which they should have killed the game. James Collins had to deflect a Puncheon shot onto the post, Kagisho Dikgacoi missed a free close-range header and Jerome raced through on goal but shot straight at Jaaskelainen.

After the disallowed goal there was very little threat. The closest West Ham got to unsettling Palace was when Ravel Morrison pushed Joel Ward in the face after the final whistle, for which he was booked, putting him out of the game at Anfield on Saturday. December will be a tough month.

Man of the match Bannan.

Match rating 4/10.

Referee L Mason (Bolton).

Attendance 23,891.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Jodie Stimpson crosses the finishing line to win gold in the women's triathlon
Commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan stars as Christian Grey in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie
filmFirst look at Jamie Dornan in Fifty Shades of Grey trailor
Life and Style
Phillips Idowu, Stella McCartney and Jessica Ennis
fashionMcCartney to continue designing Team GB Olympics kit until 2016
Sport
Shinji Kagawa and Reece James celebrate after the latter scores in Manchester United's 7-0 victory over LA Galaxy
football
Sport
Farah returns to the track with something to prove
Commonwealth games
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game