Crystal Palace vs West Ham result: High-flying Hammers go fourth with impressive away victory

Palace 2-3 West Ham: A Soucek brace helped the visitors to their sixth straight win in all competitions

George Sessions
Tuesday 26 January 2021 20:20
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Touch Challenge: Michail Antonio

A Tomas Soucek double saw West Ham come from behind to defeat Crystal Palace 3-2 at Selhurst Park and go fourth in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Hammers coach David Moyes watched his in-form team start poorly as Wilfried Zaha netted the opener just three minutes in.

But it was largely one-way traffic thereafter, with Soucek scoring twice before the break to take his tally for the season to seven before Craig Dawson sealed the victory with a fine header in the second half.

The Hammers have now won their last six games in all competitions and are up to fourth, which has put them in the mix for European football next term.

READ MORE: Southampton host Arsenal in Premier League

Visa issues ensured Palace new boy Jean-Philippe Mateta was not part of the squad, which meant Christian Benteke led the line for the hosts and he made an early impact in an action-packed start.

Roy Hodgson saw his side take the lead after only three minutes when Zaha netted his ninth goal of the season with a drilled effort from 20 yards. It occurred after the Eagles attacker had played a smart one-two with Benteke on the edge of the area, but West Ham were not behind for long.

Pablo Fornals’ cross looked to be going out of play, but Michail Antonio chased the seemingly lost cause and hooked the ball across goal for Soucek to head in his sixth of the campaign. In doing so, the Czech Republic international became the outright top goalscorer for the Hammers in the Premier League this season but was not finished there.

Midway through the first half Soucek doubled his and the visitors’ tally for the night when he controlled Aaron Cresswell’s free-kick and steered the ball in from a tight angle. VAR had to check for offside but the goal was given and Palace were fortunate not to be 3-1 down when Antonio raced clear and saw his effort hit the inside of a post before it bounced away to safety.

With the carrot of moving into the top four with a victory, West Ham looked to press home their momentum and the frame of the goal again saved Hodgson’s side again six minutes before the break when Cresswell’s shot-cross ricocheted off Antonio and onto the other post.

Frustration had started to get the better of the hosts prior to half-time, with Zaha and James McArthur exchanging words, but they almost got back on level terms two minutes into the second half. Ebere Eze sent goalscorer Zaha through and yet Lukasz Fabianski made himself big to impressively deny the Ivory Coast ace a second goal.

Moyes’ men should have put the game to bed close to the hour mark when Said Benrahma did well on the right and picked out Antonio. Vicente Guaita saved from close range, but it would not prove decisive. With 65 minutes played, West Ham finally made their dominance count when Dawson headed in Jarrod Bowen’s in-swinging corner to make it 3-1.

West Ham made it six straight wins across all competitions

Michy Batshuayi had been ready to come on for Palace prior to the set-piece, but by the time he entered the fray their task had become a whole lot harder.

The Belgian was able to pull a goal back deep into stoppage time – his first for the Eagles since he returned on loan from Chelsea – but it failed to stop West Ham moving above Liverpool and into fourth.

PA

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