Slaven Bilic knew his West Ham side needed something to lift their spirits up, and he received just that with a banner second half display in a 3-0 win over Crystal Palace at the London Stadium.
A routine tap in from Sofiane Feghouli and sensational goals from Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini gave the Hammers all three points against one of their crosstown rivals in a game both sides badly needed a positive result from.
It was a mostly drab first half to witness, as both sides lacked the sustained quality to excite. Palace defender James Tomkins blew a golden opportunity by somehow not tapping in a perfect cross from Andros Townsend. West Ham would not have a shot on target, as the best chance for them came with Mark Noble delivering in quality from the right flank to Carroll’s volleyed left foot attempt going over the bar.
Michail Antonio was the best player for the Hammers in the first half, but Bilic knew that he wanted his versatile player much more forward in the second half to give his side needed creativity. That and Sam Byram’s substitution for Angelo Ogbonna prove to be the difference, as West Ham found the fluency in attack that they didn’t have in the opening interval.
The breakthrough came off of a fine chip pass by Mark Noble to an on rushing Antonio, causing Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey to come off his line way too early. Antonio rounded by the Welch #1 shot stopper and slid in a shot that was turned in by Feghouli in the 68th minute. It was a fine reward for the Algerian, whose energetic performance was his best in his West Ham colors.
The day would only get better for the Hammers, as Antonio provided another assist with a chip cross from the left into the tall Carroll, who showcased his class with a Zlatan Ibrahimovic-esque swinging volley extraordinary finish in the 79th minute. That sensational goal got the London Stadium crowd roaring in delight, and the terrific second half was rounded off when Antonio secured a hat trick in assists by finding Lanzini on a counter. The Argentine playmaker put the icing on the cake with a cheeky chip over Hennessey in the 86th minute.
West Ham will face another bottom of the table struggler next Saturday, when they take on Middlesborough at the Riverside Stadium.