After a brief period of silence, the match kicked off where both sides could ill afford a loss. Crystal Palace find themselves at the bottom of the table, with West Ham and Slaven Bilic staring down the barrel of the gun.
The starting line up for West Ham was not terribly surprising. Andre Ayew being rewarded for his goals against the midweek Carabao Cup fixture with Tottenham. Someone who was not rewarded for their efforts from Wednesday is goalkeeper, Adrian. Joe Hart gets the start today, with Slaven Bilic deciding to keep his confidence in the English national. Andy Carroll would start on the bench, giving Chicharito the nod up top.
The first fifteen minutes wasn’t eventful for either side. Crystal Palace looked the more sure side early on with the Hammers having trouble finding their stride. West Ham showed flashes of brilliance but just lacked quality in that final touch to produce something special.
After a flurry of poor passing and mishandled possession, an Aaron Cresswell cross honed in on the outside of Javier Hernandez’s foot to put the Hammers up 1-0.
They didn’t stop there. West Ham continued to pour on the pressure until a Crystal Palace counter saw Joe Hart with a miraculous save right in front of next. Hart’s quick reflexes keep the Hammer lead strong as play continued to move back and forth for the remainder of the half. West Ham have seemed to adjust tactics to counter Palace’s advances while the red and blue are sticking to their laurels.
Andre Ayew would be the next to capitalize on the Crystal Palace’s passing woes. After a midfield turnover, Ayew charged down the field with options on both sides of him. However, he tucks the ball to his left foot, and splashes the back of the net himself.