West Ham United produced a very commendable display despite many key players available, as they finished 1-1 with London rivals Crystal Palace Tuesday evening.
David Moyes was without the services of Andy Carroll, Marko Arnautovic, Manuel Lanzini, Marko Antonio, Andre Ayew, Pedro Obiang, Winston Reid and the suspended Arthur Masuaku. That didn’t stop his team from looking solid and spirited against a much healthier Palace outlet for most of the contest.
But Palace unsurprisingly took the lead in the 24th minute, when West Ham were too open with many players playing in unfamiliar roles. James Tomkins sprung a pass that lead to Andros Townsend crossing to an open Christian Benteke to give the visitors the opening tally with a header past Adrian.
The Hammers weren’t deterred, and their good energy and effort was rewarded in the 41st minute, when former Hammer James Tomkins took down Javier Hernandez in the box. Up stepped captain Mark Noble 90 seconds latter and cooly delivered another well taken penalty in his career to level the match 1-1.
After an unusually long six minutes of stoppage time due to the latest head battering that Cheikhou Kouyate had to endure with, the Hammers continue to show that they wouldn’t be worried about their major absences on the night. Sam Byram again produced another quality ball into the box, but Hernandez headed right into the chess of Hennessey. But despite the makeshift defense that Moyes had in this game, Crystal Palace were unable to get any real chance to win the contest.
It was as good of a performance as West Ham could have hoped for, considering the circumstances. And they will hope they can bring the same level of spirit and focus, irregardless of who plays, in their next contest at struggling side Brighton on Saturday.