West Ham 2-2 Crystal Palace: Match Report

02 April 2016 04:34

Dimitri Payet scores stunning free-kick but West Ham held by Crystal Palace

Dimitri Payet added another exquisite free-kick to his collection but Dwight Gayle dented West Ham's Champions League hopes by snatching a 2-2 draw for Crystal Palace.

Payet, fresh from stunning strikes at Manchester United and, for France, against Russia, conjured up another sublime set-piece at Upton Park.

But West Ham lost Cheikhou Kouyate to a straight red card before substitute Gayle's first Premier League goal of the season earned Palace a valuable point in their bid to steer clear of relegation trouble.

Damien Delaney had earlier given Palace the lead after a mistake by Hammers keeper Adrian, only for Manuel Lanzini to equalise.

Bakary Sako's 15th-minute free-kick from the right appeared to be curling out of play until, at the last moment, Adrian decided it might creep inside his far post.

But as the Spaniard attempted to gather the ball he inadvertently scooped it back into play, allowing Delaney to nod into an empty net.

Palace's lead lasted less than three minutes before Michail Antonio raided down the right and crossed to the back post.

Diafra Sakho's header back across goal was intercepted by Scott Dann, but cleared only as far as Lanzini who smashed it back past the defender and into the net.

Such has been Payet's prowess with free-kicks lately that Eagles boss Alan Pardew even warned his side not to commit fouls within 30 yards of goal.

Yet Payet had already sent one sighter over the crossbar when Joel Ward chopped the Frenchman down 25 yards out, four minutes before half-time.

Pardew looked resigned to his fate as he trudged back to his seat in the dug-out while Payet weighed up his options.

Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey left plenty of room to his right, expecting Payet to reprise his spectacular recent efforts.

However, as Hennessey began to move right Payet, rather than lift the ball over the seven-man wall, calmly curled the ball round it into the opposite corner to give West Ham the half-time lead

But the hosts' afternoon began to turn sour in the 67th minute when Kouyate was shown a straight red card for his lunge on Gayle.

Palace had already been denied an equaliser when Aaron Cresswell cleared Sako's shot off the line after Adrian had gone walkabout.

And with 15 minutes to go both West Ham's centre-halves, Angelo Ogbonna and Winston Reid, made a mess of Pape Souare's cross allowing Gayle to lash in the equaliser.


"Best free kick taker in the World #WeveGotPayet" - Jack Sullivan, son of West Ham co-owner David Sullivan.



West Ham

Adrian: 5

Aaron Cresswell: 6

Winston Reid: 6

Angelo Ogbonna: 6

Michail Antonio: 7

Cheikhou Kouyate: 6

Mark Noble: 7

Manuel Lanzini: 7

Dimitri Payet: 7

Emmanuel Emenike: 6

Diafra Sakho: 7


Andy Carroll (for Emenike, 60 mins): 6

Enner Valencia (for Sakho, 69 mins): 6

Pedro Obiang (for Noble, 80 mins): 6

Crystal Palace

Wayne Hennessey: 6

Joel Ward: 6

Scott Dann: 6

Damien Delaney: 7

Pape Souare: 7

Wilfried Zaha: 6

Jason Puncheon: 6

Mile Jedinak: 6

Joe Ledley: 7

Bakary Sako: 6

Yannick Bolasie: 6


Dwight Gayle (for Zaha, 46 mins): 7

Fraizer Campbel (for Ledley, 71 mins)l: 6


Dimitri Payet. The Frenchman was once again the classiest player on the pitch and scored another wonderful goal.


Payet's free-kick. Have you ever seen a goalkeeper sent the wrong way from 25 yards out? Well you have now.


Injuries forced Palace to start with Bolasie in attack, although Sako was out on the left wing. West Ham had virtually their strongest line-up available for a change.


Crystal Palace seem to have identical twins playing in central midfield. The question is, which one of bearded duo Ledley and Jedinak is trying to look like the other?


West Ham v Arsenal, Premier League (Saturday, April 9)

Crystal Palace v Norwich, Premier League (Saturday, April 9)

Source: PA