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Match Reports

Match Report : 14/01/2017

14 January 2017

Palace’s first ever visit to the London Stadium ended in defeat as goals from Sofiane Feghouli, Andy Carroll and Manuel Lanzini secured victory for West Ham United over the Eagles.

Sam Allardyce’s side looked the more likely to break the deadlock in the first half but couldn’t quite find the net, and after the restart Feghouli tapped in from close range before Carroll netted an exquisite scissor kick.

To rub salt into the wound, with four minutes to go Lanzini raced through to add a third and give the result a lop-sided look to it that the Eagles didn’t merit after an encouraging start.

That began when Jason Puncheon was first to worry a goalkeeper when a fine clipped pass by Yohan Cabaye over the top of the defence reached the winger but his ambitious volley flew over.

However the first half’s only clear-cut chance would fall to the hosts 14 minutes later when Mark Noble charged down the right flank and picked out Andy Carroll near the penalty spot, but the striker side-footed the ball above Wayne Hennessey’s crossbar when he should have hit the target.

After that let-off, Palace went straight down the other end and the game’s third volley was the sweetest of the lot when Cabaye struck from 25 yards out but Darren Randolph managed to get his body behind it, but on 34 minutes the Eagles were inches away from taking the lead when an Andros Townsend free-kick evaded everyone and found James Tomkins at the far post, but the former Hammer could instinctively only flick a boot at it and saw the ball go across goal and drift narrowly wide.

Having shaded the first 45 minutes, the Eagles continued to press for the opener after the break and Cabaye sliced over after a knockdown from Christian Benteke, but the threat of Carroll in the air was always prevalent and only some brave defending from Tomkins denied his former teammate from heading in Feghouli’s cross on 52 minutes.

Slaven Bilic’s side’s good start to the second half continued as the England striker then drilled wide before Lanzini curled a free-kick just over the top and then Sam Byram saw a shot bounce just wide from an acute angle as the Hammers built up a head of steam.

And the pressure told on 68 minutes when West Ham took the lead. Noble released Michail Antonio down the left who raced through the backline and rounded Wayne Hennessey before shooting at the empty goal, but despite dragging it wide it fell kindly to Feghouli who had the simplest of tap-ins to grab the all-important opening goal.

Allardyce tried to change his side’s fortunes by introducing Loic Remy for a Premier League debut, however on 78 minutes the game was put to bed in sublime fashion. Lanzini again probed down the left and handed the ball off to Antonio, who provided a peach of a cross for man-of-the-match Carroll who once again showed his incredible athletic ability to scissor kick the ball into the top corner of Hennessey’s goal.

With the result virtually beyond doubt, Jeffrey Schlupp was introduced for his Eagles bow, but he couldn’t prevent a third goal for the hosts on 84 minutes when they countered a Palace attack and Antonio slid in Lanzini who raced away and produced a brilliant dink over the stricken Hennessey to score for the fourth consecutive game against the Eagles, and give the scoreline a very harsh reflection.

West Ham: Randolph, Reid, Collins, Ogbonna (Byram 46), Antonio (Fletcher 90), Feghouli, Noble, Obiang, Cresswell, Lanzini (Fernandes 87), Carroll. Subs: Adrian, Oxford, Quina, Calleri.

Palace: Hennessey, Tomkins, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Ledley (Schlupp 81), Cabaye, Townsend (Lee 70), McArthur (Remy 70), Puncheon, C. Benteke. Subs: Speroni, Fryers, Kelly, Flamini.

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