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First Team

Ward analyses assist and reflects on 'moment of magic' equaliser

16 December 2020

Joel Ward told Palace TV he wants to "take the positives" after the Eagles' 1-1 draw with West Ham United.

While it is easy to focus on Christian Benteke's soft sending off, Ward was able to reflect on other parts of the game, such as his assist for the Belgian frontman in the first-half.

First Team

Scott Dann discusses Christian Benteke in West Ham v Crystal Palace

16 December 2020

"It’s a point in the right direction," he said. "I think it changed the game, the second yellow. I thought we were the better side for the large majority of the game and we created good chances. It was unfortunate we went down to 10-men towards the end.

"We’re playing some great football throughout this season. We’ve adapted, been able to change throughout games, pose threats and seal things up as well. There’s a great balance and all-round cohesion within the team."

Focusing more closely on his involvement in Benteke's headed goal, Ward said: "I just put it into an area and Chris obviously possesses that presence in the box so I think thankfully it found him and he tucked it away.

"There was a moment not long before the goal where he got on the end of one. We know the presence he commands in the box and he’s a target for us full-backs or widemen crossing the ball."

But there was another standout effort in east London, too, with Sebastien Haller equalising through a sensational bicycle kick early in the second-half.

As frustrated as he was to concede, Ward admitted he had to reserve some praise for such a strike:

"It seems like they [West Ham] always score worldies! It’s always disappointing but sometimes you take your hat off to a moment of magic."

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