West Ham United still haven’t beaten Crystal Palace in Stratford since December 2018 after a 1-1 draw on Sunday afternoon.
Only Nayef Aguerd, Konstantinos Mavropanos, James Ward-Prowse, Lucas Paquetá and Tomáš Souček retained their places from Thursday night’s UEFA Europa League win over FK TSC Bačka Topola.
The Czech was handed the Captain’s armband, as Kurt Zouma was unavailable for selection, while Alphonse Areola, Vladimír Coufal, Emmerson Palmieri, Edson Álvarez, Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen were all restored to the starting line-up.
Łukasz Fabiański, Aaron Cresswell, Pablo Fornals, Saïd Benrahma and Divin Mubama all dropped to the bench. Former Hammer James Tomkins returned to his former club but was an unused substitute for the visitors.
After winning three consecutive games, the Hammers were desperate to build on the late victory in Serbia and prepare for another tough week in style.
David Moyes’ side survived an early scare as Odsonne Édouard sent an effort wide of the post before they went ahead after thirteen minutes when a great team move ended with Kudus beating Eagles’ goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.
The Irons were applying pressure and really should have extended their advantage before the break but were unable to beat Johnstone for a second time.
That being said, Aguerd did set up Bowen but unfortunately, he couldn’t beat the former West Bromwich Albion stopper.
Perhaps further chances would come for the home side at the start of the second-half. Well, they did!!! Souček is currently in incredible goalscoring form and after Kudus delivered a cross into the area, the midfielder connected with it and beat Johnstone, only for the linesman’s flag to be raised.
West Ham could have done with making one of their earlier opportunities count because just seven minutes in, they found themselves on level terms. A mistake from Mavropanos allowed the visitors to take possession and the ball fell into the path of Édouard, who managed to get the better of Areola.
The East Londoners were keen to get back in front and might have done so when Paquetá played in Palmieri but the defender could only send the ball over the crossbar from close range.
Mavropanos almost made amends for his earlier error but instead, he only headed wide when meeting a cross from Kudus.
Remarkably, in the last minute of normal time, Moyes decided to make his first change with Palmieri making way for Fornals.
Both sides still had time to win the encounter when it was announced that six minutes of stoppage time were to be added. It was the hosts who went the closest to grabbing all three points but Bowen could only head straight at Johnstone.
Moyes’ men will have another crack at winning a London derby when they go to The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday night.
In other news, the draw for the third-round of the Emirates FA Cup was made prior to the match and the Hammers have been handed a home tie with Sky Bet Championship outfit Bristol City, who have recently appointed former Development Squad Head-Coach Liam Manning. The tie will be played between 5-8 January.