Palace Bulldoze Hammers

Although Thursday night’s match with Bayer Leverkusen in Stratford ended in a 1-1 draw, it’s been a bad week for West Ham United, who have not only been knocked out of the UEFA Europa League but they have also suffered back-to-back Premier League defeats. Their latest came after a 5-2 reverse at Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon.

Once again, changes were made after the encounter three days ago, as Emmerson Palmieri and Lucas Paquetá returned from suspension, while Angelo Ogbonna was handed a rare start in place of the injured Nayef Aguerd. Jarrod Bowen was again not involved. Michail Antonio retained his place in order to make his 250th top-flight appearance.

Łukasz Fabiański was also given another start, despite Alphonse Areola being back involved in the matchday squad. Aaron Cresswell dropped to the bench.

Youngsters Lewis Orford, Divin Mubama and Kaelan Casey were also options amongst the substitutes. James Tomkins was on the bench for the Eagles against his former employers.

The home side went into this game hoping to build on their terrific 1-0 win at Anfield a week ago and with the Hammers having played an extra game, the majority inside the stadium were hoping that their team could take advantage.

Well, their prayers were answered as they got stuck into the their opponents right from the start and went in front after only seven minutes. Despite Fabiański coming out of the goal and looking like he was going to claim the ball, Michael Olise was able to get enough power on a header and beat the Pole with relative ease.

West Ham then tried to search for a response but just eight minutes later, the hosts doubled their lead when Fabiański had initially saved a shot, only for Eberechi Eze to knock in the rebound.

There were more chances that the home side should have really converted but thankfully for those in the away end, the scoreline stayed as it was.

David Moyes’ men have been on the end of some real beatings in 2023/24 and it looked as if this one would be added to that list. Roles were reversed from Thursday night, as the East Londoners were being put under more more pressure.

Oliver Glasner then saw his side add another just five minutes later, as a cross from Will Hughes was put into his own net by Palmieri, before the Irons were completely out of the contest when Jean-Philippe Mateta helped himself to a fourth goal just after the half-hour.

Antonio could have reduced the deficit when he was presented with what seemed to be an easy opportunity from close-range but he headed over. However, just five minutes before the break, that error was atoned for as he slotted past home goalkeeper Dean Henderson, following good play from both Vladimír Coufal and Tomáš Souček.

There were different reactions from each side of the stadium when seven minutes of stoppage time were added to the end of the half, meaning there was still time for the home support to see more goals.

If West Ham were going to get back from this, then it would be the comeback of all comebacks.

It was damaged limitation for Moyes at half-time but he had to do something, otherwise this would become an even bigger defeat. With that in mind, he threw on both Ben Johnson and Cresswell for Ogbonna and Souček.

Glasner’s side were in no mood to let up, meaning the Irons needed the help of Fabiański and to be fair to the Pole, he prevented Eze from beating him for a second time. Having said that, it wasn’t too long before he was involved again, as he set up Mateta to get his second of the afternoon and wrap the points up. In truth though, they were effectively sealed long before the Frenchman finished the job off.

Moyes introduced another couple of changes with just over fifteen minutes of normal time remaining as Kalvin Phillips, along with Danny Ings entered the fray for both Edson Álvarez and Antonio.

There was time for one more substitution for West Ham. Moyes was even more unhappy with how the game was progressing so he brought on Maxwel Cornet to replace Mohammed Kudus.

This match was full of goals and before proceedings were ended, the travelling contingent, who had only had Antonio’s goal to cheer, suddenly found their voices again when Palace’s lead was cut once more. Tyrick Mitchell played the ball back to Henderson but the former Manchester United goalkeeper made an error and from nowhere, another goal had been pulled back.

It came as a huge relief for West Ham when referee Graham Scott blew the final whistle. The good news is that the Hammers now have a full week to prepare for their next game, though the bad news is that it’s Liverpool who arrive for the early kick-off on Saturday.