Milivojevic’s potential second yellow, McArthur misses a sitter & more- Talking Points from Palace v West Ham

West Ham halted their their three game away losing streak in the Premier League by picking up a point against Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon. The Hammers had failed to find the back of the net against Burnley, Bournemouth and Wolves, but managed to do so at Selhurst Park, albeit from a Mark Noble penalty kick.

Let’s take a look at the talking points from this game.

Luka Milivojevic’s second half tackle on Noble when he was already on a yellow

Perhaps the biggest talking point of the game for Hammers fans. It was a challenge that should’ve seen him booked by referee Craig Pawson, and would’ve reduced Palace to ten men, and potentially broken the momentum the Eagles were building up. West Ham were also 1-0 up at that stage.

A mixed day at the office for Ryan Fredericks

Manuel Pellegrini showed great faith in Ryan Fredericks when he chose to start him at right back ahead of veteran Pablo Zabaleta against Wilfried Zaha. The Chilean opted for the player with greater pace rather the better defender, perhaps a result of James Milner’s struggles against Zaha a few weeks ago.

The first real chance of the game went to Fredericks and he was a constant threat down the right flank offensively in the first half. Defensively, he came under massive pressure in the second half, and it lead to an exchange of words between him and Angelo Ogbonna later in the game. Was subbed off six minutes from time for Zabaleta.

Fredericks was also guilty of playing Palace onside several times. An up and down day, as one might expect for one having to deal with the class of Zaha, to be fair to him.

West Ham starting lineup vs Palace 2019

Fabianski good again

Lukasz Fabianski made two excellent saves in the first half, one diving to his left to deny James McArthur and one to his right to deny Christian Benteke. He was certainly the busier of the two goalkeepers and might have even given West Ham all three points if not for a cruel deflection off Issa Diop that saw him finally beaten at the near post.

A tale of two halves & McArthur’s miss

West Ham were the better attacking side in the first half, with Felipe Anderson in fantastic form. He was a constant threat to the Palace defence with his passing and quick feet and created two very decent opportunities for both Snodgrass and Hernandez.

In the second half, the roles reversed, with Palace creating chance after chance. James McArthur will probably be a contender for Miss of the Season after his failure to convert his 53rd minute opportunity. Michy Batshuayi missed another decent one after coming on for Benteke as a substitute. Palace fans would probably see this as two points dropped rather than one gained- such was their dominance after the interval, but the pre-match predictions of a draw from most pundits came true.

mcarthur miss v west ham

Did West Ham err by opting to protect their lead?

As mentioned above, West Ham were very good on attack in the first half, with Anderson at the heart of it. In the second half, they attempted to protect their lead and that backfired. Palace had 8 shots in the first half; they finished with 25 (twice as many in the second half alone!).

West Ham didn’t have a single shot on target after the interval (forget being on target, not even a single shot if my memory serves me right!), and Marko Arnautovic barely touched the ball after coming in. At the end they were probably delighted when the final whistle came in. The Palace goal had a hint of luck- it took a wicked deflection off Diop, but no one would probably grudge the Eagles a point given how well they played in the second half.


  1. Shoudn’t have sat back and defended.

    That being said, it’s a pretty good point all things considered.

    Hopefully, Manu, Nasri and Balbuena will be back for Fulham.

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