First away win for Hodgson, Superb Hammers team goal & more- Talking Points from West Ham 1-2 Crystal Palace

West Ham’s six game unbeaten streak was halted on Saturday evening as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. With Leicester having lost earlier in the day to Liverpool, the Hammers could’ve potentially gone third with a victory over the Eagles, but have instead dropped to eighth going into the October international break.

Here are our talking points from this Round 8 clash at the London Stadium.

Roy Hodgson’s first away win against West Ham as manager: This was Roy Hodgson’s first away win against the Hammers in his managerial career after six previous unsuccessful attempts. Given that his side were huge underdogs coming into this clash (not one pundit thought they’d win), this was a fine achievement from the veteran gaffer.

His side were without suspended skipper Luka Milivojevic, which meant Hodgson had to give young James McCarthy his first start since the latter’s horrible leg break against Albion last year.

Palace were well organised defensively, as you’d expect a Hodgson side to be, and his introduction of Andros Townsend at the end when the score 1-1 showed he wasn’t willing to settle for a draw, but instead wanted all three points.

West Ham’s goal a thing of beauty: There weren’t too many bright spots in this GW8 clash, but the Hammers’ goal here was a thing of beauty- a goal worth watching again and again. A simply marvellous team goal- a move that began in the WHUFC half and involved quick, incisive passing to break Palace down and a superb finish from Sebastien Haller as well- the goal had a xG of just 0.14 (14 out of every 100 would score in that situation based on past evidence). Easily the best team goal of the Pellegrini era.

buildup

Lanzini and Yarmolenko a bit underwhelming: While Aaron Cresswell kept his space in the starting line up, Pablo Fornals did not, with Pellegrini opted to bring back Manuel Lanzini into the XI. The little Argentine didn’t have the best of days, and the fact that Pellegrini chose to replace him first was a telling statement on his performance.

Andriy Yarmolenko was decent in some situations, and not so good in others. Perhaps better than Lanzini, but not quite at the level that was required here.

VAR hurts West Ham: It came to Bournemouth’s rescue last weekend for Joshua King’s equaliser, and VAR again hurt the Hammers in this clash. Jordan Ayew’s 87th minute goal was disallowed by the assistant, but after a lengthy referral, which involved multiple checks for whether or not Martin Kelly and Ayew were offside, VAR ruled in Palace’s favour.

VAR

Cresswell injury hopefully not too severe: The Hammers suffered a blow towards the end of the game when Aaron Cresswell had to limp off and was replaced by veteran Pablo Zabaleta at left back. Palace’s winner came from a cross on West Ham’s left wing after his substitution. The injury disrupted West Ham’s defence at a crucial juncture in the game and also prevented a potential debut for Alban Ajeti, who had looked set to come on before Cresswell’s injury.

West Ham 1 (Haller 54) lost to Crystal Palace 2 (Van Aanholt pen 63, Ayew 87)

Attendance: 59,912

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